By Holly Cain, NASCAR Wire Service
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Tyler Reddick earned his third pole position of the season Saturday morning at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. His Richard Childress Racing No. 8 Chevrolet will lead the field to the green flag in Sunday’s NASCAR Cup Series South Point 400 Playoff race (2:30 p.m. ET, NBC, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
The 26-year old Californian’s lap of 184.603 mph knocked fellow Chevy driver William Byron from the pole position and then Team Penske rookie Austin Cindric finished the session by grabbing the outside pole position on the final qualifying lap of the 10 cars that advanced to second round.
Reddick also topped qualifying at the Indianapolis Road Course and then at Texas Motor Speedway just three weeks ago. The three pole-tally is a career best for the third-year NASCAR Cup Series driver. Only hours before qualifying, Reddick was named to drive the No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota next year.
“It’s pretty awesome,’’ a smiling Reddick said of the day’s work.
Interestingly, in the 29 races held to date at the track, no driver has ever won the Las Vegas race starting from the pole position. Kyle Busch was the race winner and polesitter in 2009, but technically he did not actually start from pole position, having to move to the rear of the starting grid after an engine change.
Asked about the difficulty of turning a pole position into a win here, Reddick was surprised to learn the statistic as well.
“Hopefully we’ll change that tomorrow,’’ said Reddick, who did win a NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas in 2019.
“I think the track just changes a lot from practice to qualifying,’’ Reddick added, “For us, when we’ve started on the pole or we started toward the front on these mile-and-a-halves, we’ve had a lot of speed and we just unfortunately had some things not go our way.’’
Byron will start third, alongside Team Penske’s Ryan Blaney, who boasted the fastest lap in practice. Blaney’s teammate Joey Logano, Trackhouse Racing’s Daniel Suárez, Joe Gibbs Racing’s Christopher Bell, Wood Brothers’ Harrison Burton, 23XI Racing’s Bubba Wallace and Reddick’s RCR teammate Austin Dillon rounded out the top-10 on the starting grid.
Only four of the eight Playoff contenders – Byron, Blaney, Logano and Bell – advanced into the final round of qualifying. The other four Playoff drivers will start a bit farther back, including Trackhouse Racing’s Ross Chastain, who will roll off 11th. Stewart-Haas Racing’s Chase Briscoe starts 16th with 2020 champion Chase Elliott 20th and JGR’s Denny. Hamlin, 31st in the 36-car field.
Brad Keselowski, who leads all current drivers with three Vegas victories, will start the No. 6 Roush Fenway Keselowski Ford from 25th.
NASCAR Cup Series Qualifying – 5th Annual South Point 400
Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Las Vegas, Nevada
Saturday, October 15, 2022
1. (8) Tyler Reddick, Chevrolet, 184.603 mph.
2. (2) Austin Cindric #, Ford, 184.288 mph.
3. (24) William Byron (P) @, Chevrolet, 184.024 mph.
4. (12) Ryan Blaney (P) @, Ford, 183.961 mph.
5. (22) Joey Logano (P) @, Ford, 183.673 mph.
6. (99) Daniel Suarez, Chevrolet, 183.243 mph.
7. (20) Christopher Bell (P) @, Toyota, 183.212 mph.
8. (21) Harrison Burton #, Ford, 182.908 mph.
9. (45) Bubba Wallace, Toyota, 182.033 mph.
10. (3) Austin Dillon, Chevrolet, 181.751 mph.
11. (1) Ross Chastain (P) @, Chevrolet, 0.000 mph.
12. (17) Chris Buescher, Ford, 0.000 mph.
13. (4) Kevin Harvick, Ford, 0.000 mph.
14. (5) Kyle Larson (P), Chevrolet, 0.000 mph.
15. (34) Michael McDowell, Ford, 0.000 mph.
16. (14) Chase Briscoe (P) @, Ford, 0.000 mph.
17. (48) Noah Gragson(i), Chevrolet, 0.000 mph.
18. (18) Kyle Busch, Toyota, 0.000 mph.
19. (23) Ty Gibbs(i), Toyota, 0.000 mph.
20. (9) Chase Elliott (P) @, Chevrolet, 0.000 mph.
21. (16) AJ Allmendinger(i), Chevrolet, 0.000 mph.
22. (43) Erik Jones, Chevrolet, 0.000 mph.
23. (10) Aric Almirola, Ford, 0.000 mph.
24. (41) Cole Custer, Ford, 0.000 mph.
25. (6) Brad Keselowski, Ford, 0.000 mph.
26. (15) JJ Yeley(i), Ford, 0.000 mph.
27. (19) Martin Truex Jr., Toyota, 0.000 mph.
28. (31) Justin Haley, Chevrolet, 0.000 mph.
29. (47) Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Chevrolet, 0.000 mph.
30. (7) Corey LaJoie, Chevrolet, 0.000 mph.
31. (11) Denny Hamlin (P) @, Toyota, 0.000 mph.
32. (77) Landon Cassill(i), Chevrolet, 0.000 mph.
33. (42) Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 0.000 mph.
34. (51) Cody Ware, Ford, 0.000 mph.
35. (38) Todd Gilliland #, Ford, 0.000 mph.
36. (78) BJ McLeod(i), Ford, 0.000 mph.