Ganassi Duo Solid in Phoenix XFINITY Race
AVONDALE, Ariz. — Chip Ganassi Racing had a solid Saturday in the DC Solar 200 at Phoenix Raceway.
Reddick, who ran the No. 42 at Daytona in February, was involved in an early accident at the superspeedway and salvaged a 20th-place result two laps down. But he stayed out of trouble at the desert oval and ran in the top five midway through the event. However, late restarts gave the 21-year-old racer trouble near the end.
“All day yesterday in practice, we had a really hard time getting the take-off speed we needed,” Reddick told POPULAR SPEED. “Honestly, for most of the race, we had pretty good take-off speed on the restarts — better than we were expecting.
“We freed it up too much at the end of the race hoping for a long green flag run. We probably could have finished inside the top 10, but mistakes there at the end cost us a good finish.”
Reddick finished 14th in his second career XFINITY race and was pleased with his performance nonetheless. He said racing on paved short tracks has been difficult in his NASCAR career.
“These short tracks are going to be tough for me,” he said. “[Asphalt racing] isn’t something I knew a lot about growing up. I did a lot of dirt track racing, and being on the top for restarts wasn’t the place for us all day long. Being loose at the end cost us a lot.”
Poole, who sits seventh in the standings, called the final 40 laps of the race “wild.” But he said his confidence is up after Saturday’s performance and thinks a win will come soon.
“The restarts were crazy. Everyone is trying to get what they can get,” he told POPULAR SPEED. “We battled all day. Our car was not really where we wanted in practice, and we didn’t get a great qualifying result. But at the end of the day, we worked through every stop to make the car better and wound up getting an eighth-place finish.
Both CGR drivers had sweat dripping down their face when they climbed out of the car after the race. That’s what a 200-mile event in the Valley of the Sun will do to a person. But both men still had quite a bit more energy afterward.
They both said they could go “another 200 laps.”
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