Tyler Reddick will enter this weekend’s 4EVER 400 presented by Mobil 1 race at Homestead-Miami Speedway 6th in the NASCAR Cup Series standings just 16 points below the NASCAR Playoffs cutline. That said, with two events remaining in the ‘Round of 8’, the 27-year-old driver may be facing a now-or-never situation considering his past results on the next two tracks.
Reddick has come to Homestead before in do-or-die moments. In both 2018 and 2019, the native of Corning, California entered the final race on the NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule needing to outrun those who he was fighting with for the championship. In both cases, he not only outran those other drivers but he won the race by running numerous laps right against the outside wall until finally crossing the finish line for the final time.
While not winning this weekend doesn’t mean Reddick will be immediately eliminated from contention considering that there is still a race to be run at Martinsville Speedway before one last cut leading into the Championship 4 takes place, it does mean his chances could be in peril. A look at fourth-year driver’s career stats quickly reveals the importance of this race for the pilot of the 23XI Racing Toyota.
In three NASCAR Cup Series starts at Homestead, Reddick has scored two top-5 finishes although a crash last year that relegated him to a 35th place ending. He was fourth on the 1.5-mile track in his rookie campaign while driving for Richard Childress Racing and then followed that up with a second in 2021.
Conversely, the driver of the No. 45 car has not fared nearly as well at Martinsville. In seven starts on the paper clip shaped half-mile track, he has managed only one top-10 result. With the exception of an 8th place finish on the relatively flat track in 2021, every visit there has resulted in a final placement outside the top-15. Add to that, Reddick has never led a lap on that track in those seven Cup Series starts.
Based on those numbers, the Virginia track does not seem like a place this driver and team would want to be going to when facing elimination while south Florida appears to provide Reddick with a good shot at victory.
So it would seem that if Tyler Reddick is going to go to Phoenix with a chance at the title, a strong showing this weekend at Homestead is almost a requirement.
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