Reddick, Quiroga offer differing views of run-in
August 02, 2014, Kenny Bruce, NASCAR.com
LONG POND, Pa. – Tyler Reddick’s day ended sooner than expected in Saturday’s Pocono Mountains 150 at Pocono Raceway. And it included a trip to the NASCAR hauler afterward.
NASCAR officials parked the driver of the Brad Keselowski Racing No. 19 Ford following contact between Reddick and German Quiroga that brought out the fourth caution of the race at Lap 58.
It was the second incident between the two drivers in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series event.
Less than five laps earlier, the two had also made contact, with Quiroga bouncing off the wall; the second incident appeared to be retaliation for the first.
Reddick, 18, said that wasn't the case, but just aggressive moves following restarts on a difficult portion of the 2.5-mile track.
"When it gets down to the end, everyone's fighting for those positions," Reddick said of the initial incident. "Just a racing deal (that) happened.
"(It's) very tight, very technical there coming off (Turn) 2, it's very easy to get aggressive and I got too much coming off there."
The second incident also came on the heels of a restart "and again … everyone is fighting for all the positions they can get," he said.
"Me and German were starting in the back after having the (earlier) trouble we did. … A lot of interesting things can happen anywhere out on this race track, but the tunnel turn is the tightest.
"… I don't know what TV will show but definitely we were having to weave in and out of traffic going down the Long Pond (straightaway) …he was high and having to duck down low to get around all the traffic he could and I was just trying to follow him. … With the tires and now the body damage we both had, it's very easy to overdrive; we just probably needed to step it down a notch and we would have all been fine."
Reddick, who had qualified third, wound up 23rd.
Quiroga lost one spot in the points, falling from fifth to sixth, with his 22nd-place finish. He said there had been no previous issues between the two drivers this year.
"No, not at all," he said. "We ran something like 40 laps at Dover, side-by-side, and I didn't even touch him. I don't know what his deal is.
"I don't know what he was thinking. I knew I was tight … we were working hard all weekend. The … truck was fast, we made the right adjustments and we were coming.
"I passed cars and we were in a position to finish well; that's what we wanted, to get the best out of this weekend. I don't know, he kept working to push me toward the wall.
"I was trying to get off the wall; I didn't drive myself into the wall, he drove me into the wall and I was just trying to get off of it."
Both drivers were working their way around slower traffic on a Lap 58 restart when Reddick appeared to get into the back of Quiroga coming out of the turn; Quiroga made contact with Tyler Young, who slid into the wall.
Reddick dropped low, eventually getting into the right rear of Quiroga's Red Horse Racing Toyota. That contact sent Quiroga spinning into the wall as well.
Before the race resumed, NASCAR officials called Reddick to pit road.
"My truck was good and … I think we were strong, and I was aggressive," Quiroga said. "It was the last restart and I went to do the best I could and he just ran into me. I don't know why."
NASCAR officials had a lengthy conversation after the race with Reddick, who said "(They) just want to make sure that we bring it down a notch and race more under control."
Series director Chad Little said the young driver went too far with his actions on the track.
"There's a line there, and when it's crossed, we have to react," Little said. "We've worked hard to give the drivers a lot of leeway to race hard, race between each other and to keep it between the drivers.
"Every situation is unique so it's hard to compare prior situations; we try to look at every situation with the resources that are available. We felt this one crossed the line. I can't get in his mind, but I talked to the crew chief, talked to the driver and they're comfortable with the decision, we're comfortable with the decision."
Because the penalty was served during the race, it's not likely that any further punishment will be forthcoming.
"Never say never," Little said, "but that's generally the case. We'll definitely go back and talk about it."