NASCAR Transcripts: Tyler Reddick – Press Conference – 02.15.24

THE MODERATOR: We are joined by our race winner Tyler Reddick.

Tyler, congratulations on that win there. Tell us a little bit about the closing laps and how you were able to pull it off.

TYLER REDDICK: Yeah, I mean, most of our night was not great. Coming to pit road, about wrecked again. I’ve gotten pretty good at that. But we survived that. That was fortunate.

We lost Martin there on that cycle. We come back off pit road, we had good steam. The cars were working good together. We were a tiny pack of four cars. We had some good momentum, so we were kind of cutting up through the rest of the cars that pitted a little bit later that weren’t quite up to speed yet. That worked out okay.

I felt like we were probably going to end up fifth or so before the caution came out. When that happened, it was just kind of trying to determine if Logano was going to go behind Ty or not. Once that happened, I decided to go closest to the front. Hocevar, Chase and Kyle were in front of me. I was trying to push ’em as hard as I could.

Carson couldn’t get going until the last lap or so. I think he was kind of waiting. Gave him a good shot. Him and Chase went to the bottom. Kind of opened up the perfect opportunity for me. Got to Kyle’s back bumper, got to the bottom. Took it. Kind of good timing.

THE MODERATOR: We’ll go ahead and take questions.

Q. What was more exciting, the actual win or the time with Bo after?

TYLER REDDICK: Well, I mean, I’m also little myself, but it’s a very big patch of grass there in the frontstretch. I looked out there and I thought I saw him. Need to go to the eye doctor probably.

Yeah, he was there running across the grass. That was really cool. I didn’t know if he was going to come all the way or not. Yeah, it was a lot of fun to put him in the car, for him to get a ride in it.

I think he’s gotten to sit in the car pre-race a few times. Got to sit in it in the shop. It was kind of nice. Probably the most careful I’ve ever driven one of these Cup cars, to be honest with you, back to Victory Lane. He was kind of holding on. The car was loud. He really enjoyed it.

I think for me winning here means a lot. It’s been a while since I’ve done that. To have him make the trek across the grass there and join me was really special.

Q. Yesterday the Toyotas were down on speed. You win this race today. Do you feel any better about where Toyota is headed into Sunday?

TYLER REDDICK: Maybe a little bit, yeah.

Definitely, yeah. We didn’t really know where we were going to fall with this car in qualifying trim. Certainly that was a little bit off from what we expected.

I think a lot of the drivers remained confident going into racing conditions that the car would work better in the draft. I personally didn’t really partake in that until late. I saw Martin Truex and Erik Jones working together through the outside lanes. They were able to be pretty aggressive. When we get later in this race, I’ll be able to be more aggressive with my pushes than in the past, and it worked out.

Q. Was that just an opportunity-struck move? Did you have that somewhat planned?

TYLER REDDICK: I mean, I learned a lot from it, for sure. I felt like I was far enough back on that restart like I was going to have to really push aggressively to try to be the first or second car in whichever row I ended up being in. I just happened to be the top. Being the fourth car in line, I was concerned that if things didn’t start happening, that I would have an opportunity to win the race.

Yeah, just timing kind of just struck. I was wearing out Carson’s back bumper trying to get him going. We got together good one time. Him and Chase were able to clear to the bottom. I thought at first, Oh, man, this ain’t good.

Yeah, I was able to get to Kyle, get him back going. We came together pretty easily on the back straightaway, was pushing him hard. Like I said, had an opportunity to go low or high once we got clear of the back a little bit.

I’d say morning anyone, too, once I got as far out as I did, they were three-wide, kind of stalled each other out. Got lucky there, too.

Looking at my teammate leading the top, I’d say the Toyotas handled good in the top, able to make steam once we get racing.

Q. Is this a case where, despite what we saw last night with the single-car speed lacking, feels like last year where we didn’t hear much from the Toyotas until race day.

TYLER REDDICK: Hats off to everyone at Toyota and TRD, all the work they put in on this car has certainly paid off. We wanted to increase our performance everywhere. We also wanted to help ourselves at the speedways. It’s a really good start to see the performance gain and capability increase like it has.

It gives us, the drivers, just more opportunities to be aggressive and not have to worry about turning a fellow Toyota crossed up sideways as we try to draft.

Q. You talked a couple weeks ago about the hopes with the new body with the bumper, alluded to what happened to you last year. This new body, bumper, what does this allow you to do pushing and being pushed now?

TYLER REDDICK: Yeah, I didn’t get pushed a lot tonight, to be honest with you. It looked like on the 43 where Erik Jones and Martin Truex that they were able to be pretty aggressive with one another. That paid dividends. They were able to get to the front pretty quick. It looks like you can receive bumps and not get as crossed up.

I don’t have personal experience with that, but we’ll get together and talk about this first outing with this brand-new Camry and we’ll be ready for the race Sunday.

Q. You talked the other day about needing to run laps at speedway races. You felt like the last two speedway races you had learned lessons, run the race. How in any way did those experiences from the last two speedway races help you tonight?

TYLER REDDICK: It certainly helped some. But to a degree, too, you’re kind of erasing where you used to have your limits. Okay, this is as aggressive as I can be pushing, this is as the most aggressive that someone can be pushing me without getting into trouble. You kind of had to start from a new benchmark, if you will, and build.

Like I said, just watching the cars ahead be aggressive, the other Toyotas do what they were doing, it working, it was a really good sign. So yeah, some of it certainly helped gaining some experience at the tail end finally, running laps, finishing some of those races, but tonight was just kind of we were in the right spot at the right time. Like Ricky Stenhouse, some of these other drivers that have been able to make hay late. It kind of came to us, to a degree.

Q. You’ve now won at Daytona in three different series and in three different manufacturers, which is a pretty unique stat. Can you speak to some of those differences in the three wins?

TYLER REDDICK: Yeah, I mean, on the Truck side, it was a bit like that race kind of unfolded how the Next Gen car races. I was so new to it. T.J. Majors was doing a lot to shape my young mind at that time. I knew what dirty air was from a dirt late model racing days. I was listening to him back then, doing what he said.

We got to our first race together here with JRM. That was the craziest day I’ve ever had in a race car with all the things that went wrong. Literally couldn’t even accelerate out of the zone on my own power. To win that race was just a wild week in itself.

Yeah, for me, in this race, probably the smoothest race I’ve had at a speedway that’s turned into a victory. I think a lot of my superspeedway wins have been chaotic from start to finish. This one had the potential of being that. I tried to make it really crazy in the beginning. Thankfully we kind of stuck to our plan and the cycle still turned out okay. Just I had kind of a mindset on that restart what I needed to do. It kind of all came together for me.

THE MODERATOR: Tyler, congratulations again.

TYLER REDDICK: Thank you, guys.