Toyota Racing – NCS Darlington Quotes – Tyler Reddick – 05.11.24

23XI Racing driver Tyler Reddick was made available to the media after winning the pole for the NASCAR Cup Series race at Darlington Raceway on Saturday.

It is Reddick’s seventh career pole, and third pole with Toyota. It is his first pole of the season and first pole at Darlington Raceway.

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

What is it about Tim Richmond’s career that you chose to honor him on NASCAR Throwback weekend?

“It was actually an Old Milwaukee scheme, but yeah. I think for me – he is a driver, in my opinion, whether he was at the track or away from the track, he was always living life to the fullest and was happy living the life he was. There is a lot of truth to that. If you are, throughout your week, just dreading whatever it is – it bleeds in what happens and what you take to the race track. I think in my opinion, Tim (Richmond) was always happy doing whatever he was doing. How he lived his life during the week, what he would do – he was having fun, enjoying himself and that crept over into the race weekend and allowed him to get in the car with a great mindset and allowed him to drive the daylights out of it, so for me I think that’s a big part of it, and then what he could do inside of a racecar is also something I always extremely appreciated about him.”

Is this a statement after last week?

“Yeah, we did for sure. We never really gave ourselves a chance. I made some pretty big mistakes early in the race and tore the car up pretty bad. We were still able to get back up to fifth with a pretty damaged race car, but yeah, finishing 20th and running where we did in stage three was not what we wanted. It is okay – it happens, so we just were extra motivated back at the shop this week, and it got us motivated and got our mindset right. We brought a really fast Toyota Camry. We did a good job in practice understanding what our car needed for qualifying and we just maximized qualifying well.”

What do you think you were missing last week?

“It seemed like – to some extend – the speed was there. We were missing some other things but knowing the speed that the 11 (Denny Hamlin) had and the other Toyotas had. It hurt, but these things happen in racing. We certainly learned a lot, and we definitely had a lot of takeaways from it. You never want to go to a track that you have a good track record at, and run that bad, but we learned a lot and when we go back, when it matters a lot in the Playoffs, we will have a lot to go off of.”

What is it about Darlington that suits you?

“I think I have a lot of fun racing here. I have a lot of fun racing other competitors, but I also have a lot of fun racing the track as well. My first ever laps in the Next Gen – the NASCAR Next Gen version three car was here – we had a test, and it was a handful to drive. We had a lot of fun in it. We had other rookie tests here as well. I learned a lot about a Xfinity car and the new Cup car at a place like this and that is challenging to do. I’ve had some unique experiences that have probably helped me get better here, but I think the biggest thing is just how the tires wear and the amount you have to move around. The amount of risk that you have to take every single lap and manage that for a whole race is kind of benefitted me and how I drive a race car.”

What do you think about the option tire for the North Wilkesboro race next weekend?

“To be honest, I haven’t given it a whole lot of thought yet. Seeing how those tires perform up to the standard benchmark tire that we are going to run as well – that will really open up the options depending on the differences between the two, but I think with the place being repaved – a new surface – it is just going to be a lot different than what we saw last year, and so you just have to go in there with a new mindset, but I’m excited for it. I’m hoping that the option tires gives fans, drivers and teams what they are looking for.”

Can you talk about the experience from last year?

“Last year was a lot of fun. It was unfortunate that we had to patch and seam as much as we did, and then Kyle (Larson) figured out the concrete on the bottom of (turns) three and four too. It was a very interesting experience. I certainly had a lot of fun, last year. It was so cool to see that place brought back to life. I’m excited to get back there again and experience it one more time.”

Is your biggest concern that the option tire will fall off so much that everyone goes back to the traditional tire?

“I guess in some ways – yes. If the option tire isn’t substantially faster on the front end, I think, yes that would be a concern. We will just see what it is like. If it is considerably faster for seven, eight laps at the beginning of a run, and falls off, a little bit more, 20 plus in – then I think that is what you are looking for. What you don’t want to see, what it will make it more difficult to use is if the tire is faster taking off, but after 10 it really starts going the wrong way, but we will just see when we get there.”

Could you tell any difference about the tire this weekend?

“It’s hard to really say at a place like this. It seemed like the rubber going down made it a little more slick than it normally has been, but that was the first practice on the day. The track could set all night – it is sometimes hard to get a good read on that. It really starts to show itself, more so, during the race. We will go back and look at everything – between all of the other Toyotas – but it definitely seemed a little bit different with how the tire wears – lap 15 and on – or how the car changes – lap 15 and on.”

How long is Alexa (DeLeon, Tyler Reddick’s fiancé) going to let you keep that mustache?

“We will see. I don’t think it will be long, but if I win tomorrow, I’m just going to have to keep it around. Hopefully we win, and we will cross that bridge when we get there.”

Toyota Racing PR