By David Morgan, Associate Editor
INDIANAPOLIS – Tyler Reddick picked right up where he left off on the road courses, scoring the pole for Sunday’s Verizon 200 at The Brickyard.
Reddick piloted his No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet around the 14-turn, 2.439-mile Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course with a lap of one minute, 28.354 seconds (99.378 mph) to jump to the top of the board in the final round of qualifying, holding off all comers to take his second career NASCAR Cup Series pole.
“It actually didn’t,” Reddick said of whether he thought his lap was good enough for pole. “It’s what really prompted me to want to re-run there, but it ended up being a good enough lap. I could have done a better job, but it was really nice to know that we really did such a good job; everyone at RCR and the ECR power under this hood.
“Just this whole group on the No. 8 3CHI Chevrolet team did a really good job of preparing the last couple of weeks for this race. It looks like we’re picking right back up where we left off at Road America.”
Having scored a win on the most recent road course race at Road America, his first Cup Series win, Reddick added that his performance as of late on these types of tracks gives him confidence heading into Sunday.
“It’s certainly a little bit more confidence for sure,” Reddick added. “A lot of the confidence that myself and my whole team has comes from the work we put in. The confidence we had and displayed today comes a lot more from that. It’s good to know that we’re doing the right thing and we’re on the right track.
“We’ll see how tomorrow goes. We’re going to have a really good pit stall selection and have that opportunity at the start of the green flag to kind of control the race. So, hopefully we’re able to do that and keep it up front all day.”
Austin Cindric was fastest in practice leading into qualifying and will start alongside Reddick on the front row, followed by Chase Briscoe, Christopher Bell, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, Michael McDowell, Chase Elliott, Todd Gilliland, and Kyle Busch.
“It’s certainly an important weekend for us at Team Penske, but it would be pretty cool to run up front and try and get a win for Roger at the Brickyard,” Cindric said. “It’s a long race ahead, but obviously a good place to start, a good pit stall for the boys, so a good foundation with a long race ahead.
“When you get beat for pole I guess you’d rather be a chunk slower than a little bit slower because I feel like there’s a little bit I could have done better, but not a chunk. I felt like our Ford Mustang was fast all day and I’m proud of that effort. We’re trying a few new things this weekend and I’m looking forward to seeing how they play out in the race.”
Sunday’s Verizon 200 at The Brickyard is scheduled for 2:30 pm ET on NBC.