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Tyler Reddick Scores Pole for Goodyear 400 at Darlington; Keselowski on Outside of Front Row

Tyler Reddick is officially a seven-time NASCAR Cup Series pole winner as he clocked in ahead of Brad Keselowski in Saturday's qualifying session at Darlington Raceway.


hero image for Tyler Reddick Scores Pole for Goodyear 400 at Darlington; Keselowski on Outside of Front Row

Tyler Reddick is a guy who is dedicated to NASCAR's Throwback Weekend, as he shaved his facial hair this weekend to mimick the mustache that Tim Richmond utilized throughout his racing career. Fortunately, Reddick wasn't too dedicated to the bit as he didn't mimick Richmond's results in his 1982 Daytona 500 bid with the paint scheme that Reddick is using this weekend.

Richmond failed to qualify for the Daytona 500 that year in the white car with multi-colored stripes. Reddick avenged Richmond's DNQ by placing the paint scheme on the pole for Sunday's NASCAR Cup Series Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway.

Reddick's lap time in Round 2 of Saturday's qualifying session was 28.906 seconds (170.124 mph), which was 0.018 sec. faster than Brad Keselowski's time. Keselowski will start alongside Reddick from the second position on Sunday.

RELATED: NASCAR Cup Series Goodyear 400 Starting Lineup

Reddick has now thrown it back to two separate Tim Richmond paint schemes in his career, and the decision to pay homage to Richmond comes from how carefree and happy Richmond was in his life.

"I think for me, he's a driver that when he was at the track or away from the track, he was always living life to the fullest," Reddick explained. "He was really happy living the life he was, and I think there's a lot of truth to that. If you're throughout your week dreading whatever it is, it bleeds into what happens and what you take to the race track."

This pole position marks the first of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season for Reddick, who drives the No. 45 Toyota Camry XSE for 23XI Racing. Overall, this is Reddick's seventh-career NASCAR Cup Series pole position and it comes in just his 159th start.

Reddick, who has recorded top-three finishes in three of his last four starts at Darlington, says the track really suits his driving style.

"I think the biggest thing is just the way the tires wear out, the amount you have to move around, the amount of risk you have to take every single lap and to manage that throughout a whole race has kind of benefitted me and how I drive a race car," Reddick said after winning the pole.

Chris Buescher, who narrowly missed out on the race win last weekend at Kansas Speedway by just 0.001 sec., will start from the third position, which capped off a strong performance by RFK Racing in qualifying.

Ty Gibbs, William Byron, Kyle Larson, Denny Hamlin, Bubba Wallace, Ross Chastain, and Martin Truex Jr. will start fourth through 10th.

Truex slapped the wall on his qualifying lap, but there will be a lot of wall slapping throughout the race weekend as drivers collect their Darlington stripes.

Kyle Busch and Christopher Bell were the two drivers that just missed out on advancing to the second round of qualifying from Group A and B.

Busch, who will start 11th in Sunday's Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway, actually tied lap times (28.780 sec.) with Ross Chastain in Group B's Round 1 qualifying session, but lost out on the tie breaker, which led to Chastain advancing to the final round.

Bell turned a lap time of 28.854, which was just 0.063 sec. off the lap turned by William Byron, which secured the final spot in Round 2 for the driver of the No. 24 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

Erik Jones, who is making his first start since suffering a broken vertebra in his back in a hard crash at Talladega Superspeedway, will roll from the starting grid in the 30th position. Following the qualifying session, Jones stated that he feels good despite the injury, and is ready to race on Sunday afternoon.

“I feel good, physically. Happy to be back. Definitely a tough draw – going out early here – but I think we have a good car for tomorrow. I thought our practice was decent – I feel good and happy to have the AdventHealth Camry back out here. Happy to be back at one of my favorite places too, should be a fun day tomorrow.”

Jones is a two-time race winner at Darlington Raceway.

We're Talkin' About Practice!

Michael McDowell, who will start 16th on Sunday, was the fastest car in single-lap speed in NASCAR Cup Series practice earlier in the morning at Darlington Raceway. McDowell turned a 29.022 sec. lap time, which was over a tenth and a half better than Ty Gibbs' best lap in the session.

RELATED: NASCAR Cup Series Goodyear 400 Practice Results

McDowell announced earlier this week that he will move on from Front Row Motorsports, after seven seasons together, at the conclusion of the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season. McDowell has signed a multi-year driving contract with Spire Motorsports, and he will take over the reigns of the No. 71 Chevrolet Camaro for that team in 2025 and beyond.

While single-lap speed is nice, it's consecutive lap averages that typically come into play at a track like Darlington Raceway.

Chris Buescher led the way in five-lap averages with an average lap of 29.516 sec. The driver, who finished heartbreakingly close to a win last weekend at Kansas Speedway, came in ahead of William Byron, the defending winner of this race, in five lap averages while McDowell was third.

Team Penske's Austin Cindric hits his strides in 10-lap consecutive averages as he led the way in the session with an average lap time of 29.871. Buescher would register the second-best 10-lap average while Kyle Larson would clock in third-fastest in 10-lap averages.

Larson would rise to the top of the charts in the No. 5 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 in 15-lap averages with an average lap time of 30.093 sec. Cindric, and Todd Gilliland would clock in second and third-fastest in 15-lap consecutive averages.

As the run got longer, the No. 38 Front Row Motorsports Ford Mustang really came to life. Gilliland led the way in 20-lap (30.270 sec.), 25-lap (30.418 sec.), and 30-lap (30.570 sec.) consecutive averages. Gilliland, who has a very good long-run car, will start from the 15th position in Sunday's race.

Cindric, Brad Keselowski, and Josh Berry were other drivers that impressed over the long run along with Chase Briscoe and Noah Gragson. It's worth noting that Larson didn't turn 20 consecutive laps in the session.

Keselowski was the lone driver from the long-run averages that advanced to the final round of qualifying, and will start from the second position on Sunday. It appears Keselowski has a great mix of single-lap and long-run speed this weekend.

Photo Credit: Rusty Jarrett, LAT Images for Toyota Racing

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