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Tyler Reddick Overcomes Adversity at Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen, New York (08/04/18) - Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 9 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chevrolet Camaro, overcame a wide variety of weather conditions and two pit road penalties to earn an 11th-place finish in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series event at Watkins Glen International. With the result, Reddick remains third in the playoff seeding by way of his victory at Daytona International Speedway in the season opening event with six races remaining in the NXS regular season.

Reddick was involved in an incident during the second round of qualifying that flat-spotted the tires of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chevrolet, forcing the JR Motorsports driver to take the green flag for the 82-lap event from the rear of the field. Despite starting at the rear, Reddick wasted little time moving forward, driving into the top 20 just 13 laps into the event. The 22-year old driver’s climb forward didn’t stop there as crew chief Dave Elenz opted to do an opposite strategy from the race leaders during the closing laps of Stage One. The strategy call paid off as Reddick stayed out while a number of the leaders came to pit road just prior to the end of the stage. This decision ultimately led to Reddick taking the green-and-white checkered flag to end the opening stage in the 10th position, earning one valuable stage point in the process.

During the stage-ending caution, Elenz called Reddick to pit road for four fresh tires and a slight adjustment, but it was deemed that a crew member had gone over the wall too soon prior to the beginning of the pit stop, which is a penalty. As a result of the penalty, the driver of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chevrolet was forced to begin Stage Two from the rear of the field. Although restarting at the back of the pack, Reddick once again charged forward, racing up to the 15th position just before a lap-26 caution period. While under caution the skies began to open up and heavy rain started to fall around the famed 2.45-mile road course.

With the track conditions becoming wetter and wetter, Reddick returned to pit road to switch out his slick tires for a set of rain tires. On the ensuing restart, Reddick took advantage of the wet conditions to move into the top 10 and up to seventh before an inopportune caution and subsequent red flag came out on lap 34. Due to the red flag conditions, the wet track surface started to dry as the rain had halted, which provided a handful of teams a chance to switch back to the slick tires. Opting to remain on the rain tires due to the amount of standing water still on the track, Reddick lined up for the lap 38 restart in the sixth position. Unfortunately, the slick tires prevailed over the final two laps of the second stage, shuffling Reddick back to 15th by the completion of Stage Two on lap 40.

Prior to the beginning of the final stage, the Corning, Calif. native came back to pit road for four fresh slick tires, returning to the track in the 21st position. The driver of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chevrolet methodically moved back forward once the final stage was under way, only needing one lap to rejoin the top-20 and three laps to move back into 15th before several of the race leaders began a round of green-flag pit stops. Choosing to stay on the track for the duration of the fuel run, Reddick raced into the top five for the first time on lap 53 and ultimately to the race lead on lap 62 before Elenz made the decision to bring Reddick to pit road for the scheduled green-flag pit stop. However, Reddick was found to be speeding on the entry of pit road prior to the stop and was forced to serve a pass-through penalty under green just before a fortuitous caution came out on lap 66. Reddick opted to stay out during the caution period while several of the leaders came to pit road, lining the JRM driver up for the lap 69 restart in the 10th position.

In the closing laps, Reddick would fight hard with Christopher Bell and Brad Keselowski before crossing the finish line for the final time in the 11th position.

With the result, Reddick remains seventh in the regular-season standings and third in the playoff seeding with six races remaining in the NXS regular season. 

Joey Logano earned the victory with AJ Allmendinger, JRM teammate Justin Allgaier, Ryan Preece and Aric Almirola rounding out the top five. 

Tyler Reddick, driver No. 9 Nationwide Children’s Hospital team
“Today was a good foundation day for everyone on this Nationwide Children’s Hospital team. I feel like we were able to learn a lot out here that will for sure help us at the upcoming road courses of Mid-Ohio and Road America. I wish we could’ve held on at the end and brought home another top-10 finish, but we fought hard all race long and came home with a solid result. Hopefully we can continue to build off of this next week at Mid-Ohio. I’m really looking forward to it.”