Tyler Reddick takes surprise NASCAR Cup Series pole at COTA



Reddick was second in the first round to A.J. Allmendinger but was among the first to go out in the Sunday’s final round and led the way with an average speed of 92.363 mph. He will lead the field to green Sunday afternoon in the Texas Grand Prix.

The pole is the first for Reddick in his Cup career and the first for Richard Childress Racing on a road course event since the late Dale Earnhardt won the pole for the 1996 race at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.

 

“I was absolutely terrible on road courses for a long time, but I still have a lot to learn. It’s hard to put into words. We haven’t even raced yet and that’s a big accomplishment for us,” Reddick said.

“It’s no secret, in my career, road courses were something I never understood. I didn’t know when the light bulb was going to go off.”

Larson ended up at 92.263 mph and Austin Cindric – making one of a handful of Cup starts this season – came in third at 91.820 mph.

“We were good, I didn’t really attack the braking zone into (Turn) 12 like I needed to,” Larson said. “I didn’t want to overdrive it and mess up my lap. A little disappointed in myself but really proud to not have much track time.”

Kyle Busch was fourth and William Byron – who led Saturday’s practice – rounded out the top-five.

Completing the top-12 lineup are Joey Logano, Allmendinger, Chase Elliott, Ryan Blaney, Christopher Bell, Kevin Harvick and Alex Bowman.

Round 1

Allmendinger led the way in the first 25-minute session of qualifying, which remained dry for the most part despite a threat of rain.

Allmendinger’s average lap speed of 91.962 mph was set early in the session as were the speeds of second-place Reddick (91.885 mph) and Cindric (91.715 mph).

Kyle Busch posted the fourth-fastest lap and Logano rounded out the top-five.

Completing the top-12 and advancing to Round 2 were Byron, Larson, Bell, Elliott, Harvick, Blaney and Bowman.

Denny Hamlin experienced problems with his power steering during his initial flying lap and despite making adjustments on pit road, still ended up 19th-fastest.

“The power steering, I couldn’t turn it all the way to the left. I was limited on the range of motion I could actually turn the wheel, so I think an air bubble issue in the system,” Hamlin said. “We’ll get that out and be OK. Track time is super-important.”

Among those just missing the cutoff were Kurt Busch, Cole Custer, Daniel Suarez, Austin Dillon and Martin Truex Jr.

“Just not enough time on the race track. Going out on the track yesterday and try to figure out the wet then you get 1 or 2 shots in the dry,” Truex said. “If we get some long green runs we’re going to be fine just need to get our rhythm.”



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