NASCAR CUP SERIES
MICHIGAN INTERNATIONAL SPEEDWAY
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
AUGUST 7, 2020
TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 CHEVY ACCESSORIES CAMARO ZL1 1LE, met with media via teleconference and discussed his outlook for this weekend’s Michigan races, the new Choose Rule, the importance of preparing for the upcoming race at Daytona for both the new road course and the heat and more, making it into the Playoffs and more. Full Transcript:
YOU ARE STARTING 14th FOR THE FIRST RACE AT MICHIGAN. CAN YOU WALK US THROUGH ABOUT HOW YOU ARE PREPARING FOR THE WEEKEND RACES AT MICHIGAN AND YOUR MINDSET HEADING INTO THEM?
“For us, for these next six before the Playoffs start, it’s very important that we manage everything to the best of our ability. So, we’ve got to run good and we can’t afford to make costly mistakes to take us out of the race. So, we just have to be very thoughtful with everything on the race track and every strategy call has to be with a purpose because every single matters immensely right now and will continue to matter as these races wind down to the cutoff.”
DOES THE CHOOSE RULE BENEFIT YOU MAYBE MORE THAN OTHERS SINCE YOU LIKE THE HIGH SIDE AND MIGHT BE ONE TO TRY IT MAYBE A LITTLE BIT MORE AT CERTAIN TRACKS?
“I don’t know if it actually does benefit me because the people that will want to start on the top lane will start up there. So, we’ll be able to take advantage of it at times as somebody isn’t necessarily going to push the issue at some of these race tracks that line up on the outside. I know you can take advantage of that so. I don’t know how much it really changes it. It might make the restarts a little bit more difficult for me to gain positions that I’ve been able to gain before. But you know, maybe not. We’ll see. It’s a rule that everyone was kind of on board for and really kind of pushing for with how the racing has kind of been with these low-horsepower cars. The top is so dominant on restarts and getting in somebody’s right rear quarter panel is pretty much end game for the car on the inside. I’m glad we’re changing it. It’ll probably be a little confusing a few times as first, especially the further you are back within the field. It gets more and more challenging to count the cars of who is going where. But it’ll be a fun new challenge. Me and my spotter had fun with it at Bristol even though we didn’t have a good run there. But I think it’s going to be good for our racing and it’ll make it more interesting too.”
DO YOU HAVE MUCH EXPERIENCE WITH IT IN LATE MODELS?
“We didn’t really have any of that in Dirt Late Model racing. We had a very similar restart setting, or restarts would be set a very similar to how the Cup series is except the lead car has his own lane to himself. So you can kind of use both lanes to get a better launch than the rest of the field. So, I’ve never really done anything like this before that I can remember. But we’re still going around the same race tracks. Once they’re set it’ll be very similar to what they already are, but you’ve got to make one more decision in the race car as a driver and as a team. So, it will be a new challenge.”
WITH SILLY SEASON UPON US, CAN YOU STAY WHAT YOUR STATUS IS AT THIS POINT WITH RCR IN REGARD TO 2021 AND ALSO WHAT DOES THE LANDSCAPE LOOK LIKE FOR A YOUNG DRIVER LIKE YOURSELF?
“Well it’s definitely always concerning regardless of age when you’re 24 years old and you’re getting replaced in the Cup series or in any kind of racing. But, it’s part of it. It’s unfortunate. But that’s the world we live in. There are comers and goers and there’s always somebody coming up through the ranks that is going to have a shot at something. So, I’m glad I know where I’m going to be next year. I’m going to be with RCR. So, I’m not necessarily allowing the pressure to come off by any means. We still want to make the Playoffs. We still want to run really good this year. We want to beat the other drivers that are competing for Rookie of the Year. So, it’s not going to take away my aggression any, knowing that for the first time in a while I guess, in my racing career, knowing that I’m going to be in the same place is nice.”
IN PREPARATION FOR THE DAYTONA ROAD COURSE RACE, PERHAPS WITH IRACING, HAVE YOU HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE ANY LAPS THERE YET AHEAD OF TIME?
‘Yeah, it’s pretty much all you’re really going to have to go off of is iRacing or simulation. For me, it’s through Chevrolet. We’ve been able to use the simulators that they have and for a guy like me who has never made a lap around the Daytona road course, I have no idea what I’m getting into for the most part. Even with how the Cup cars brake and race on a road course themselves, it is tough because I have no background in a Cup car on a road course. From my understanding the brakes are a little bit better. Some things are a little bit different and are better for the drivers. You can be more aggressive, I think. I’ve got nothing to go off really other than help from A.J. Allmendinger, who helped me a lot last year in the Xfinity stuff. He’s worked with Randall Burnett (crew chief) in the past and helped me get up to speed, especially when he was running the Kaulig cars for them. I have other good friends (like) Austin Cindric and other drivers who have run this course in the past that I know well too, that I’ve been able to bounce some ideas off of, too.”
COMING TO DAYTONA, HOW ARE YOU PREPARING FOR THE HEAT IN AUGUST? IT’S 100 PERCENT HUMIDITY AND 100 DEGREES AND YOU CAN’T ESCAPE FROM IT
“Yeah, I think this year and the way we’ve gone about making up these races has kind of been, in a way, conditioning us for that. But, at the same time it could be wearing us down in that one last extremely hot race that we have this year. So, none of us really know what to expect. It’s going to be extremely hot and you don’t want to spare any expense or time putting into hydration. That’s going to be extremely important for that race. You just don’t know how taxing it’s going to be on you, on your car, or on anything; and you have to be on your toes at all times, especially on a road course. You can’t afford to make mistakes. You wheel-hop once and your day could be done, or you significantly damage your car. Like I mentioned earlier, every point matters and every spot matters. Going into that race we’ve just really got to be on our game and make sure that we don’t have too many adult beverages at dinner with the lady throughout the week, or whatever it is, and just really focus on hydrating and cutting out the fun beverages that you normally have at dinner.”
WHEN YOU STARTED THIS YEAR, DID YOU EVER THINK THAT YOU WOULD BE COMPETING FOR A PLACE IN THE CHASE AGAINST JIMMIE JOHNSON?
“I thought we had the capability of making the Playoffs, but I didn’t really foresee Jimmie having the bad luck and struggles that he’s had. The speed has definitely been there. We’ve seen it at times. But unfortunately, you have to capitalize when you do have it and unfortunately for him and his team, he hasn’t. And then he missed the race at Indy. So, he’s had the deck stacked against him for sure this year. I thought we would be battling to get into the Playoffs, but I didn’t think it would be against him, for sure.”
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