Tyler Reddick, driver of the 19 Draw Tite F-150 in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, is coming off the first win of his career last week at Daytona International Speedway. Reddick spoke to members of the media before today’s practice about his expectations for this weekend.
TYLER REDDICK – No. 19 Draw Tite F-150 – HOW DO YOU BUILD ON LAST WEEK’S WIN AND WHAT’S YOUR OUTLOOK FOR THIS WEEKEND? “If it would go perfectly I’d like to build on that win with another win, but, realistically, we’ve got to come in here and do everything we can to leave with another top-five finish. I’m really confident in my crew and in our truck. It’s come together really well and it’s just been tried and true, the mile-and-a-half performance packages that we’ve had, that have performed really well for us lately. I’ve got the utmost confidence in my crew. Doug Randolph really knows what he’s doing when it comes to these type of race tracks, and I’m really excited to be racing against my boss Saturday night. It’ll be nice to race against Brad and I’m definitely gonna be able to get a lot of help from him as well as we both practice here later on at 2:30.”
HOW BIG OF A STATEMENT WAS IT FOR FORD TO WIN THE ENTIRE WEEKEND AT DAYTONA AND HAS THERE BEEN ANY TRASH-TALKING ABOUT THIS WEEKEND BETWEEN YOU AND BRAD? “No, not at all. But it was really awesome for Ford to be able to sweep at Daytona. I believe it’s the first time a manufacturer has been able to sweep at Daytona and it was nice to be able to break the Toyota streak at Daytona for the Fords, and was able to get them a win in the Truck Series, which is great. It was an ideal weekend for Ford and I was just really happy to just be a part of that and be the second step out of the four (Rolex 24, Truck, XFINITY, Sprint Cup). I’m just really happy for everybody. Doug Yates, Jeff Clark, there are a lot of great people over at Roush Yates and I’m just really happy to get for them and the rest of the people over at Ford.”
HOW DIFFERENT DO YOU EXPECT THINGS TO GET NOW? “Honestly, I had more confidence in our mile-and-a-half package. We had a really outstanding superspeedway package, but superspeedways are kind of a wild card and anything can happen on those type of race tracks. I was more looking forward to getting back to the mile-and-a-halves than anything. We were really good on them as we closed out the year. I really enjoy the superspeedway racing, but you’re in a little bit more control of what’s going on with your own destiny at some of these other race tracks. I’m really excited to be at Atlanta for the first time. I’ve seen a lot of great racing here over the years. There have been a lot of great finishes and hopefully we can add to that list of great finishes and good runs Saturday.”
TYLER REDDICK CONTINUED — YOU GET ONE PRACTICE SESSION TODAY. WHAT WILL YOU TRY TO ACCOMPLISH? “It’s three hours long. It’s a practice, but it’s also a test in a sense. We’re gonna be able to have data acquisition on our trucks and we’re gonna be able to learn a little bit more than we normally would being it’s the first time the trucks have been here in such a long time. That’s gonna help me a lot. That’s gonna help my crew a lot in understanding what’s going on with the truck, and it’s just gonna speed up the process for us and the others as well. We have to take advantage of all the time we’ve got. We’ve got three hours. It doesn’t seem like a lot, but it still is. We have a few angles we want to attack this track with a few different setups and we’ll just see what works the best. I would say at the end of our second set of tires and toward the end of practice we’ll have a decision on what we like better and we’re just gonna go with that. We have plenty of time. We have a few options to go with and I really hope we can just get up to speed real quick here. It looks like we’ll be able to do that with no issue.”
WHAT HAS THIS WEEK BEEN LIKE AFTER WINNING? “Honestly, before going into Daytona I knew my week after was gonna be a little bit hectic. We were gonna be running all over the place. There are some things we’ve done in years past that we have to do again this year just with how things were placed and scheduled that was a little bit tighter. I wasn’t able to fly back with the team to Charlotte, drove to Atlanta actually here and was here Monday, flew out to DC for an event Monday evening and was there until Tuesday night. Then I was supposed to fly back with somebody, but they couldn’t even make it because it was too cold in Charlotte for the event, so me and my father ended up having to drive back Tuesday night in the morning back to Charlotte. Then we just had to get everything put back together on our truck and make sure everything was OK, especially being the points leader and especially after having a good start like that. You want to make sure that everything is 100 percent and there are no excuses for anything to go wrong. It was as busy week, but it’s no biggie. I got plenty of rest and I’m ready to go.”
TYLER REDDICK CONTINUED — CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE EVENT YOU WENT TO MONDAY NIGHT. YOU SPOKE TO A GROUP OF FLORIDA YOUTH AS A MENTOR BEFORE THE DAYTONA RACE, SO WHAT WAS IT LIKE TO REPRESENT THEM ON MONDAY? “The event I went to on Tuesday was a National Guard Youth Foundation gala event. It was their 10th gala and the National Guard Youth Foundation is part of the National Guard and what their program is they have the challenge and they have camps all over the United States. They have one in Florida. The one I went to in Florida, I believe it was Wednesday evening, and I was able to go see the guys. I was there once the year before and was able to get to see the new round of cadets, I guess you could say, because they’re in there for about six months and then they go through a process where they’re back at home and they get to see their family and their parents and get brought back into the world of technology and such. But when they’re at the camp they have no cell phones, no nothing. They’re just their own person and their own human being. They’re stripped to the core and basically the program is for kids that fall out of school, drop out of high school, and gives them an opportunity for a second chance to graduate high school in a sense – to get their diploma. At the stage when I went to see them they were still in the phase of getting disciplined and they were still trying to break them down and make them better people. They really embraced me quite well. They enjoyed seeing me and it was pretty cool to get to see them before we won and James Ransom, who heads the camp in Florida, told me the kids were really excited when he told them we actually went and won the race Friday night in Daytona. It’s really a great group of people. There are a lot of great things going on there and I’ve been a part of it for the last couple of years now. It’s something that really means a lot to me and means a lot to the families and the kids that go to the program.”
YOU RECEIVED A BUNCH OF TEXT MESSAGES AFTER WINNING. DID ANY STAND OUT? “I don’t know. I got a lot of text messages from people that I’ve known over the years. The ones that meant the most are obviously the ones from my grandmother and grandfather. The messages you get from your family mean the most. I was just happy to get it done for them. They were gonna try and make it down for the race and couldn’t because of the weather. It was a race they could have been there to see firsthand, but they were stuck home in Nashville watching it on TV. It just means a lot to get text messages from your family and it’s really great to get a win like that for your family and everybody that’s been a part of supporting you since day one. It means a lot to get a win for them.”