FORT WORTH, Texas – Winning Stage 1 of Sunday’s AutoTrader EchoPark Automotive 400 seemed to be the only positive takeaway for Tyler Reddick.
Reddick was on pit road when Suarez spun and got stuck in the grass by pit road entrance. The strategy of pitting early ended up hurting the No. 45 Toyota Camry as they were caught a lap down to the race leader and scored outside the top 20.
Late in the race, Reddick got loose and hit the outside wall, along with Erik Jones. Moments later, the chain reaction of events caused more cars to crash, including Playoff contender Ryan Blaney, to bring out what would be the final caution of the race.
“Just sucked,” Reddick shared after being the 25th car to cross the finish line. “That’s pretty much it, honestly. Great car, nothing to show for it.”
The emotions turned quickly after his win at Kansas Speedway earlier this month. What was one of the highest of highs turned into dismay as the NASCAR Cup Series heads to Talladega Superspeedway. As a superspeedway race that sees a high percentage of large crashes, it’s common to think of that as a wildcard for the Playoffs.
But Reddick is staying focused on the task at hand, not deterring from the overall goal for his 23XI Racing team.
“Nothing changes. We just move on.”
Reddick unofficially sits 10th in the NASCAR Playoff standings, three points below the cutoff. The Round of 12 has two events remaining before four drivers are eliminated.