By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
Separated by just a single point for the 16th and final playoff spot, both Tyler Reddick and Erik Jones had rough outings following the two tangling in Turn 3 on the 71st lap of Saturday’s Pocono Organics 325 at Pocono Raceway.
The accident will certainly shake up the standings as they got together following Jones checking up as both Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski made things difficult as they were battling for the 13th spot. Reddick didn’t lift and ran into Jones’ left rear, sending them around with Jones taking a heavy lick at the inside wall, barely missing the sand barriers at pit entry.
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Jones exited out of his wounded No. 20 Craftsman Toyota Camry unharmed, but will take a hit in the regular season standings due to his 38th place finish.
It’s his first DNF since Talladega last October and his worst finish of the year after 14 races. Not only that, he’ll be forced to pull out a backup car for Sunday’s Pocono 350 (4:00 p.m. EST on FS1).
Meanwhile, Reddick coasted his No. 8 Caterpillar Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE all the away around the 2.5-mile triangular circuit and brought it to pit road with a flat right rear tire. Reddick’s crash panels were gone, but were able to make as much repairs needed to send him back to the track.
While he lost two laps, he did met minimum speed and continue racing to finish a disappointing 30th, four laps behind race winner Kevin Harvick.
“It was all about finishing and earning maximum points. I have to thank my guys for their hard work and making repairs so I could finish the last stage. We kept after it as a team and finished all the laps, trying to maximize on as many points as we could,” Reddick following his crash with Jones.
“We will regroup and be ready for round two tomorrow. Thank you to Caterpillar and the Cleveland Brothers for their support. We will definitely be ready to go tomorrow.”
The result keeps Reddick 16th in points, extending the gap over Jones by now six points heading into the second race at “The Tricky Triangle” where they’ll hope for better outings.