Count Tyler Reddick among those with interest in the Indianapolis 500.
NASCAR drivers expressing interest in “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” is nothing new, some such as reigning Cup champion Kyle Larson expressing intrigue. Kurt Busch competed in the event with Andretti Autosport in 2014, finishing sixth and claiming rookie honors. This year, seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson begins his maiden attempt at the Indy 500 with Chip Ganassi Racing.
For Reddick, the 26-year-old California native is currently preparing to take the wheel of the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet for this weekend’s NASCAR Cup Series All-Star Race at Texas Motor Speedway. However, he was asked during a media availability on Friday about his interest level as he hails from the same state that has produced many towards an open-wheel path, including eight victories in the Indy 500.
“I don’t say wonder what could have been, I wonder what it could still be,” said Reddick, a veteran of 87 starts in the Cup Series. “I’m young. I never really went that path. You know, I grew up racing a lot of dirt, dirt racing in open-wheel cars, but the Indy 500 is always a really exciting time; it being around the same time as the (Coca-Cola) 600 is. Just how excited that whole city of Indy is and how big of an event it is for open-wheel racing is, it’s always been really cool for me to follow. I’ve always followed it from the outside looking in, but just really have a huge amount of respect and admiration for the high level commitment that those drivers have every single lap, how physical those cars are to drive, the mental barriers they pretty much have to break past and just push through to wheel those cars that are, you know, no power steering, very physical, a lot of wear and tear on the driver.
“I had a lot of respect for them, still do. And yeah, you know, I’m racing asphalt and racing NASCAR right now but I love racing of all kinds and I would love to hopefully find myself in the seat of something like that if the opportunity ever presented itself. I definitely wouldn’t want to do it if I’m not competitive. I know myself, if I’m going to go do it, I’d want to put a lot of work into it. So, it’d be hard to do racing in the Cup Series.