23XI Racing driver Tyler Reddick was made available to the media prior to practice for the NASCAR Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway on Saturday.

TYLER REDDICK, No. 45 Monster Energy Toyota Camry XSE, 23XI Racing

What have you learned racing with 23XI Racing here compared to years prior?

”I think, guess the biggest thing is just staying in the hunt. You know, those two races we had here last year, I wasn’t thrilled with the overall speed we had, necessarily. But, we just stayed in the mix and get good finishes out of them. Certainly, like last fall for example, we were pretty solid, but the 11 (Denny Hamlin) was a little bit better. Was nice to be that close, but yeah, the situation ended up unfolding and we had an opportunity to pit, and we were able to execute that late race caution and come away with a win. So it was nice to go win a race like that. Typically, they’ve been pretty straightforward so that was one of the first times on a mile and a half that I was able to take away.”

What makes Toyota so good at Kansas?

”I think it’s our boss (Hamlin). He’s just really great. We hear Freddie Kraft (spotter, 23XI Racing) talk about it all the time. I think that’s just a big part of it. Denny’s (Hamlin) just great, so we’re great too.”

What do you feel like you’ll take away from today’s practice and qualifying?

”I think places like Kansas that do have some fall off, you get an idea of what your race car is going to do over 10, 20, 30 laps if you have the opportunity to run that long, which you should unless you’re making a lot of adjustments or experiencing some sort of issues. Yeah, a place like this, you get a good feel of what you got, I think, for the most part, you can see where the field stacks up as well. This is normally one of the more beneficial practice sessions we have. Outside of that, the weather will be a little bit different tomorrow than it is today. I know that’s been changing, a couple days ago, it was supposed to be raining right now, so good that it’s clearing up a bit. Yeah, certainly, day-to-day the weather being a little bit different can determine how much you take away from it. But a place like this, with the fall off you experience for example, it does become very beneficial. Last weekend at Dover, I mean, there wasn’t anything to take away as we weren’t laying any rubber and going so fast compared to what we were running the next day with higher temperatures.”

How much confidence does it give you being the most recent winner here?

”It certainly helps. I think for me, it’s always in a good place going to a mile and a half. I think so far this year, at the mile and a halfs, we’ve been really strong. Atlanta is a little bit different, but Texas, Las Vegas, we were very fast. I didn’t lead a lot of laps at Las Vegas, but we were right there with (Kyle) Larson. Yeah, looking at the last two, and again, we were able to steal one away last year, but I know there were some things we didn’t really like in our race car that we were able to learn from and make some better changes coming back. I know that we can always be better and know we can be better than what we were, so confidence from that last fall and the other mile and a halfs certainly has me in a good spot.”

Looking forward to Darlington next weekend, what are your thoughts and feelings?

”I love Darlington. It’s certainly one of my favorites. You know, when I was coming into the Cup Series, it was when we started having more than the one race there, and I think during the COVID year, we ran there like three times or something, so I was eating that up and really enjoyed it. Yeah for me, it’s a track I’ve always really enjoyed. As it’s changed, I still love it a lot, but when we had to redo turn two, I was a little sour about that. But, it’s still a very difficult race track and a lot of fun to race. You’re racing your competitors out there, but you have to battle the race track every lap. I’m really excited for Kansas, but Darlington always gets me really excited. Throwback weekend makes it one of the most fun weekends of the year, seeing all the different schemes the teams come up with and how elaborate they get with putting them all together. And then, we get to go to North Wilkesboro and Charlotte, so it’s really fun stretch of the year for our team.”

Where would you say is NASCAR’s most difficult oval?

”Texas is really tricky. But, from just racing the track to how narrow it is and how hard you have to fight to make passes and stay out of trouble, I feel like Darlington is one of the most difficult. You can get yourself into the wall in almost every part of the race track, honestly. In turns one and two with the shape and the approach you have to have in those corners, you kind of have to thread the needle by the wall every lap to have a good arc and angle for your exit of turn 2 and then just how turns 3 and 4 are shaped. And the wall, it’s a bit wavy. If you go into the corner really chasing the wall, you’re going to end up hitting it about a third of the way around. So it really, some of the nature it has the first time you go there can really throw you off. You think ‘oh I can just run up by the wall and run it,” and boom, you hit it. Darlington is another one of those tracks, turn four can really sneak up on you in any race there. It’s easy to think you’re good there, until you get a push off of turn four and you hit the wall right where it comes in. So to me, I think Darlington takes that.”

What’s the experience like racing at North Wilkesboro?

”It was amazing. Being there the multiple days that we were getting to see what the late model guys were doing, the Truck race, and just being there for multiple days. Being close to home is also really nice. But yeah, I can’t tell you I’ve passed it on the way to Bristol Motor Speedway and just get a little sad, right? It’s just sitting there every time I go by it and nature taking its course with it, right? But, it’s really cool to get back and race there. I’ve obviously never got to see a race there, I was alive, but I’ve gotten to back and watch a few races, even before I knew we were going to go back and race there, it was just really cool. There were some big moments that have happened there and yeah, the track has a lot of character. We talk about a place like Darlington, right? North Wilkesboro is one of those that you know, it’s not perfectly flat, the corners aren’t perfectly round. It’s just got character and really glad we’re back racing there honestly.”

Toyota Racing PR