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Cup Series Notes: RCR puts 2 cars in top 10

Dar1

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

DARLINGTON, SC — Richard Childress Racing placed both 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 finished his No. 3 Chevrolet took home ninth. It was Reddick’s fourth top-five finish and sixth top-10 effort, while Dillon took his sixth top-10 finish.

Reddick was slowed down by a tremor 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 a second and your whole day can change. It’s one of the hardest tracks we go to, especially when we’re trying to control the dirty air; try to manage your right side and not tear it off. Lots of options as you go into every corner here so it makes it really fun but also quite frustrating until you get the hang of it. †

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

Haley said his car improved throughout the weekend.

“This isn’t the best car we’ve brought to the track after practice,” Haley explained. “But we just chased it all day. A great strategy from this No. 31 LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevy Team. We had a good restart there at the end and we just held on a little bit. We didn’t have a car in fourth place, 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, is pretty special.

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

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

“It was a struggle. We weren’t very good to begin with,” Stenhouse said. “I think track conditions got a little better for us as it cooled down. But we fought all day. my no. 47 Kroger / Nature Valley Chevrolet team made good adjustments and the warnings fell right. I felt like we had a really good strategy in that last long run, putting us in the top five when the warning came out. I felt like we were in a really good place to run the top five; and then the No. 4 (Kevin Harvick) got us there in the fence and after that I was really tight.

“Two top 10s in a row is nothing to worry about. That was a struggle. 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, earning his Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 to sixth place.

“This SiriusXM Camry was excellent because these No. 20 cars are every time we go to the track,” explains Bell. “Last week in Dover it felt like we had a car capable of winning and unfortunate circumstances took us out. And then you know about the same today. That yellow was the big unlucky moment when the yellow came out and the strategy turned around a bit. Overall very proud to be with Joe Gibbs Racing and proud of all our partners on these 20 cars. We might be there one of these days.”

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

• Michael McDowell took fourth place in the top-10 of the season and drove his Front Row Motorsports Ford to seventh in Darlington.

“A great day,” said McDowell. “Unfortunately we had some accidents on the pit road, some of which were my fault, but we came back from that. I’m really proud of everyone for the gains we’ve made. We have a nice run of finishes and we just have to keep going with the run. †

• Rookie drivers Harrison Burton and Todd Gilliland each delivered their best performances 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 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford No. 4.

“I felt like we probably finished better than we should have, but I think the guys did a good job on the pit lane with our Rheem Ford Mustang and just kind of one side or the other,” said Harvick. “The last run was probably the best we were, just being able to hold on. We just couldn’t hold it when it started to get cooler, but we ended up with a good phone call there and got the warning and got to the right place and then took advantage of it.”

• Only 23 of 36 starters ran 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.