Tyler Reddick is known to wear out the right side of his race car. Reddick made a living for two years in the Xfinity Series doing just that at the mile-and-a-half racetracks, particularly Homestead-Miami Speedway.
But Reddick could get away with doing so back then because the composite body car is much more forgiving than the steel of the Cup Series equivalent. Now a rookie in the Cup Series, Reddick has had to change the way he races and be a little more conscious of not getting himself in trouble.
“Absolutely,” he admits on The Racing Writer’s Podcast. “I’ve tagged the wall a few times in these cars, and I’ve been fortunate, but the difference is it does hurt the speed and the performance of the car. We were really good at Kansas, and early on, after I think it was the competition caution or one of those deals, I tagged the wall, and it just made the car that much harder to drive.”
Reddick finished 13th at Kansas and was disappointed with how the race unfolded, given the speed of his Richard Childress Racing team. Some of Reddick’s best runs this year have been on the intermediate tracks – seventh at Darlington I, eighth in the Coke 600, fourth at Homestead, and second in Texas.
“These cars are so close to the mark of being wide open around the racetrack that any little bit that hinders that is going to cost you two, three-tenths, and that’s huge in the Cup Series,” said Reddick. “I’ve just had to back it up a little bit, and that added stress has probably made it harder for me to finish some of these races where normally if I’d hit the wall a little bit in the beginning (I’m) not as worried about it and what its effects are for the second half of the race and on.
“But in the Cup car, for sure, if you’re running high or really using every inch of racetrack you have available, the stress is a little higher (of) if you’re going to tag the wall exiting the corner or in the middle or wherever it is you’re going to run. It’s been a new challenge, but I’ve had fairly good fortune so far.”
The full interview with Reddick is available below: