February 20, 2014 — NASCAR photo — DAYTONA BEACH, FL — Being a rookie at the Daytona International Speedway automatically puts lofty goals on your shoulders.
Tyler Reddick, making his 4th ARCA Series start, was looking to accomplish two of those goals. The first goal was to earn NASCAR approval for his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut, while the second was to have a top finish at the “World Center of Racing.” He accomplished both goals by finishing 5th in the #22 Broken Bow Records Dodge.
When Reddick took his first laps on the Daytona track in December at the open ARCA test, he posted some of the top speeds. In the lengthy practice session on Thursday, Tyler posted the 17th-quickest speed on the charts. Reddick was the 20th car to make his qualifying attempt Friday, posting the 11th quickest time. After having his time disallowed following post-qualifying tech, Reddick lined up 32nd on the grid for the 80 lap Lucas Oil 200 presented by MAVTV American Real.
During a short drafting practice on Saturday morning, Reddick posted the top speed and rekindled confidence that he could be a contender in the race itself. Immediately after the drop of the green flag, Reddick began moving toward the front, before telling crew chief Chad Bryant that the engine in the #22 was hitting the (rev-limiter) chip, causing him to lose the front pack of cars. Once again he found himself near the back of the pack, until he had a chance under caution (on lap 13) to bring the Dodge into the pits.
During the stop the crew gave him four fresh tires, fuel and pulled tape from the nose of the car, sending Reddick back on the track to restart toward the middle of the pack. By lap 44, Tyler had moved up to 12th. Reddick continued to run in the top 15 through the next 25 laps, before moving closer to the front.
With six laps to go, he broke into the top 10, taking over the 9th position. Two laps later, he was 7th, before ultimately grabbing 5th at the checkered flag.
Due to his efforts, Reddick was named the SCOTT Rookie Challenge rookie of the race with his top-five finish in his Broken Bow/Cunningham Motorsports Dodge.
After the race, the rookie commented, “Running the race took me to a whole new level as a plate racer. I learned so much from the race that will carry over to the (NASCAR Camping World Truck) race Friday night. Still much to learn, but it’s crazy how much better and more comfortable I feel going into that race.”
Reddick will now look towards his 2014 Camping World Truck Series debut on Friday night at 8 PM Eastern live on FOX Sports 1 and MRN Radio.
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