LAS VEGAS — Tyler Reddick is determined to close his tenure at Richard Childress Racing on a high note, and hours after announcing he’ll drive for 23XI Racing next season, he won the pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Reddick, who said his Chevrolet was subpar in Saturday morning practice, rebounded for an electric lap at 184.603 mph to earn the top starting spot for the opening race of the third round of NASCAR’s playoffs.
It is the third pole of the season for Reddick, who also has three Cup wins but was eliminated from the playoffs in the opening round. He announced in July that he was moving to 23XI Racing in 2024 when his RCR contract ended, and team owner Richard Childress remained adamant that Reddick would be in one of his Chevrolets next season.
But RCR has since signed Kyle Busch and no longer needs Reddick to fulfill his contract. Kurt Busch, meanwhile, announced Saturday that the concussion he suffered in July has forced him to step away from full-time racing — opening the No. 45 Toyota for Reddick to move into a year early.
“I’m really excited about next year, but there’s still a number of races left this year and I’m going to continue to remain focused and do everything I can for my team,” Reddick said.
Austin Cindric, who was eliminated from the playoffs last week, qualified second for the Sunday race in a Ford from Team Penske. He was 0.05 seconds slower than Reddick.
Playoff drivers took the next three spots with William Byron of Hendrick Motorsports qualifying third in a Chevrolet, followed by Penske drivers Ryan Blaney and Joey Logano.
Christopher Bell, who won at Charlotte last Sunday to advance into the third round of the playoffs, qualified seventh in a Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing. Ross Chastain of Trackhouse Racing was 11th, Chase Briscoe of Stewart-Haas Racing qualified 16th, Chase Elliott of Hendrick was 20th and Denny Hamlin of JGR will start 31st, lowest of the eight remaining playoff drivers.