By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
After struggling in practice, Tyler Reddick rebounded to win the NASCAR Cup Series Busch Pole Award for the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The driver of the No. 8 ALSCO Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was among the last to make a qualifying lap in Round 1 for Group B. Reddick’s lap was fast enough to transfer him into the second round.
The bumps in Turns 1 and 2 proved to be the difference throughout qualifying. Several drivers struggled to maintain speed and momentum over the bumps. Turns 3 and 4 also proved to be crucial for Reddick.
“Well, (Turns 3 and 4) didn’t slow me down,” Reddick explained. “I was either going to hit the wall or if I didn’t, it was going to be a really good lap. It wasn’t my intentions to be that close. I knew I was going to have to get through (turns) three and four really well; and that wall off of turn four came a lot closer and a lot sooner than I initially anticipated.”
Reddick narrowly beat Austin Cindric for the pole. The Richard Childress Racing driver ran a 29.252-second, 184.603 MPH lap. He was 0.050 seconds fastest than the Team Penske driver.
The blistering qualifying lap was opposite of Reddick’s pace in practice. The three-time winner was only 22nd-fastest overall between the combined sessions. Though out of the NASCAR Playoffs, and in his final races with Childress, the team improved his car for qualifying.
“Man, what a turnaround for our group from practice this morning,” Reddick admitted. “Everyone on this No. 8 ALSCO Chevrolet worked really, really hard. We weren’t really firing off in practice where we wanted to be. We were a bit off and we really went to work. We found some life in the second run. We tried a couple of things on the third run that didn’t really pan out.
“Just again, my team made some fantastic adjustments going into qualifying and got our car a lot closer. Still a little sketchy through (turns) one and two, but it carried a lot of speed. We learned a lot and we’ll be able to make some pretty good adjustments going into tomorrow’s race.”
The pole in the South Point 400 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is the fourth in Reddick’s Cup Series career. It’s his 14th pole position combined across the three National Touring Series.
The Corning, Calif. native will lead the field to green at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC. The race will also be broadcast on the Performance Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.