The NASCAR Cup Series field got some time to practice the new package at COTA Friday night and Tyler Reddick led all drivers. That isn’t all, 23XI Racing impressed as a whole with Bubba Wallace coming in as the eighth fastest.
Now, this is just practice. But it shows that there is some speed in those Toyota Camrys. Let’s not forget that Tyler Reddick is one of the best road-course racers in the sport right now. With a little bit of speed under him, he could run away with the EchoPark Automotive Grand Prix.
Meanwhile, Bubba Wallace was almost higher up than his eighth-place posting, until some other drivers laid down some quick laps. Still, Wallace is showing speed that he hasn’t always had at these courses.
Could we see two top-10 finishes from 23XI Racing on Sunday?
For 23XI Racing this is a great improvement over where they were this time last season. We know that Reddick is a good road course driver. He won two of the road course races last season and is now the fastest in practice at COTA. However, this is a big race for Bubba Wallace and the No. 23 car.
Getting a full race from his team will be key. And how will they deal with the new rules? There are a lot of questions ahead for Wallace and Reddick.
How Will New Rules Affect Bubba Wallace, Tyler Reddick?
This Sunday the road course rules are going to be different. Drivers are going to be in this new short-track/road course package on the cars. It’s going to be challenging. Bubba Wallace and Tyler Reddick seem to have a good hang of things, but we’ll see how that applies to the race.
It is also important to remember that there will be no stage breaks. Stage points will be awarded however, there will be no cautions between stages. This is going to really open things up. Goodyear is also using a compound on the tires that should lead to more falloff and wider lap differentials.
If we can get more passing and more strategy into road course races, then do it! NASCAR is not afraid to mess with rules and packages. If they think the product is going to improve, then they are going to do what they can to improve it.
In the early going, before any real changes are made by teams, we are seeing 23XI Racing hot out of the gate. Reddick is on top of the list while Bubba Wallace isn’t far behind. we will see where they end up during qualifying tomorrow.
The first road course race of the season is upon us.