Back to News

May 11, 2024

Tyler Reddick claims Busch Light Pole at Darlington

DARLINGTON, S.C. — Driving a No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota with a paint scheme reminiscent of the late Tim Richmond’s 1982 Buick, Tyler Reddick emulated the driver he was honoring, winning the pole position for Sunday’s Goodyear 400 NASCAR Cup Series race (3 p.m. ET, FS1, MRN Radio, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Turning a lap at Darlington Raceway in 28.906 seconds (170.124 mph) in the final round of qualifying, Reddick edged Brad Keselowski (170.018 mph) for the top starting spot by 0.018 seconds.

RELATED: Sunday’s starting lineup | At-track photos: Darlington

The Busch Light Pole Award was Reddick’s first of the season, his first at the track “Too Tough to Tame” and the seventh of his career. Richmond won Darlington poles in 1983 and 1986.

Related Story
Tyler Reddick ready for Darlington with Tim Richmond throwback, renewed focus Tyler Reddick ready for Darlington with Tim Richmond throwback, renewed focus

“Just really excited that this Tim Richmond throwback Camry is going to be starting on the pole,” said Reddick, who added to the tribute with his own Richmond-style mustache.

“It’s really nice to put the work in this week to have that kind of qualifying effort. Last week was tough (in a 20th-place finish at Kansas). We didn’t lack any effort in trying to find ways to have a good week this week.”

Chris Buescher qualified third at 169.543 mph, giving RFK Racing two of the top three grid positions for Sunday’s race, the 13th of the season. Buescher finished second to Kyle Larson by 0.001 seconds last Sunday at Kansas Speedway in the closest finish in Cup Series history.

WATCH: Buescher ‘replayed it in my head no less than 100 times’

Ty Gibbs (169.491 mph) will start fourth, followed by William Byron, Larson, Denny Hamlin, Bubba Wallace, Ross Chastain and Martin Truex Jr. Chastain edged Kyle Busch for the final Group B spot in the second round after both drivers ran identical times to the thousandth of a second in the opening round. Chastain got the nod on an owner points tiebreaker.

Returning to competition after a two-race injury absence, Erik Jones will start 30th in the No. 43 Legacy Motor Club Toyota. Jones suffered a compression fracture of a lower vertebra during a multicar wreck at Talladega in April.

Reddick’s paint scheme is the second he has run honoring Richmond.

“He was the type of driver, in my opinion — when he was at the track or away from the track — he was always living life to the fullest and really happy living the life he (led),” Reddick said.

“Obviously, what he could do inside of a race car, too, is something that I always extremely appreciated about him.”

There’s one more way Reddick can emulate Richmond — do what Richmond did in 1986 and win at Darlington from the pole.

McDowell fastest in practice

Michael McDowell topped the leaderboard in practice at 169.444 mph.

Ty Gibbs (168.567 mph), Chris Buescher (168.457 mph), Christopher Bell (168.376 mph) and William Byron (168.186 mph) rounded out the top five.

MORE: Practice results

Joey Logano (167.985 mph), Erik Jones (167.871 mph), Corey LaJoie (167.853 mph), Denny Hamlin (167.762 mph) and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. (167.579 mph) completed the top 10.

Austin Cindric was fastest on the 10-lap average over Buescher, Kyle Larson, Todd Gilliland, McDowell, Chase Elliott, Noah Gragson, Byron, Stenhouse and Kyle Busch.