Tyler Reddick was a top 12 driver in the regular season, but that performance didn’t carry over into his first playoff appearance.
Reddick was one of the first four drivers eliminated from the postseason Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway. A 12th-place finish was the best finish in the round for Reddick and the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing team, but he missed advancing into the Round of 12 by two points. Reddick finished 18th at Darlington and 15th at Richmond.
“Unfortunately, we certainly gave up more than two spots over the course of this first round, Darlington.” Reddick said. “Getting stuck down a lap at Richmond. Not just one key opportunity, but there was a number that was the difference.
“One situation, the situation tonight, doesn’t really stick out as the one that makes it sting. It was just unfortunate (after) getting to the playoffs, we didn’t have the pace. To have the races we did, it kind of all adds up. For us to miss it by two and run the way we did isn’t a surprise.
“Yeah, it stinks, but we still get to go race the last seven races we have on the schedule. Good tracks for us. Our starting spot and pit stall won’t be as good, but everything else on the racetrack will be. We’ll make the most out of those races.”
Reddick finished the regular-season 11th in the overall standings and beat teammate Austin Dillon for the last spot in the playoffs. Over the previous five races, Reddick has one top-10 finish (fifth at Daytona).
Updated by his team about being a few points shy of advancing, Reddick fought hard in the final few laps for position. But his car was damaged from previously hitting the wall, and he was also lapped during one run. Reddick received the free pass under a lap 388 caution.
Reddick’s team also had to overcome a loss of track position at the end of the second stage. A lug nut issue on the right-rear resulted in an extra pit stop.
“Winners never quit,” Reddick said. “Hopefully, one day, the right break will come our way. We continue to learn and get better even though we didn’t make it through to the Round of 12. We feel as a team we were able to pick up on some things that are going to help us when we come back here next year or go to another short track.
“We’ll see where it goes from here. We’re not racing for a championship anymore, but we still have a lot to race for with this team.”