By Luis Torres, Staff Writer
In spite of surviving the mayhem, Tyler Reddick will leave Kansas Speedway a bit shameful after being denied a possible top-three finish in Saturday’s Kansas Lottery 300.
Throughout the 200-lap contest, Reddick had one of his finest races this season, running in the top-five for much of the afternoon and ended up sixth in Stage 1, followed by a stellar fourth in Stage 2. While quiet, his eyes were set on a top-three result, which he hasn’t achieved thus far in the playoffs, and not since Indianapolis in early September has the 22-year-old accomplished that feat.
As the race came to a close, a late caution by the stalled car of Vinnie Miller tightened the slim lead lap cars and Reddick restarted fourth with 32 laps to go. Reddick pushed his No. 9 BurgerFi Chevrolet Camaro to its limit which proved costly as he hit the wall, eliminating him from catching his JR Motorsports teammate Elliott Sadler for third.
Reddick would then lose fourth to part-time regular Shane Lee, who scored his first ever top-five in 10 starts, and crossed the line in fifth for his fifth top-five of the season.
After getting out of his car, Reddick felt the result didn’t show his true performance as his No. 9 tried to make the top line work on the final run that left him vulnerable because they tried adjusting his car to work in that line to have a shot of scoring a top-three result.
“We felt we had a lot better car than we had in that last run,” said Reddick. “We kept trying to make the car better on top. It’s kind of weird. Normally you can just get to (Turns) 3 and 4 to work up a little bit better. My car wasn’t really in a spot where I can move the groove without putting myself in a bad spot, but we struggled today.”
The season opener winner added that once the seam built enough rubber on the final run, it added his frustrations despite exiting the 1.5-mile circuit sitting third in points, 11 markers ahead of fifth-place Matt Tifft with two more races to find a way of making the Championship 4 at Homestead, either with a win or by points.
“I caught it really good there one time, and put our car in the fence. It kind of killed our run of a potential top-three,” Reddick said. “It’s an unfortunate end to our day. We had a lot better car than that. Hopefully at Texas and Phoenix we can points our way in.”