Class in Session: NASCAR Cup Series Star Reddick Visits University of Texas and Longhorn Racing Team

NASCAR Cup Series (NCS) star Tyler Reddick isn’t used to getting schooled when it comes to racing, but on Thursday morning, the 23XI Racing driver welcomed the moment.

Reddick, in advance of the March 22-24 EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas (COTA),  visited the University of Texas campus to engage with the inquiring collegiate engineering minds of Longhorn Racing.

The on-campus organization, based out of the Engineering Teaching Center, is a student chapter of the Formula Society of Automotive Engineers and American Solar Challenge. Longhorn Racing has more than 300 members and is comprised of three Collegiate Design Series teams (Combustion, Electric and Solar). The organization provides them with the opportunity to explore different engineering fields while developing their tangible skills through a collaborative and innovative environment.

Reddick spent time with more than a dozen students discussing racing from the driver’s perspective, mechanics of race car engineering and how he is looking forward to defending his EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix title at COTA on Sunday, March 24 (2:30 p.m., TV: FOX, Radio: PRN, SiriusXM).

NASCAR at COTA Executive Director Bryan Hammond provided surprise race tickets to the Longhorn Racing students so they can root for Reddick in person at the upcoming March 24 EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix.

Select Quotes from Today’s Event (Click link above for full files of the interviews):

Tyler Reddick – Driver of the No. 45 23XI Racing Toyota Camry XSE

“These kids are resourceful. They’re coming up with creative ideas to get more performance out of their car. They’re getting into autocross, and they have full blown underbody effects on these cars. It’s so great to have a conversation with them. I’ve been talking a little bit about my experiences racing. These individuals are really smart, and they’re learning a lot about motorsports.”

“When you return as the winner (to COTA), you know, your expectations are high. So with the brand new aero package (for 2024) for our race cars, you know it’s going to take a little bit different formula to still be fast, but we always have really high expectations when we come here. I always want to do everything I can to win the race. Strategies can play out in a way that you don’t expect, but when we bring a really fast race car, it gives us the best shot of leaving here with the trophy.”

“It’s a very tricky racetrack. I always really enjoy it because of the big braking zones and the tight radius corners that are after a really long straightaway. It kind of rewards aggression in some areas of the track, so for me, I’ve always enjoyed that.”

Navya Agrawal – Longhorn Racing Vice President:

“We really prioritize teaching and the first principles of engineering so that not only does the student justify the design, but they keep improving on it.”

“Today was a great event. We showed Tyler our facilities, our two cars here and how we weld our frame. We showed him our setup, how we start from the ground up, our jigging process and how we build our finished product. He got an interactive view getting to see us weld our control arms on the electric team. It was a really great interactive day for us and him.” 

Fatima Sanchez – Longhorn Racing PR Officer:

“It is so exciting and nice to have industry professionals in the garage. Tyler is an amazing driver, and it’s great to see the overlap between his cars and our cars.” 

“Longhorn Racing is an organization here at UT, and we design and manufacture race cars. We have over 300 members. We build a combustion car, solar car and an electric car.”

“Each team has their own timelines, but we try to design a car approximately every year for our electric and combustion teams. Once the cars are designed and unveiled, we take them to competition over the summer where they get judged by industry professionals. We also get to test them in what we call dynamic events, which is the racing aspect of the organization – it’s where they test our acceleration and endurance.”

Bryan Hammond – NASCAR at COTA Executive Director:

“We are so thankful to be with Longhorn Racing here on the campus of University of Texas to kick off race month here in Austin. We’re happy to welcome our 2023 champion to join us and learn more about what these students are up to here at UT.” 

“We learned all about their combustion, solar and electric car programs. It’s been really cool to see how this student-run organization completely builds a brand-new car every year for competition.”

The fourth running of NASCAR at COTA will again play host to a tripleheader of national events, featuring the NCS, Xfinity Series (NXS) and CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (NCTS) across a three-day race weekend on the 20-turn, 3.41-mile layout. This will be the first road course event of the season for all three series and first of five road course/street circuit races on the year for the NCS.

The weekend will feature practice and qualifying sessions on Friday, March 22, a race doubleheader Saturday, March 23, with the NXS Focused Health 250 and NCTS XPEL 225, and then the marquee NCS EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix on Sunday, March 24.

Click HERE for the full weekend schedule.

Tickets:

Fans can purchase tickets and camping for the 2024 NASCAR at COTA weekend by visiting NASCARatCOTA.com. Three-day weekend packages start at $79 for adults and just $10 for kids 12 and under. College students can purchase an EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix ticket for just $25. Further details can be found on the NASCAR at COTA website.

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