RACING: NASCAR Truck Series driver Tyler Reddick - "I still call Du Quoin home"
Though he now resides in North Carolina, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Tyler Reddick says he still calls Du Quoin home.Reddick, just 19 years of age, lived in Du Quoin for six years with his father Clarence Reddick, mother Geri Reddick and sister Haley Reddick. He attended Christian Fellowship School the first four years, and received home-schooling the following two.Leaving the area was a career move for Reddick - his race team, Brad Keselowski Racing, is operated out of Mooresville, N.C."(Moving to North Carolina) was a recent thing, I need to be around the team a lot more," he said. "It's hard to be ten hours away. It's not something I necessarily wanted to, but I had to do it. I like to get home and visit everyone when I get the opportunity."So far, the move appears to be paying off. Reddick sits second in the Truck Series points standings behind leader Matt Crafton, whom he trails by just a dozen points after 9 of 23 races. He's won a pair of events already this year including the season opener at Daytona - home of the 'Great American Race,' the 'Super Bowl of Stock Car Racing,' the Daytona 500."This year's been a great year so far," said Reddick. "I've been able to win twice, once at Daytona in February, and again (on May 29) at Dover, which was really awesome to follow up the first win. Those were really big moments for me."All race car drivers dream of a win at Daytona International Speedway - regardless of what series they're in. Reddick admitted the experience was a special one."I really don't know how to sum it up," he said. "The best way to describe it is as a big sigh of relief for me because I knew that my team and I were very capable of being able to win a race, and I knew that Brad Keselowski Racing was ready to have a good year. We needed to break out and get some wins, and to be able to do that right off the bat was the perfect way for it to go."As he took the white flag at one of the world's most famous speedways, Reddick says he found himself thinking ''Am I really taking the white flag? Is this really going to happen?""When it's done and over with it's 'Wow, this just happened,' it's kind of an unreal moment," he added. "It's such a team effort by everybody.""My spotter T.J. Majors, who spots for Dale Earnhardt, Jr. in the Cup Series, is very vocal. He wasn't keeping quiet, but he's letting me know that I had no runs coming and that we were in great shape. There's no greater feeling than that when you're leading a race, to hear 'no pressure, you're all good."Reddick's career began at the age of four in a Winged Outlaw go-kart in his state of birth, California. It wasn't long after that he made his first trip to Du Quoin."What's funny is the first time I was ever in Du Quoin, they had an indoor series out at the Fairgrounds and one of the classes they ran was what I ran," he recalled. "That was our first long road trip to go race anywhere, it was in Du Quoin. That was probably twelve years ago when I did that.""I got to race Mini Sprints there when POWRi was there with their Midgets. I actually even raced on the Magic Mile in the ARCA series two years ago. I've been able to race around home a few times, which is nice. It's been pretty cool."Among his career highlights prior to this season, Reddick is the youngest driver to qualify for the World 100 at Eldora Speedway, the youngest driver to win the East Bay Winter Nationals, and the youngest winner ever in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series. He is also the youngest driver ever to qualify for a feature race in World of Outlaws sprint car racing. He debuted in the ARCA Series in 2012, and later that year won in his first career start in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East at Rockingham Speedway.In November of 2013, Reddick signed a deal to drive for Brad Keselowski Racing, a team owned and operated by 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champion Brad Keselowski, who drives the No. 2 car for Team Penske."It's a very fun experience to be a part of a team that has an owner like Brad backing the organization," Reddick said. "We get outstanding support from Team Penske, and Roush Performance gives us great engines. Having Brad as kind of the head figure for the whole team puts us up there where we're able to get help from those big companies. He's very involved and he likes to see the team do well.""(Keselowski) has taught me a lot. Last year was a big learning curve. He's been to all these race tracks, and I hadn't been to most of them, so it was a great help with him getting me up to speed."Up next for Reddick and the No. 19 team is the UNOH 225 at Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, KY. The Camping World Truck Series runs through November, finishing up on November 20 at Homestead, Florida.
Jul 5, 2015 6:47 PM