By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
CONCORD, N.C. – Points were the name of the game for Tyler Reddick as he helped Jordan Anderson Racing fight for points at Charlotte Motor Speedway.
The two-time NASCAR Xfinity Series champion made his first start for Anderson at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) last weekend. The No. 31 Bommarito Automotive Group Chevrolet Camaro SS had been locked out of competition due to the lack of qualifying and owner points until COTA. Qualifying at Daytona International Speedway was rained out for the Xfinity Series.
Reddick returned to Anderson’s team in the Alsco Uniforms 300 at Charlotte. He qualified 16th at the 1.5-mile track. As it was at COTA, points were the focus for the NASCAR Cup Series driver. In Stage 1, Reddick finished 10th, earning Anderson one point towards the No. 31’s owner points. However, pit road adjustments proved costly, knocking the No. 31 out of the top-10 in Stage 2.
A caution-filled final Stage saw Reddick climb the running order. The attrition-filled Stage wiped out several of his competitors. Reddick was ahead of the biggest wreck of the 200-mile race, which collected seven cars.
On the final seven-lap run to the finish, Reddick restarted fourth. He held onto the position until the final two laps. Brandon Brown, on fresh tires, swept by the 25-year-old. Reddick took the checkered flag in fifth, earning Anderson’s first top-five as an owner in the Xfinity Series.
“We were really, really tight here in practice yesterday,” admitted Reddick. “Made a big effort in the race to free up for today. We definitely did that. Unfortunately, we tried majority of the race making pretty lengthy pit stops, trying to really make the big adjustments to get ahead of it.
“We ended up at a long pit stops all day long to try to help our car get better. Never really found the point where it started to go the right direction. Losing eight, nine spots and they’re not really making the car better. It got more and more difficult as the race went on, trying to get back around those cars that we were definitely better than.”
Anderson’s move to put Reddick in the No. 31 closed the gap to his competition. After being locked out of the field for the first 10 races of the 2021 NASCAR Xfinity Series season, Jordan Anderson Racing is now 10-points behind the MBM Motorsports No. 13 Toyota Supra.
While the added seat time helped Reddick at COTA, it wasn’t a move pushed by Richard Childress Racing. Anderson and his business partners recruited Reddick to aid in their effort to make the field.
“Jordan’s got ECR engines under the hood on the lease program with ECR,” explained Reddick. “Jordan and Robby Benton approached me all on their own. It wasn’t really an RCR push by any means. They sought me out and that felt really cool for me to be who they wanted to put in the car and go fight for points and try and get them closer and closer to being locked in.
“The car that we ran at COTA was an RCR chassis for a couple of years ago, but it’s by no means a RCR car coming out of the RCR shop. It’s Jordan’s small team putting their hard work, sweat, tears, blood into those cars. That makes it really cool to go up here and battle with teams that have the best of the best stuff. It’s fun to fight and help teams like that go accomplish their goals.”
Although the No. 31 Chevrolet fell short of climbing into the top-40 in owner points, it is still locked into next weekend’s B&L Transport 170 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Anderson will have Martinsville Speedway winner Josh Berry in the car. Berry has a winner’s provisional due to his winner earlier this season.
Meanwhile, for Reddick, he has one more scheduled race with Jordan Anderson Racing, at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday, June 19. Nashville is the next track which the Xfinity Series will have qualifying this year. It’s also the fourth time this season that NASCAR has scheduled qualifying for the Xfinity Series this year.
“I’m looking forward to that one,” stated Reddick. “I don’t know how it’s going to go. I think I tested there. That was my first time in a truck with BKR (Brad Keselowski Racing) way back when. Back when you could test long, long time ago.”
With Berry in the car at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course and Reddick at Nashville, that leaves the driver’s seat open at Texas Motor Speedway.
Featured Photo Credit: Photo by NKP / NKP Photo