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Tyler Reddick Contends for Talladega Win

Talladega, Alabama (04/28/18) Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 9 Armour Chili Chevrolet Camaro, drafted inside of the top 10 throughout Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Talladega Superspeedway, earning valuable stage points at the completion of both Stage One and Two. The JR Motorsports driver was in position to contend for the victory on the final restart, leading the white-flag lap before getting shuffled three-wide heading into the final corner to ultimately earn an eighth-place finish. With the result, Reddick moves back into second in the championship standings, just behind JRM teammate Elliott Sadler. 

Reddick took the green flag for the scheduled 113-lap event from the eighth position after advancing to the final round of knockout qualifying on Saturday morning. The driver of the Armour Chili Chevrolet wasted little time drafting forward once underway, moving into the top five by the completion of the opening lap and up to the third position by lap 5. Once inside the top three, Reddick maintained his track position as the majority of the field opted to run in a single-file line. However, with two laps remaining in the opening stage Reddick got stuck on the inside line without much drafting help, shuffling the Corning, Calif. native back to the 10th position by the end of Stage One on lap 25.

After pitting for four tires and a chassis adjustment between stages, Reddick lined up in the 14th position for the beginning of Stage Two on lap 31. The 22-year-old driver utilized the outside line to quickly draft back into the top 10 and remained there through a lap-32 caution. After restarting in the eighth position on lap 40, Reddick once again took advantage of the outside line to draft into the top five in the closing laps of the second stage to end Stage Two in the fifth position, earning six valuable stage points.

Prior to the beginning of the final stage, crew chief Dave Elenz called Reddick to pit road for right-side tires and fuel. However, due to being blocked in by the car ahead during the pit stop, the driver of the Armour Chili Chevrolet took the lap 56 restart from 18th. Despite the loss of track position, Reddick once again charged forward, racing back into the top 10 and up to the eighth position just prior to a lap-61 caution period. Reddick continued to fight for position inside the top 10 following the restart, using a three-wide move to drive into sixth just prior to coming to pit road during the lone round of green-flag pit stops on lap 74.

After pitting for fuel-only during the stop, Reddick cycled back out in the 10th position as the first car in a pack of seven that was separated from the main pack, which was led by JRM teammate Justin Allgaier, who was hoping to stay out and make it the rest of the way on fuel. Despite not being in the main pack Reddick drafted back up to the fifth position as the race leaders began to get more strung out. Then, an opportune caution on lap 104 closed the field back together and forced several of the leaders hoping to make it on fuel to pit road, moving Reddick up to the second position during the caution. 

Then, as the field was coming back to the green for NASCAR’s version of overtime on lap 113, the race leader Austin Cindric ran out of fuel, giving Reddick control of the restart. After jumping out to the lead, Reddick worked both lanes of traffic hoping to fend off all challenges. However, a large run by the middle lane on the final lap ultimately forced Reddick to the outside line in the middle of Turns 3 and 4, leaving the JRM driver without much drafting help.

In the end, Reddick came home with an eighth-place finish. The result is Reddick’s sixth top-10 finish of the 2018 season.

Spencer Gallagher scored the victory with Brandon Jones, Allgaier, Noah Gragson, and Sadler rounding out the top five.

Tyler Reddick, driver No. 9 Armour Chili team

“Man, I did all I could to hold off those guys there on that last restart, that middle lane just got a huge run that I couldn’t get down in front of in time. I just want to thank everyone on this JR Motorsports team for their hard work this weekend. Our Armour Chili Chevy was fast from the moment we unloaded. We will build off of today and get ready for next week in Dover.”