NASCAR CUP SERIES
TEAM CHEVY PRESS CONF. TRANSCRIPT
JUNE 24, 2022
TYLER REDDICK, NO. 8 3CHI CAMARO ZL1, met with the media in advance of the NASCAR Cup Series practice session at Nashville Superspeedway. Press Conference Transcript:
YOU ARE SITTING 11TH IN THE STANDINGS BUT YOU BASICALLY ARE ON THE BUBBLE. OTHER THAN GETTING A WIN, DOES THE SITUATION HAVE YOU DOING SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO FIND YOUR WAY INTO THE PLAYOFFS?
“No. But it’s definitely crazy how things can change in the matter of one race. We were in a place where I think we were in good position to make our way in on points and I feel like that has drastically changed. So, certainly as the mindset shifts more to winning. But if I am being honest, we have been trying to do that all year long. So, in reality, not a whole lot changes for us. But certainly, I don’t think we are as worried about points going forward.”
YOU PARTICIPATED IN THE MARTINSVILLE TEST RECENTLY AND I AM CURIOUS WHAT ALL THE CHANGES THAT YOU GUYS WENT THROUGH AND WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THE DIRECTION THAT YOU GUYS LEARNED?
“It was a tough test. Just with the setting and the circumstances with weather. You know, we raced there when it felt like it was in the 40s or right around there and we went back and tested and it was in the 90s. So, the control tire that we raced on in March laid plenty of rubber. But the three cars laid more rubber than the entire race. The different tire combinations all seemed to work pretty well, but it seems like the car is in this weird spot where its got plenty of mechanical grip, but it just doesn’t seem like we have enough power for the grip we have in the tires for in the driver’s seat to make the mistake of burning the rear tires off and making throttle and tire management a part of the Martinsville game that I think has been a part of it since I have been driving in Trucks or watching the Cup races. So, that is an interesting spot that we are in. I am not sure where we came away from that, but the underbody stuff that was tried certainly helped the situation. We are just missing the racing product a little bit, I think. Still, at the end of the day, the cars have a lot of grip at the short tracks and I don’t think we have enough power to rip the tires off if we make that mistake.”
DID YOU GUYS PLAY WITH THE GEAR RATIOS AND TRY TO CHANGE THE SHIFTING RULES?
“As crazy as this may sound, in my opinion, if we changed the gear and we made it to where we are just running one gear, that makes our problem worse in my opinion. Because then, you could run 150 laps and never burn the tires on the car off if you are not shifting. When you are downshifting, eventually you know 50-60 laps into the run you know you can start feathering the tire on corner exit, but in my opinion just running it for whatever gear it would be, we are never going to spin the tires. So, I don’t think a gear change would be the solution.”
DO YOU FEEL THAT THIS CUP CAR IS IN A GOOD PLACE AS FAR AS RACING TODAY?
“Yeah, for the most part. The bigger tracks that have less side force its more treacherous to drive but at the short tracks you are never really on the edge of the car quite like that. You know, we are more fighting mechanical grip, and the car has more mechanical grip everywhere we go. For the most part it has been better and it’s been better at a majority of the places, its just unfortunately put the short track racing where none of us wanted it to be.”
DID THEY TRY ANYTING WITH ENGINES AND USING MORE HORSEPOWER ON THE TRACK?
“Yeah, it wasn’t tried. But I am not one to say what we should or shouldn’t do there because there are a lot of moving parts and pieces. A lot of time, research and development have gone into the horsepower package that we are at now and you can’t just flip a switch or change the tapered spacer or go to a different horsepower level and have the same engine reliability across all the engine manufacturers. So, as much as it would be nice to have that option, I can’t really say whether that is an option or not because there is a lot that goes into that unfortunately.”
WHAT ADVANTAGE TO YOU THINK CAN BE GAINED AT GOING BACK TO ATLANTA AND THE FIRST TIME RETURNING TO A TRACK FOR A SECOND TIME WITH THIS CAR?
“That one is an interesting one in my opinion because it’s a speedway type race. I thought we were actually pretty good when we were there the last time. We had the tire go that really took us out of that race. You will be able to look at some gains, right? But its more on speedway-type racing gains that really only apply to the six speedway races now that we have in counting Atlanta. So, I wouldn’t say that its an A to B that we can take to one place or the other necessarily, but it will be interesting to see from the first time we were there what improvements have been made. It sounds like they made a number of them to the racetrack and to some of the bumps that were in place at the speedway. So, it will be interesting to see how some of those details to the track have been changed and hopefully improved.”
HOW WOULD YOU ASSESS YOUR SEASON SO FAR?
“Frustrating. That is probably the best way to put it, yeah. You know, it’s everything you hoped for at times, but unfortunately things go wrong.”
DO YOU LOOK BACK AT SOME OF THE RACES AND SAY WOULD HAVE, COULD HAVE, SHOULD HAVE OR JUST LOOK FORWARD AND BE POSITIVE ABOUT IT?
“It’s important to go back in the days after and look back on it and take away the positives for sure so you can grow and get better for hopefully the next race and the next weekend. But after that you are telling yourself should have, would have, could have and saying the what ifs if you will. If you get caught up in that, then you lose sight of what is important and that is the next week ahead.”
HOW DO YOU STAY POSITIVE AND BELIEVE YOU ARE GOING TO TURN THIS AROUND AND GET IN THE PLAYOFFS?
“Through the speed that we have had. The things that aren’t going our way are the things that we can learn from and correct. Eventually, as frustrating as these things have been to us, we are going to learn from them, and I would rather go through this now than in the Playoffs. If it turns around and we work all the kinks out that we have been going through, hopefully the right time of the year comes and we put all this behind us.”
GOING BACK TO THE MARTNSVILLE TEST, YOU SAID THERE WERE CHANGES TO THE UNDERBODY. HOW DID IT FEEL DIFFERENT?
“Well, that was the great thing. The feel of the car wasn’t much different, it just felt like a little bit less downforce. You didn’t feel as tight behind the car ahead of you and that was one of the things we were feeling at Martinsville when we raced there. When we had the different underbody, it didn’t seem to be as bad. I didn’t get to run up behind cars as much as Austin Cindric or Kyle Busch did, but they certainly thought it was better too. So, that is something that is certainly interesting and hopefully if we can apply it the right way, it will help the racing when we go back.”
HOW MUCH DO YOU SEE THE OFF WEEK LAST WEEK AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO KIND OF RESET THE STREAK OF RUN WELL GET A GOOD FINISH, RUN WELL, DON’T GET A GOOD FINISH AND RUN WELL AND GET A DNF?
“Yeah, it was good to have. Anytime we have a bad week, it would be kind of nice to have a moment to gather ourselves up and get back going, but the nature of the schedules is that you don’t have that. So to have that off weekend last weekend for all of us was good. We only get one, so we have to make the most of it and a lot of us did. You don’t want to have a bad race, but if you are going to have a flip like we did of being in a really good points position going into Sonoma and having a first-time winner now being 18th or wherever we are in points, to have that off weekend in between Sonoma and here was good timing.”
WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE MORE OFF WEEKS AS NASCAR LOOKS TO THE FUTURE FOR THE SCHEDULE?
“I mean, I would be up for having more off weekends in the year if we raced more. If this is how we get all the races in, then I am good with it. I used to race 100 times a year, so more races the merrier for me.”
WILLIAM BYRON SAID WHEN HE GOT OUT OF THE CAR IN ATLANTA THAT HE FOUND THAT TO BE ONE OF THE MOST MENTALLY DRAINING RACES HE HAD BEEN IN. DID YOU FIND THAT TO BE THE CASE AND IF SO, WHY?
“Physically it was too. We are zipping around a mile-and-a-half at really high speeds, high average speeds, running upper 180s the entire lap. Not a lot of rest down the straightaways because the corners were so long and the aggressive pack racing that we had just really drains you mentally. But certainly, after that race I felt like I was surprised physically of the toll that it had. Normally at speedways its purely a mental drain, but it seemed like at Atlanta it was a little bit of both and that was surprising. When we go back and its even hotter, there is going to be more of that.”
Team Chevy high-resolution racing photos are available for editorial use.
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