Tyler Reddick has been waiting to get behind the wheel of the next-gen car, and NASCAR gave him that chance during a tire test at Darlington Raceway.
Tyler Reddick might not be having the greatest season ever in his second year at the NASCAR Cup level, but he finally got a chance to test a next-gen car. The Richard Childress driver was tapped to get behind the wheel of the #8 Chevrolet for a tire test at Darlington.
Speaking about the test, Reddick said:
“I heard how much different this car was, and I wanted to see it for myself. Darlington is one of the top 3-4 most challenging tracks we get around. It might be the most difficult. This track in turns 1-2 is different than 3-4. I really wanted to get to drive this car and see what this thing’s like at a track that I’m comfortable at. I have a good understanding of this track, and what it takes to get rubbered in, and what direction to go to hopefully find us the best tire.”
The news comes after NASCAR completed a one-day tire test at Martinsville Speedway with Kyle Larson and Chris Buescher. Different tire compounds were used to see their reaction to wet track conditions. The goal was to see if the sport's new car could handle racing during wet on-track conditions, which is still under debate.
NASCAR doing a tire test at Darlington makes complete sense. The track is notorious for being a cheese grater on the tires. The track has a rough racing surface that hasn't been repaved in decades. It also has a layout designed to make drivers run close to the wall. This test was crucial for Goodyear, and it also gave Tyler Reddick a chance to show NASCAR the effects of a next-gen car running the high line.
Speaking about the track, NASCAR Managing Director of Vehicle Systems, Brandon Thomas, said:
“There’s a reverence for the track that is Darlington. So when you take a brand new car, and you bring it to a track with this much history, you want to make sure the car respects the track. Tyler Reddick got out one time and was like, ‘This still drives like Darlington.’ And that to me is important."
NASCAR is scheduled to debut their next-gen car in 2022, and Tyler Reddick getting some seat time in it will be very helpful for everyone involved. Not only will it give Tyler Reddick a starting point when the car is officially debuted, it also gives NASCAR a lot of information that can be used for further development.