“I feel like we are really solid and feel like I did going into COTA this year,” said Tyler Redick on the eve of this weekend’s Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma. The native of Corning, California has reason to be amped up, as Reddick raced to his first victory as a member of the 23XI Racing team earlier this year in triple overtime at COTA.

“Sonoma is a place I didn’t get to come down to and see a lot of racing at when I was younger,” said Reddick. “But yeah, it is the closest thing that I have to a home track. My previous two starts here were not the greatest, but I think that everything we hit on last year really came in to its own after this race one year ago. And then on top of that, the race here a year ago we had some issues along the way with parts failures that really took us out of it, but our confidence is definitely high here. Our sim program went really well on Wednesday. I’m just excited to see what our pace is going to look like tomorrow.”

Reddick has a special enthusiasm for turning left and right in his Cup car.

“I really do like the road-courses,” said Reddick. “Each track is quite different from the next on the current schedule that we have. I really like the preparation that goes into it all. You need to know how you manage a race, you know? You need to manage how you attack and make passes. It’s just a lot of fun. It all really forces you to start over and reset before every road-course race that you go to. You know the things that work at one track don’t apply to the next track.”

Reddick comes off a 35th place finish at last Sunday’s race at WWTR. 

“I really enjoyed the track last Sunday,” said Reddick. “It’s a fun track, but we certainly had some trouble along the way unfortunately. It was lessons learned for us. There’s nothing for us to be concerned about going into Sonoma this weekend. That’s just the nature of a track like World Wide where two corners are different with widths and shapes and the banking is different. It always makes for a very interesting race. Gateway is a great track and St. Louis area is a great, great market and I’m glad NASCAR has finally tapping into that market. I’ve really enjoyed racing there the last two years.

 “We certainly are in the mix almost every weekend now. The one thing that has just been holding us back is a little bit of inconsistency. We had a good stretch of that the last couple of weeks. I’d say we were not our best at Gateway in the race. The weather conditions being considerably cooler after what seemed like an hour and a half weather delay; it changed the track and took away from where our strengths were. But one thing I really love about this team and this year so far is on our good days we are battling for wins as expected, but on our bad days and at our worst, we’re a 15th

-place car. To be able to be competing at that high of a level on good days and bad days really speaks to the growth of 23XI Racing. I mean, they began just three years ago. The vision that everyone on the leadership side here has been excellent. I’ve heard it from many. It seems like every day someone new is joining the organization and bringing a new approach and new expertise to a new area that we need.

“It’s been really cool in the short amount of time that I have been here to see all of that growth already. This is the second year of a two-car team that has already had a third car appear at certain races. We had Travis Pastrana at Daytona, which was really exciting for us. Kamui Kobayashi is going to be joining us at the Indy road course. It’s just really cool to see how quickly things have been moving. Above all else, I think the approach has been to win races and to win stages. We just haven’t done an abundance of that this year. It’s hard to win on this level. We’ve done that, which is nice, and I think we have many races coming up where we will have very strong chances to contend for more and more points. It’s great to have that speed week-in and week-out. We are doing the right things and that speed is not going to disappear. It’s going to stay with us.”

Ninth in points with an averaging finishing position of 15.4 thus far during the 2023 NASCAR Cup season, Reddick is pleased to be a part of the race organization owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin.

“Having an owner like Denny and having a teammate like Bubba is just awesome,” he said. “We’ve very different, but that brings us closer together and that allows us to offer our race team two very distinct opinions. On top of that, having Kurt Busch still be a part of this team is awesome. Kurt continues to be a huge part of this team and I’m really glad that he has the passion that he does for racing and cares about racing the extent that he does, because he has really been a huge benefit and a huge asset to this team. And not just to me and Bubba, but everybody else on the team. His experiences and the things he has been through are amazing. You get those by living them, and he has, and it’s great to have his opinion and his perspective and his help as I’ve been going through this new journey with Toyota and this team.”