Darlington Raceway is known as one of the most difficult tracks on the NASCAR Cup Series circuits, a track where most of the time rookies don’t perform well, but today’s race at Darlington showcased the incredible talent of a pair of rookie of the year contenders.
Tyler Reddick – No. 8 CAT / “Thank You” Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE – Richard Childress Racing (7th)
Tyler Reddick (7th) and John Hunter Nemechek (9th) visited the Darlington Raceway for the first time in a NASCAR Cup Series car on Sunday, both starting outside the top-25 and being able to methodically work their way through to the field to record solid finishes.
Reddick, the 24-year old from Corning, California started the day in 29th (by random draw), having to overcome a pit road penalty to earn his career best finish and his second top-ten finish in Reddick’s seven NASCAR Cup Series starts.
Reddick was also the victim of circumstances when a piece of adhesive banner peeled off of the outside wall, and got stuck on Denny Hamlin’s No. 11 Toyota. Hamlin was able to free the piece of banner from his car, causing Tyler Reddick to get the piece of banner attached to one of the air ducts on the No. 8.
Reddick was able to make his way back up to the top-ten by the end of the event, passing Erik Jones for the seventh position on the final lap of the event, to earn Richard Childress Racing their second top-ten finish of the season.
John Hunter Nemechek – No. 38 SCAG Power Equipment Ford Mustang – Front Row Motorsports – (P9)
Nemechek, the 22-year old from Moorseville, North Carolina started the day in 34th (by random draw) and methodically worked his way through the field, keeping his Front Row Motorsports No. 38 in the top-20 for the majority of the race. On the race’s final restart (lap 260), Nemechek took advantage of the close quarters, advancing as high as 8th place, before falling to 9th at the finish of the race.
Nemechek’s ninth place finish, was the first career top-ten finish for Nemechek in eight NASCAR Cup Series start. The finish also marked the best finish for Front Row Motorsports at Darlington (previously 17th by Chris Buescher in 2016)
NASCAR Cup Series Rookie of The Year Standings: After 5/36 Races
No. 8 – Tyler Reddick 101pts
No. 38 – John Hunter Nemechek -10pts
No. 41 – Cole Custer -13pts
No. 15 – Brennan Poole -51pts
No. 95 -Christopher Bell -71pts
No. 00 – Quin Houff -89pts