Tyler Redick’s NASCAR Cup Series championship chances ended quicker than anticipated when crash damage Saturday night at Bristol Motor Speedway put him too far behind to advance in the playoffs.
The Richard Childress Racing driver said he got “ran over” on lap 277 when a multi-car crash broke out after Daniel Suarez got loose off Turn 4. Suarez spun and collected Ricky Stenhouse Jr. with Reddick, teammate Austin Dillon, Todd Gilliland, and others getting a piece of the mess.
Reddick’s car suffered heavy right front damage as well as mechanical issues. The No. 8 team got the car patched up with less than a minute remaining on the Damaged Vehicle Policy (DVP) clock to get Reddick back on track and make minimum speed.
“I saw the No. 99 get all crossed up and tried to avoid it,” Reddick said. “I got on the brakes, got ran over and same as last week — heavy contact with the right front broke the upper control arm. I’m glad we were able to fix it during the DVP policy. It put us behind, and we needed more crazy stuff to happen. It didn’t quite unfold that way.”
Reddick’s wounded car could only do so much. Down 31 laps to the leaders, he finished 25th and missed advancing in the playoffs by two points.
“I’m sure you can imagine,” Reddick said of his emotion afterward. “Extremely [disappointed]. We knew we needed to have two decent races, and we were set up to do that. We had two weekends where we had cars that were going to run inside the top three, no problem, [and] Kansas — we didn’t capitalize on it. We had the [tire] failure and finished second to last.”
Reddick was leading the race at Kansas Speedway when the right rear tire blew. The 35th place finish had him just two points above the cutline going into Bristol.
“We come in here in a tough spot and we had a Bristol moment, and we just got ran over,” he said. “A lot of adversity happened to the field, and it almost worked out, but you can’t have two awful races in any of these rounds, even in the first one. [There are] a lot of cars, a lot of teams with opportunities to take advantage.”
Reddick won two races in the regular season and was seeded eighth when the playoffs began.