"A Lot is On the Line for Us" – Tyler Reddick’s Playoff Optimism… If He Can Get There

Tyler Reddick has a lot to be thankful for this NASCAR Cup Series season.  With two races remaining before the start of the playoffs, he sits 28 points above the cut-line.  Considering his #8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet team’s recent form on the track, he has a lot of reason for optimism.


“I think we’re running good enough to make it through the first round, and have a really good shot at fighting and making it through to round three.  Honestly, we’re right in that window,” Reddick told the media on Wednesday.  He pointed to the fact that they had dug themselves a bit of a hole at the start of the season, saying “We’ve had a really good turnaround from five or six races in, I think it was Atlanta, we were 32nd or 33rd in points, […] we’ve ran really really well I feel like for many months now in this season.”


However, Tyler Reddick’s playoff spot is far from guaranteed.  He’s currently in a battle with RCR teammate Austin Dillon (Reddick sits in the final 16th spot, while Dillon is 28 points back in 17th).  With NASCAR’s win-and-you’re-in playoff format, any other driver below them in the standings could win in the next two races and bump them both out of the hunt.  This season, that wouldn’t be unheard of, either.  There are five drivers whose point totals alone are less than Tyler Reddick’s, but have solidified their spot in the Round of 16 through a win of their own.


Reddick acknowledges that his lack of wins this year has put him in this predicament, saying “The one thing we needed to do to really take care of a lot of our problems was win a race.  We’ve had those opportunities, we just didn’t capitalize on them.” 


He also understands what the drivers beneath him in the standings are feeling, particularly ahead of next week’s wildcard of a race at Daytona, as he was faced with the same problem last year.  “We were 60 points behind the cutline at Daytona last year for that race,” he said.  “I think I played a big part in that excitement [at the] last Daytona cut-off race, making a block that was a little too late on a car that was going a little too fast, in Kyle Busch,” he added with a smirk.


As for the atmosphere amongst teammates, Reddick quickly downplayed any tension between him and #3 driver Austin Dillon.  “It’s just as good as its ever been.  Things have been really good there between us, we’re really on the same page.  […] as much as it would seem like the doors would shut at this point in the season with the 3 and 8 fighting for 16th and 17th, the doors have never been more open.  Lots of sharing going on.  We both know that if we want to do well in the playoffs, or make the playoffs, we need to keep pushing together along the way.”