NASCAR: The case for — and against — all 16 playoff drivers

NASCAR Cup Series Championship Trophy - Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
NASCAR Cup Series Championship Trophy - Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing, NASCAR
Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing, NASCAR (Photo Credit: Austin American-Statesman) /

NASCAR playoff contenders: No. 12 – Tyler Reddick

The 2023 season is Tyler Reddick’s first year with 23XI Racing. Entering the season, many viewed him as a championship contender who could win on any given week. While the winning speed has been there often, Reddick has only picked up one win in 2023, that being a dominant victory at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) in March.

The case for Tyler Reddick

As mentioned, Reddick has had race-winning speed on a regular basis, and he is deserving of way more than one win this year. That win at COTA showed just what the No. 45 team is capable of doing on a weekly basis, and if they put together a day like they did at COTA, they will be extremely difficult to beat.

Additionally, Reddick’s race-winning speed has been seen at pretty much every type of track, from intermediate tracks to road courses and beyond.

The case against Tyler Reddick

While speed has not been an issue for the No. 45 team, a lack of execution in crunch time, especially on pit road, has been the team’s downfall and the main culprit behind Reddick only having one win entering the playoffs.

In some races this year, most notably at Michigan International Speedway, Reddick had race-winning speed and looked set to earn the victory, but issues in the pits ended up not only costing him a win, but even just a good finish.

While having winning speed on a regular basis is a massive plus, a lack of execution on pit road can erase many of the benefits of having fast cars. It’s do or die time for the Reddick and the No. 45 team, and should they wish to race for a championship at Phoenix Raceway in November, they’ll need to regroup and eliminate their pit road gaffes quickly.