By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
MARTINSVILLE, VA – Despite dropping to the rear for unapproved adjustments, Tyler Reddick clawed his way back into the top-10 at Martinsville Speedway.
Reddick spent the first two Stages climbing through the field. In the second Stage, he edged closer and closer to the top-10. Two cautions at the end of the Stage allowed the Corning, Calif. native to jump ahead of Kyle Busch, Kurt Busch and others. He finished Stage 2 in eighth, scoring two Stage points.
Throughout the final Stage, Reddick bounced in and out of the top-10. He battled often with Bubba Wallace, Ryan Newman, and Daniel Suarez. That was until a 13-car pileup ended the day for Suarez. Reddick’s battle with Newman almost came to an end when an accordion effect on a restart sent the No. 6 Guaranteed Rate Ford Mustang spinning in turn two.
As the race moved closer to the final laps of the Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 500, Reddick began to battle more with Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick and others. Like Bell, William Byron, and others, Reddick pitted off sequence for tires. That allowed the Richard Childress Racing driver to climb the running order, until the final caution erased his advantage.
Over the final 40 laps, Reddick continued to battle with Bell, Harvick, Newman, and Wallace. Contact damaged the nose of Wallace’s car, and hurt the momentum of others. That allowed Reddick to drive away from many of his competitors. When the checkered flag finally waved, the 25-year-old was eighth.
“Today was a good day for our No. 8 Childress Vineyards Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE, but we definitely had to fight for it,” admitted Reddick. “I learned a lot about racing at Martinsville Speedway over the course of the weekend. We fired off strong Saturday night and were able to work our way up a handful of spots after having to start from the rear of the field due to an unapproved adjustment.
“Then the rain came through and postponed the race. That gave our team a good chance to talk about what we had and what we needed to work on. Once we got back going today, I had really good long run speed and was able to use that to capitalize on some good runs to get into the top 10 and grab stage points at the end of Stage 2.
“I needed more center turn and to be a little looser during that span of short runs that came in the middle of Stage 3. We had all those back-to-back yellows while being shuffled back a little bit due to our pit cycle. Luckily the final run of the race was a longer one that allowed us to bring home a top-10 finish. Overall, this was a good weekend for our team and I’m looking forward to carrying this momentum into next weekend’s race at Richmond.”
A simple fix prior to the green flag was deemed by NASCAR Cup Series officials as an unapproved adjustment. Since Tyler Reddick’s No. 8 Childress Vineyards Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE had already passed pre-race technical inspection, he had to drop to the rear of the field before the green.
The eighth-place finish was the third top-10 for Reddick this season and the 13th of his Cup Series career.
Feature Photo Credit: Photo by NKP / NKP Photo