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Tyler Reddick's Vegas Outing Ends with Late-Race Crash

1Las Vegas, Nevada (09/15/18) - Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 9 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chevrolet, was battling for position inside the top five following a lap 187 restart in Saturday afternoon’s NASCAR Xfinity Series regular season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway until contact with another competitor sent Reddick into the outside retaining wall. The resulting damage forced the JR Motorsports driver to head to the garage, ending Reddick’s afternoon just shy of the finish and ultimately leading to a 28th-place result. However, with the regular season now concluded, Reddick will enter the opening race of the NXS playoffs next weekend at Richmond Raceway as the fifth seed, just 29 points behind championship leader and JRM teammate Justin Allgaier.

Reddick took the green flag for the 200-lap event from the seventh position after advancing to the final round of knockout qualifying on Saturday morning. Once underway the driver of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chevrolet wasted little time moving forward, racing into the top five for the first time on lap 5. However, Reddick’s progress toward the front was halted after contact with the wall on lap 19 caused slight damage to the right-rear fender and led the car to shift toward the loose-side rolling through the corner. As a result of the contact and the subsequent handling condition, Reddick fell back to the 16th position as the green-and-white checkered flag was displayed to end Stage One on lap 45.

During the stage-ending caution crew chief Dave Elenz opted to bring Reddick to pit road on two separate occasions to make repairs and adjustments to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chevrolet. The numerous pit stops led to Reddick lining up for the beginning of Stage Two in the 19th position. Undeterred by the loss of track position, Reddick charged forward, taking advantage of a lap-70 restart to make a four-wide pass off of the fourth corner while navigating through traffic to move from 18th to 11th. The JRM driver’s climb forward didn’t stop there, as Reddick gained two positions in the closing laps of the second stage to take the green-and-white checkered flag on lap 90 in the ninth position.

After pitting for four tires and a chassis adjustment between stages, Reddick returned to the track for the final stage in the eighth position and only needed one lap to race back into the top five. The driver of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chevrolet maintained his top-five track position until a caution on lap 124 provided Elenz with another opportunity to bring Reddick to pit road for a chassis adjustment in the hopes of rectifying a tight-handling condition that had developed through the middle of the corner. Reddick returned following the stop in eighth and continued to fight for track position until another caution during the beginning of green flag pit stops on lap 175 shuffled up the running order.

During this caution period Elenz brought Reddick to pit road for four tires and another chassis adjustment. A great stop by the No. 9 pit crew gained Reddick two positions on pit road and lined the rookie driver up in the third position for the lap 180 restart. However, a quick caution following the restart saw Reddick get shuffled back to sixth after getting forced three-wide coming off of the second corner. Then, following a lap 187 restart, Reddick was sent sideways heading through the tri-oval while racing side-by-side for position inside the top five. The resulting contact sent the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chevrolet hard into the outside retaining wall and ultimately to the garage area, ending Reddick’s afternoon just 12 laps shy of the finish.

In the end, Reddick was scored with a 28th-place finish in the regular season finale for the NXS.

Reddick heads into next weekend’s opening round of the NXS playoffs at Richmond as the fifth seed, four points ahead of the eighth and final cutoff position. 

Ross Chastain scored the victory with JRM teammate Allgaier, Cole Custer, Christopher Bell and JRM teammate Elliott Sadler rounding out the top five.

Tyler Reddick, driver No. 9 Nationwide Children’s Hospital team
“We fought really hard today with our Nationwide Children’s Hospital Chevrolet. We overcame that early contact with the wall and were in a really good position heading into those last couple of restarts. I really hate that our race ended early and that we didn’t get to the finish, especially after all the hard work my guys put into this car. We’ll move on from this and get ready to go for the first race in the playoffs next week in Richmond.”