Tyler Reddick was on a charge in the closing moments of Saturday’s Rinnai 250 from Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Despite Christopher Bell‘s annihilation up front, leading 142 of 163 laps, it was Reddick who was laying down the best laps and gaining ground for the race win behind the wheel of his No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.
Less than a second off Bell’s Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, a caution flew with seven laps to go, forcing the teams’ hands to hit pit road. This was where Reddick was pushed back to fourth after a slow stop by his crew.
“We had a chance to do something there,” Reddick said. “I don’t know if we could have passed [Bell] or beat him but we had just a bit more. It was fading real fast on me as well as it was for him. That’s Atlanta, that’s what makes it fun.”
The slow stop ended his shot at victory, but it still landed Reddick a fifth-place finish, his first top five for RCR in his first season with the team.
“It’s just a matter of how we approached the race and set up our car,” he said. “We knew [long-run speed] was going to be our strength and that’s what we tried to set up for.”
Jumping to fourth in driver points after two races in 2019, Reddick is upbeat about the team’s ability to rebound from mistakes heading into the West Coast Swing.
“We got plenty of speed, that’s not the problem,” he said. “I have all the faith in the world in our pit crew, they are great guys, they were killing it last year. They know how to do good pit stops. We just have to clean it up so we can stay up front and make our lives a lot easier. They’ll get it figured out.”
— RCR (@RCRracing) February 23, 2019