GREENSBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — Emerging into the NASCAR Cup Series, rookie racers are bracing for battle.
In 2019, Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer and Christopher Bell combined to win 21 out of the 33 Xfinity races.
These racers could make for a fierce fight for the Cup Rookie of the Year, especially if last season’s post-race sparring match between Reddick and Custer is any indication.
Now, they’re in the big leagues, and they know it.
“The amount of room for error shrinks incredibly,” Reddick said. “You have to be a lot more calculated for your race. You can’t make the mistakes that you can in the Xfinity series and still go back to victory lane.”
The amount of room for error shrinks incredibly. You have to be a lot more calculated for your race. You can’t make the mistakes that you can in the Xfinity Series and still go back to victory lane.”Tyler Reddick
As they lay out their plan of attack, these guys know the veteran drivers won’t go easy on them.
“I think when you look at racing in general, it’s a real experience-driven sport,” Custer said. “When you have guys that have been racing for 20 years in the same series and you try to step in, it’s a pretty big jump, but you try to catch on as fast as you can. Sometimes the cards all play out, and you are able to make a big splash.”
Reddick says the seasoned drivers won’t be doling out any more lumps to the series newcomers as they will to the rest of the competition.
“I don’t feel like the cup drivers pick on the rookies anymore,” he said. “They’re not around them as much.”
But they can’t be sure until they get behind the wheel.
“You might have some guys out there that are going to test you a little bit and see what you’re made of, but, at the same time, you just go out there and do your deal. You got to start out consistent and make sure you’re not tearing up cars as a rookie,” Custer said.
Reddick is looking to keep his winning streak going after winning the Xfinity Series championship in 2018 and 2019.
He’ll be driving the #8 car for RCR Racing. Custer has the #41 with Stewart-Haas Racing, and Bell’s got #95 for Leavine Family Racing.