Reddick On Miami Xfinity Pole, But Unknowns Remain

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Reddick On Miami
Tyler Reddick earned the NASCAR Xfinity Series pole at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday. (Jacob Seelman photo)

HOMESTEAD, Fla. – Tyler Reddick sent a message to his Championship 4 rivals Saturday afternoon at Homestead-Miami Speedway: the road to the title goes through his Richard Childress Racing team.

Reddick rocketed to the pole for the season-ending Ford EcoBoost 300 during NASCAR Xfinity Series qualifying, outperforming the three drivers he’s dueling with to defend his 2018 championship.

The Corning, Calif., driver toured the 1.5-mile South Florida oval in 32.322 seconds (167.069 mph) with his No. 2 Tame the Beast Chevrolet Camaro en route to his seventh career pole and fifth of the season.

Reddick will be joined by fellow title rival Cole Custer on the front row, while Christopher Bell rolls off seventh and Justin Allgaier – who had contact with David Starr during Friday’s rain-shortened practice session – starts 16th come race time, the lowest of the four title-eligible drivers.

Despite posting the top time among the drivers vying for the season championship, Reddick told SPEED SPORT after qualifying that many unknowns remain going into Saturday afternoon’s race.

“I guess the early takeaway is that we’ve been really fast here so far this weekend in the little bit of time we’ve had on track, but we still have a long way to go to work on the balance of a race car and get it where I’d like it to be,” Reddick admitted. “We’re going to make an adjustment here after qualifying and try and get a little bit closer for the race, but I truly don’t know after five laps what we have.

“We’re going to go for it, though, and we’re going to see right away what we’ve got compared to the 00 (Cole Custer) … and we’ll see what the 20 (Christopher Bell) and the 7 (Justin Allgaier) will do in these first two stages,” he continued. “I know they’re going to get back up there at some point, even though Justin’s got his work cut out for him here on the first stage. That team overcomes a lot of things, though, and I’m sure at some point we’ll all be battling each other at the front.”

Reddick added that, while track position is important in a race like the Homestead finale, he feels it may be less of a factor this weekend due to the minimal amount of laps that teams have been able to turn.

“I do feel like it becomes less important, and now in this situation it’s more about how much data you have coming into this,” he noted. “A lot of the teams had a (rookie) driver come down and test, so they have a lot to look at and a better idea of what these tires do on the long run and whatnot. Unfortunately, we’re the only ones of the four that didn’t have that luxury, but we clearly haven’t needed it so far yet this weekend to be good. And that’s exciting.

“We’ll see what we can do here in a little while, but I’m excited. I’m looking forward to this.”

Behind Reddick and Custer, Austin Cindric qualified third (32.469/166.312), with Brandon Jones and Chase Briscoe following in fourth and fifth, respectively.

John Hunter Nemechek, Bell, Justin Haley, Harrison Burton and Noah Gragson filled out the top 10.

The Ford EcoBoost 300 takes the green flag shortly after 3:30 p.m. ET, with live coverage on NBC, the Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio, channel 90.

STARTING LINEUP: NASCAR Xfinity Series; Homestead-Miami Speedway; Nov. 16, 2019

  1. Tyler Reddick (P)
  2. Cole Custer (P)
  3. Austin Cindric
  4. Brandon Jones
  5. Chase Briscoe
  6. John Hunter Nemechek
  7. Christopher Bell
  8. Justin Haley
  9. Harrison Burton
  10. Noah Gragson
  11. Jeremy Clements
  12. J. McLeod
  13. Landon Cassill
  14. Ryan Sieg
  15. Colin Garrett
  16. Justin Allgaier
  17. Alex Labbe
  18. Jeb Burton
  19. JJ Yeley
  20. Michael Annett
  21. Stephen Leicht
  22. Josh Williams
  23. Brandon Brown
  24. Timmy Hill
  25. David Starr
  26. Gray Gaulding
  27. CJ McLaughlin
  28. Matt Mills
  29. Chad Finchum
  30. Ray Black II
  31. Garrett Smithley
  32. Will Rodgers
  33. Robby Lyons II
  34. Tyler Matthews
  35. Joey Gase
  36. Jairo Avila Jr.
  37. Vinnie Miller
  38. Joe Nemechek

DNQ: Bobby Dale Earnhardt