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Why Tyler Reddick Says Veteran NASCAR Drivers Had To ‘Start From Scratch’ This Season

NASCAR drivers had a new challenge to compete with in 2022 with the introduction of the Next Gen car, which aimed to level the playing field and lower costs for racing teams

By Jill Sederstrom
Next on Race for the Championship: Episode 2

The introduction of NASCAR’s Next Gen car has meant “a lot” of change for even the most experienced drivers this year.

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Catch up on past episodes of Race For The Championship on Peacock

“It’s definitely changed a lot of things for all of us,” Tyler Reddick told USA Insider digital correspondent Stephanie Gomulka last week. “You’ve really seen a lot of veterans in the sport really have to start from scratch.”

The reason, Reddick said, is that the new Next Gen car introduced at the start of the 2022 season has ushered in significant changes which “really shook things up” on the track.

The previous generation, known as the Gen 6, was used by NASCAR drivers from 2013 to 2021, meaning many veteran drivers were already well-versed in what it took to succeed with the racing model.

Tyler Reddick smiling

This year, NASCAR ushered in an all-new platform, created to make the race cars look closer to the production cars they are modeled after, reduce operating costs, and level the playing field, according to Car and Driver.

“It really threw a lot of these competitors for a curveball and they’ve had to figure it out on the fly,” Reddick said. “It really jumbled things up in the beginning of this year, but seeing the drivers start to—the really good drivers—start to get back to the top of the leaderboards, it’s starting to get a little bit more normal.”

Reddick said he has “really enjoyed” the challenge that came along with the shift.

Reddick is one of multiple NASCAR drivers who are featured in USA Network’s “Race for the Championship,” a reality show that follows NASCAR drivers and their families both on and off the track as they navigate the 2022 Cup season and playoffs.

He told USA Insider at the premiere of the 10-episode series last week that he hopes the show will give viewers an “inside look” into a driver’s life as they prepare for an upcoming race.

“You’ll see some things that you don’t normally get to see,” he said.

The series also features past NASCAR champions including Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott, Kyle Busch, Joey Logano and Brad Keselowski, along with other drivers eager to make their mark in the racing industry.

Can't get enough NASCAR action? Watch “Race For The Championship,” which follows the lives of NASCAR's biggest stars on and off the track, Thursdays at 10/9c on USA Network. And catch up on all race action on Peacock.