NASCAR Camping World Truck Series star Tyler Reddick is a native of California but he lived and competed in the Du Quoin, Illinois, area for six years before moving to North Carolina to pursue a career in NASCAR racing. The 20-year-old veteran, who raced in the World of Outlaws dirt track series when he was only 12, has competed in the 2014 and 2015 Drivin’ For Linemen 200 at Gateway Motorsports Park and is looking forward to landing in Domino’s Victory Lane immediately after the checkered flag falls on the 2016 edition.
“Gateway means a lot to me and my family,” said Reddick, driver of the Brad Keselowski Racing No 29 Cooper Standard Ford. “I have a lot of friends who are coming to that race, so I definitely want to run well. I spent a lot of time growing up in Du Quoin and I know that area better than I know where I live now in Charlotte. There are a lot of good, hard-core race fans in that area that love all forms of racing.”
Last year, Reddick started sixth in the Drivin’ For Linemen 200 and finish eighth. He has completed all 320 laps in both GMP starts and has led at last one lap in each race.
“We were really close to winning it last year, but came up a little short,” Reddick explained. “I’m going the extra mile to make sure that we have a good race and put ourselves in a position to win like we did last time. Turns 3 and 4 are most important to me because it’s coming to the checkered flag and it’s a long sweeping corner. In Turns 1 and 2 you drive in straight, brake, turn and then get back to the gas as soon as you can. It’s definitely a tough track and you have to be on top of your game to be able to run good there.”
“Gateway is definitely a compromise race track because it’s so different at both ends,” said Reddick’s crew chief, Doug Randolph. “It’s really important to get off the corner there, because if you struggle on corner exit and the driver can’t use the gas, you’re at a disadvantage on those long straightaways. The key to a good race is to have a fast Cooper Standard Ford F-150 and keep track position. If you get trapped in the back of the pack, it’s really hard to race up through traffic. You must be fast enough to maintain track position, but then you have to figure out a way to stay up front.”
Young Reddick’s career bio is impressive. Before graduating to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, he won more than 120 feature races, earned 13 track championships and scored three national series titles. He won the prestigious UMP Summernationals for Dirt Late Models at Highland, Illinois, in 2014 and has two NASCAR Camping World Truck Series victories under his belt.
To put it into perspective, he was beating veteran adult racers before he was legally old enough to operate a motor vehicle in his home state and winning major NASCAR events while still too young to sip a celebratory post-race beer. At this rate, he could become the next big thing on the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series scene long before your subscription to Netflix expires.
Tickets are on sale for the Drivin’ For Linemen 200, which is joined this year by the USAC Silver Crown Series and ARCA Midwest Tour. Spectator gates will open at 8 a.m.
Friday, June 24
5-6 p.m. — NASCAR garages open to the public.
6-10 p.m. — Party at the ‘Plex at the Gateway Kartplex (kart racing, music, entertainment). NASCAR drivers have been invited to participate.
Saturday, June 25
8 a.m. — Spectator gates open.
8:30-9:25 a.m. — First NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice.
9:30-10:20 a.m. — First USAC practice.
10:30-11:55 a.m. — Final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series practice.
12:30 p.m. — USAC qualifying.
1 p.m. — ARCA Midwest Tour practice.
1:45-2:30 p.m. — NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver autograph session (infield area).
2:15 p.m. — ARCA Midwest Tour qualifying.
3 p.m. — USAC driver introductions.
3:30 p.m. — Vatterott College Silver Crown Showdown (USAC Silver Crown Series, 60 laps, 75 miles).
4:45 p.m. — NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivin’ For Linemen 200 qualifying (multi-vehicle, three rounds).
6 p.m. — Illinois Lottery Presents ARCA Midwest 50 (40 laps, 50 miles, timed event).
7 p.m. — NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver introductions.
7:30 p.m. — NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Drivin’ For Linemen 200 (160 laps, 200 miles).
Schedule is subject to change.