Reddick emulates Tim Richmond en route to pole at Darlington

Tyler Reddick showed up to Darlington Raceway with a Tim Richmond throwback paint scheme and mustache. Saturday afternoon, in the spirit of the fast and talented Richmond, the 23XI Racing driver put the No. 45 Toyota on the top of the leaderboard in NASCAR Cup Series qualifying.

Reddick scored the pole for the Goodyear 400 with a lap of 170.124mph (28.906s) in the final round of qualifying. It’s Reddick’s first pole of the season and at Darlington.

“He is a driver, in my opinion, whether he was at the track or away from the track, was always living life to the fullest and was happy living the life he was,” Reddick said of the late Richmond. “There is a lot of truth to that. If you are, throughout your week, just dreading whatever it is — it bleeds into what happens and what you take to the racetrack. I think, in my opinion, Tim was always happy doing whatever he was doing. How he lived his life during the week, what he would do — he was having fun, enjoying himself, and that crept over into the race weekend and allowed him to get in the car with a great mindset and allowed him to drive the daylights out of it,


“So, for me, I think that’s a big part of it. And then what he could do inside of a race car is also something I always extremely appreciated about him.”

Brad Keselowski qualified second. Keselowski’s best lap was 170.018mph. Chris Buescher, Keselowski’s teammate, qualified third at 169.543mph.

Ty Gibbs qualified fourth at 169.491mph, and William Byron qualified fifth at 169.397mph. Byron is the defending winner of the Goodyear 400.

Kyle Larson qualified sixth at 169.374mph, Denny Hamlin qualified seventh at 169.310mph and Bubba Wallace qualified eighth at 169.176mph. Ross Chastain qualified ninth at 169.001mph, and Martin Truex Jr., who brushed the wall during his lap, rounded out the top 10 at 164.904.

Michael McDowell qualified 16th at 169.578mph. McDowell was fastest in practice Saturday morning but did not advance to the final round of qualifying.

Erik Jones qualified 30th in his first race since suffering a compression fracture of a lower vertebra at Talladega Superspeedway in late April.

Chase Elliott qualified 31st, Josh Berry 33rd and Noah Gragson 36th. There are 36 drivers in the field.

The Goodyear 400 is at 3 p.m. ET Sunday. Reddick is looking for his first win at Darlington.

“We brought a really fast Toyota Camry,” Reddick said. “We did a good job in practice understanding what our car needed for qualifying, and we just maximized qualifying well.”


Story originally appeared on Racer