NASCAR Cup Series
Hendrick to Smooth Over Any Kyle Larson, Chase Elliott Tensions
Feb 28, 2022
Tyler Reddick earned two stage wins and led the most laps during the WISE Power 400 on Sunday at Auto Club Speedway, but it wasn’t a particularly comfortable ride.
He was leading under caution 36 laps into the race when he first reported an escalating issue within the cockpit. His left leg kept falling asleep -- as in the loss of sensation when continued pressure on a limb creates what is known as medically known as temporary transient paresthesia.
No matter what Reddick did inside the car, or whatever remedies his Richard Childress Racing team suggested, the two-time Xfinity Series champion couldn’t get his leg to wake up. This was problematic because the loss of sensation meant that Reddick couldn’t really feel the brake pedal on a new car that has a very sensitive braking platform.
At one point, Reddick told his team that he might have bulked up too much from last season, a result of a thorough workout regimen that transformed his body over the winter but left him snug in his racing seat. His team offered everything from pickle juice, caffeine pills or a cloth to stuff under his leg during green flag runs.
Ultimately, Reddick suffered a flat left rear tire on Lap 151 that left him exposed to being hit by second place running William Byron and out of contention. Reddick was able to drive down pit road for repairs but finished 24th and one lap down.
Reddick was able to loosen his seat belts and adjust his body, but he is going to need a long-term solution before next week at Las Vegas.
"It's a terrible feeling," Reddick said. "It's like my leg fell asleep right where my glute is or whatever at the bottom of the seat. I can't use the brakes because I don't know how hard to push or nothing. These cars are touchy on the brakes too."
It never really went away through 400 miles either.
"I loosened the belts up some and it still was happening," Reddick said. "It's kind of a head scratcher. I got to find out why. I don't know."
Everyone kind of knows what the sensation is like, though.
"It's like, if you ever sit on your leg or sit on your leg with it crossed or whatever, whenever you stand up and it's asleep, that's what it's like," Reddick said."
Was he worried?
"I mean, I was going to get worried if I touched the brakes and it crashed or something," Reddick added. "But oh well, it is what it is."
More than anything else, Reddick was just 'gutted' by how his race unfolded. He led the most laps one week after suffering a flat while running up front in the Daytona 500. Reddick also broke a transaxle while leading the Clash at the Los Angeles Coliseum earlier in the month too.
Reddick is 21st in the standings through two points races but has been a contender every time they unload.
"I couldn’t be prouder of this whole team and what we were able to do a majority of this race today," Reddick said. "We will learn from this; we will become stronger from this and be hungrier than ever before. It was really fun having all of the Lenovo guests here today and it was really exciting to have such a strong run for them today. We will keep this momentum going to Las Vegas next week."
h/t FOX Sports' Bob Pockrass