Dar1
Tyler Reddick earned his 2nd top two finish in four races. (HHP/Harold Hinson)

Cup Series Notes: RCR Puts 2 Cars In Top 10

DARLINGTON, S.C. — Richard Childress Racing placed both of its cars in the top 10 in Sunday’s Goodyear 400 at Darlington Raceway.

Dar5
Austin Dillon (HHP/Harold Hinson)

Tyler Reddick finished second for the second time in the past four races, while Austin Dillon brought his No. 3 Chevrolet home in ninth. It was Reddick’s fourth top-five finish and sixth top-10 effort, while Dillon nabbed his sixth top-10 finish.

Reddick was slowed by a vibration early in the race, but rallied during the second half of the event to finish second.

“Darlington (Raceway) is fun. It’s a frustrating place,” Reddick said. “You let your guard down for one second and your whole day can change. It’s one of the most difficult tracks that we go to, especially trying to manage the dirty air; trying to manage your right side and not tearing it off. A lot of options when you go into each corner here, so it makes it really fun, but also pretty frustrating until you figure it out.”

• Justin Haley posted his best finish of the season, coming home third Sunday in the Kaulig Racing No. 31 Chevrolet.

Haley said his car improved throughout the weekend.

“This isn’t the best car we’ve brought to the race track unloading after practice,” Haley explained. “But we just kept after it all day. Some great strategy from this No. 31 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevy team. We had a good restart there at the end and we just kind of hung on. We didn’t have a fourth-place car, but it’s a great finish. This was my best Cup finish besides that win. To do it here at Darlington (Raceway), to get a third, it’s pretty special.

It was a good run. We’ll take this to next week and see what we can do at Kansas (Speedway).”

• Ricky Stenhouse Jr. finished in the top 10 for the second consecutive race. Stenhouse, who finished second for JTG Daugherty Racing at Dover Motor Speedway, was eighth at Darlington.

“It was a battle. We weren’t very good to start,” Stenhouse said. “I think the track conditions got a little better for us as it cooled off. But we battled all day. My No. 47 Kroger / Nature Valley Chevrolet team made good adjustments and the cautions fell the right way. I felt like we had really good strategy on that last long run, which put us in the top-five when the caution came out. I felt like we were in a really good spot to run top five; and then the No. 4 (Kevin Harvick) got us in the fence there and I was really tight after that.

“Two top 10s in a row is nothing to be too bummed about. That was a battle. We weren’t very good, but we made something out of it.”

• Christopher Bell was the only Toyota driver to finish in the top 10 on Sunday, bringing his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 home sixth.

“This SiriusXM Camry was excellent as these No. 20 cars are every time we go to the race track,” Bell explained. “Last week at Dover, it felt like we had a car capable of winning and had unfortunate circumstances take us out of it. And then you know kind of the same thing today. That yellow was the big unfortunate moment whenever the yellow came out and kind of flipped the strategy. Overall, really proud to be at Joe Gibbs Racing and proud for all of our partners on this 20 car. Maybe one of these days we’ll be up there.”

Dar4
McDowell brought his No. 34 Ford home in 7th. (HHP/Harold Hinson)

• Michael McDowell collected his fourth top-10 finish of the season, driving his Front Row Motorsports Ford to a seventh-place finish at Darlington.

“A great day,” McDowell said. “Unfortunately, we had some mishaps on pit road, some being of my doing, but we came back from that. I’m really proud of everyone for the gains we have made. We have a nice string of finishes and we just need to continue the streak.”

• Rookie drivers Harrison Burton and Todd Gilliland each turned in their best finishes of the season.

Burton finished 14th in the Wood Brothers Ford, with Gilliland one spot behind him (15th) in the second Front Row Motorsports Ford.

• Kevin Harvick finished fourth at Darlington aboard the No. 4 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford.

“I felt like we finished probably better than we should have, but I think the guys did a good job on pit road with our Rheem Ford Mustang and just kind of one side or the other,” Harvick said. “The last run was probably the best that we were, just being able to hold on.  We just couldn’t hold on once it started getting cooler, but we wound up with a good call there and got the caution and wound up in the right spot and then were able to capitalize on it.”

• Only 23 of the 36 starters were running at the end of Sunday’s 293-lap race. There were nine yellow flags for 47 laps and winner Joey Logano completed the 400.238-mile distance in 3 hours, 21 minutes and 32 seconds at an average speed of 119.158 mph. There were 23 lead changes among 13 drivers.

 

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