Hard to get more patriotic than seeing the 'ol No. 8 Chevy back in Victory Lane.
Happy Birthday, America!
Tyler Reddick finally tossed aside his bridesmaid hat and said the Cup Series "I do," winning for the first time in his 92nd start and after five runner-up finishes.
He did it on a road course, too, and by beating someone named Elliott, who is pretty darn good at those places ... I hear.
"I know he's been super close to that first win, and I've been down that road and it can be a rocky one. I'm happy for those guys. They deserve it," Chase Elliott said after a dominant, yet disappointing, Road America afternoon.
"I didn't do a very good job there," Clyde continued. "I just let him stay close enough to pressure me there while we had decent tires and never could get enough of a gap. Just made a couple mistakes."
Tyler Reddick outduels dominant Chase Elliott
We'll get back to Chase in a bit, but first ... you did it, Tyler!
Someone (cough cough) in these spaces has said for months it was only a matter of time until Reddick uncorked the champagne, and everything fell into place Sunday.
Reddick was the only driver able to stay in the same time zone as Elliott (seriously, look at the gap back to third!), and passed Chase midway through the final stage to secure the win.
"It's starting to sink in," Reddick said a few hours after the win. "The nice thing about it is the hard work you put in is what you get out of it. For the last two years especially, I knew that road courses were a weakness for me, and when I say weakness, I mean we'd struggled around 30th, honestly.
"It was just a huge sense of relief."
Tyler Reddick puts Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s No. 8 back in Victory Lane
Quite the visual, too.
This was the first time the No. 8 machine has been back in Victory Lane since Dale Jr. won at Richmond ... in 2006.
That's not the only Junior connection in this win, either.
Remember, Earnhardt put Reddick in a JR Motorsports car back in 2018, and Reddick repaid him by winning the whole darn thing a few months later.
Reddick made it back-to-back Xfinity titles the following year before moving to full-time Cup racing, and then had to sit through nearly 100 starts and five runner-up finishes before finally putting the RCR machine in Victory Lane.
Speaking of RCR ...
"I told him this morning he was going to win and we were able to pull it off," owner Richard Childress said after the race.
Alrighty, then. What are the lotto numbers, Richard?!
Chase Elliott on future of racing: 'That's the road we're on'
Now that all the feel-good stuff is out of the way, let's throw a tiny wet towel on everything before looking ahead ...
Yeah, that race was a snoozer.
Chase was checked out all afternoon until Reddick closed the gap late. There were zero natural cautions and very little passing.
So, was it an anomaly or a sign of things to come? Well, since you asked ...
"These cars are very aero sensitive and even more so nowadays — even more than last year's car," Elliott said. "Every car is going to become the same, manufacturer to manufacturer. And as that becomes the case, track position is going to become more and more of a premium.
"That's just motorsports nowadays. Aero is huge, and you can't unlearn, so that's the road we're on.”
Martin Truex Jr. sums up frustrating day for Toyotas
Because there wasn't much action beyond the late battle up front, we don't have much to report this week in our annual "Angry Radio Chatter" segment.
We do have this gem of an exchange between Martin Truex Jr. and crew chief James Small:
"You put me in these situations. Don't get mad. Calm down."
Truex, by the way, finished 13th and was the highest-finishing Toyota. Come on, fellas. You're better than that!
Anyway, off to Atlanta Motor Speedway, which should be hot, fast, slick, and certainly more exciting than Road America.
Remember, we had 46 lead changes at this place in the spring, which led to one of my favorite Kyle Busch-media exchanges of the season.
Question 1: Is this type of racing making you more of an entertainer than a driver?
Question 2: You like this version of Atlanta better than the old one?
This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Chase Elliott has a warning, Reddick pops cherry, Martin Truex gets testy