(DuQUOIN Ill. - August 27, 2013) - It's not his hometown, but it probably feels like it for Tyler Reddick, who has filed an entry for this Monday's running of the 60th Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds.
Reddick, originally from Corning, California, has been a resident in DuQuoin, Illinois for the past five years.
"It feels like a hometown for me," Reddick said.
"I've been living in DuQuoin for about five years now. I have a buddy who had a relative who had some available property here in DuQuoin. It really made it easy for us to move in and get started. DuQuoin is really centrally located based on all the dirt late model racing we're doing across the country. We set up our race shop here, and it's actually worked out very well."
However, Reddick is on his way to a different race shop today. The 17-year-old ARCA rookie is headed to Mooresville, North Carolina to be fitted into the seat of the No. 22 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge for his DuQuoin debut. The trip will also give him the chance to meet his crew chief for the race - Chad Bryant.
"This just all came together at Cunningham. It just made sense. They're looking for a driver for this race, and we live here. I'm grateful for the opportunity to race for Cunningham Motorsports. I consider it a huge honor. Everything they do is first class, so naturally, we wanted to be part of that."
Reddick becomes the ninth different driver in the No 22 Cunningham Motorsports Dodge in 2013.
Reddick has made two previous ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards starts in 2012, with a career best finish of eighth at Salem Speedway. Reddick also won in his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut at Rockingham Speedway. He also made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Rockingham in April.
Reddick fills his racing calendar mostly with dirt late model racing, earning several top-five finishes this year across the United States.
"We definitely have some experience on dirt, and I know that Cunningham's record on dirt is really impressive, so we expect this to be a good fit. We're shooting for the win, but we also know it won't be easy by any stretch. There's going to be a lot of great cars and drivers there."
Dubbed "The California Kid", Reddick has been racing for 12 years, earning over 120 wins in a variety of machines. Some of his honors include being the second youngest winner in the K&N Series, the youngest driver to start and win the pole for the World 100 at Eldora Speedway, and the youngest winner of a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt feature. He also has 13 national go-kart titles.
Despite his extensive dirt track background, Reddick has never raced at DuQuoin.
"That's a good thing (never racing at DuQuoin). We never raced at Rockingham either and we won, so I see this as an opportunity to do the same thing at DuQuoin.
"We've been racing out here for several years now, and being from California, I haven't really had the chance to race in front of friends and family, so I'm really looking forward to this. For me, this is as hometown as it gets. Our shop is literally a mile from the track. My friends and family love going to the (DuQuoin State) fair, so this is going to be really cool racing at home. We'll have a lot of local support. It would be so cool to win it."
Dean Roper is the all-time winner of the Southern Illinois 100 with six wins in '81, '83, '83, '86, '87 and '94.
The past winners list of the Southern Illinois 100 includes some of the most widely-recognized names in American motorsports. Jay Frank won the inaugural Southern Illinois 100 in 1950. Just some of the winners who would follow include Marshall Teague, Indy 500 winners Jimmy Bryan and AJ Foyt, Fred Lorenzen, Don White, Norm Nelson, Jack Bowsher, NASCAR champions Rusty Wallace and Tony Stewart, Bob Keselowski, Billy Thomas, Ken Schrader, Parker Kligerman, and most recently, Chris Buescher in 2011.
Practice for the September 2 Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Car Care is scheduled from 9:00-10:00 a.m. with Menards Pole Award Qualifying presented by Ansell following at 11:15. The 60th annual Southern Illinois 100 starts at 1:30 p.m. All times are local.
The event will feature live timing and scoring for all on-track activity at ARCAracing.com, as well as live flag-to-flag audio coverage of the race.