Reddick gets 1st career win in playoff opener

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SPARTA, Ky. (AP) – Tyler Reddick crashed the opener of the NASCAR Xfinity Series playoffs on Saturday at Kentucky Speedway by running away with his first career victory.

The 21-year-old driver led 66 laps, including the final 39, and beat Brennan Poole to the finish line by 14.540 seconds.

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The margin of victory was the largest in the 23 times the series has raced on the 1.5-mile track since 2001.

It was Reddick’s 15th career start in the series.

Justin Allgaier, who entered the race as the No. 2 playoff seed, rallied back from a flat tire that put him two laps down early in the race to finish third.

Ryan Preece finished fourth and playoff contender Cole Custer finished fifth.

Custer started third and swept the first two stages. He led 49 laps.

William Byron, who entered the race as the No. 1 seed and with three victories to his credit this season, made an unscheduled pit stop early in the final stage to address a loose wheel and lost a lap.

He rejoined the race in 27th place and finished 18th. Defending race winner and playoff contender Elliott Sadler finished sixth.

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Alex Risen joined the ABC 36 News team in October of 2011 as ABC 36’s Weekend Sports Anchor/ Sports Reporter. Alex can also be seen Friday nights co-anchoring the Highschool Highlight Reel. Alex started out in the broadcast business while still in college at the University of Kentucky, heading up the school’s daily student news network as the Sports Director. He made his commercial televsion debut in May of 2011 while at WYMT in Hazard, Kentucky as co-host of a weekly, half-hour high school sports program previewing area schools’ games on Friday nights and as a morning sports anchor. Alex has also spent time as an intern at ESPN in the Statistics and Analysis department, as a production assistant for NBC Sports horse racing and Sunday Night Football productions, and as an intern for WLKY in his hometown of Louisville, KY. Alex graduated from Saint Xavier High School in 2007 and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Journalism and Political Science from the University of Kentucky in 2010 where he graduated magna cum laude from the Honors Program. He’s excited to be covering his passion in his home state and make Central Kentucky his home for years to come. Alex can be reached at ARisen@wtvq.com