Photo: Stephen A. Arce/ASP, Inc.

Reddick Scores ROVAL Pole, Larson to Start from Rear after Practice Crash

By David Morgan, Associate Editor

CONCORD, N.C. – Tyler Reddick will start Sunday’s Bank of America ROVAL 400 at Charlotte Motor Speedway as he looks to race his way into the next round of the NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs.

Entering the weekend nine points below the cut-off to advance, the driver of the No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota showed off his road course prowess on Saturday by putting up the second-fastest time in practice and going one better in qualifying with a lap of one minute, 21.214 seconds at 102.839 mph to score the pole.

Saturday’s fast lap marks the third pole of the season for Reddick, with previous poles coming at Circuit of the Americas in Austin and last month at Kansas Speedway.

“I think for the most part this is a good as outcome for the 45 as possible,” Reddick said. “And Bubba had a solid day as well. I know he obviously wanted to qualify a little better in the second round, but when you look at what both of us need to do tomorrow to hopefully get both of our cars in, we’re taking the right steps in that direction.”

Reddick added that starting from the pole will help focus in his team’s game plan for Sunday as they look to make the jump into the Top 8 in points to advance to the next round.

“For me, you know, no matter how the race plays out, it’s pretty simple for me. I just go out there and try and nail every corner, nail every lap, and if I have a mistake, minimize the time loss. I think that’s really all I gotta focus on, right?

“You know, those are the things that Billy, my team, the other teams they’re gonna be working on, no matter what strategy we go with, right? My job doesn’t change, so why even worry about it? I’m just gonna go out there and do laps and try to keep the tires on it. You know, try to stay outta trouble. It’s pretty straightforward for me, honestly.

Christopher Bell, who won this race a year ago in a walk-off to punch his ticket into the next round, will start second, followed by Daniel Suarez in third, Bubba Wallace in fourth, and Kyle Busch in fifth.

Denny Hamlin was the only other Playoff driver to make it into the final round of qualifying, but was unable to put in a timed lap as he spun out in the backstretch chicane, sending his car partially airborne as he slid out of control over the rumble strips. Hamlin will start ninth on Sunday.

The remainder of the Playoff drivers not yet locked in will be scattered throughout the field at the start, with Martin Truex Jr. and Ross Chastain starting 11th and 12th, respectively and RFK Racing teammates Brad Keselowski and Chris Buescher will start in 19th and 20th, respectively.

Kyle Larson will have his work cut out for him on Sunday as he starts shotgun on the field following a crash in practice that has relegated him to a back-up car.

The 2021 Cup Series champion comes into Charlotte with just a 15-point advantage over the cut-off line, but he’ll have to work his way forward at the start if he hopes to stay alive in the title fight.

Larson won this race in 2021, but in his three other starts at the track has finished 13th, 25th, and 35th.

145Tyler Reddick (P)Jordan Brand Toyota81.214102.839
220Christopher Bell (P)DEWALT Plumbing Solutions Toyota81.328102.695
399Daniel SuarezAguas Frescas Chevrolet81.401102.603
423Bubba Wallace (P)Leidos Toyota81.428102.569
58Kyle Busch (P)Lenovo Chevrolet81.488102.494
616AJ AllmendingerCelsius Chevrolet81.600102.353
722Joey LoganoShell Pennzoil Ford81.720102.203
89Chase Elliott (P)NAPA Auto Parts Chevrolet81.722102.200
911Denny Hamlin (P)Mavis Tires & Brakes Toyota0.0000.000
1054Ty Gibbs #Interstate Batteries All Battery Center Toyota0.0000.000
1119Martin Truex Jr. (P)Bass Pro Shops Toyota81.178102.885
121Ross Chastain (P)Worldwide Express Chevrolet81.221102.831
1334Michael McDowellLove’s Travel Stops Ford81.399102.606
1424William Byron (P)HP Chevrolet81.608102.343
153Austin DillonHuk Performance Fishing Chevrolet81.611102.339
1648Alex BowmanAlly Chevrolet81.632102.313
1712Ryan Blaney (P)Discount Tire Ford81.659102.279
1841Ryan PreeceAutodesk/ Ford81.702102.225
196Brad Keselowski (P)Castrol Edge Ford81.707102.219
2017Chris Buescher (P)Fifth Third Bank Ford81.790102.115
2110Aric AlmirolaIHOP Ford81.800102.103
224Kevin HarvickRheem – Chasing a Cure Ford81.801102.101
2343Erik JonesAllegiant Chevrolet81.970101.891
247Corey LaJoieGainbridge Chevrolet82.003101.850
2531Justin HaleyLeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet82.024101.824
2642Mike RockenfellerSunseeker Resorts Chevrolet82.036101.809
2747Ricky Stenhouse Jr.Harris Teeter/Totino’s Chevrolet82.048101.794
2878Josh Bilicki(i)Zeigler Auto Group Chevrolet82.086101.747
292Austin CindricMenards/Cardell Cabinetry Ford82.103101.726
3014Chase BriscoeFord Performance Racing School Ford82.156101.660
3121Harrison BurtonMotorcraft/Quick Lane Ford82.184101.626
3251Todd GillilandRuedebusch Development & Construction82.357101.412
3362Austin Hill(i)United Rentals/Beard Oil Chevrolet82.529101.201
3438Zane Smith(i)Ambetter Health Ford82.578101.141
3515Andy Lally(i)Camping World Ford82.859100.798
365Kyle Larson (P)Valvoline/ Chevrolet0.0000.000
3777Ty DillonBon Secours Chevrolet0.0000.000

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David Morgan is the Associate Editor for Motorsports Tribune. A 2008 graduate from the University of Mississippi, David has followed NASCAR since the early 90’s and became hooked at an early age after attending his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in 1993. He has traveled across the country since 2012 to cover some of the most prestigious events both IndyCar and NASCAR have to offer, with an aim to only expand on that in the near future.