Tyler Reddick has been mentioned as of late as a driver that could be on the move in the future. Reddick’s contract with Richard Childress Racing ran through the end of the 2023 season. Speculation began amounting to whether he would get a new deal done to extend his current contract with RCR or if he would listen to other offers elsewhere.
It’s a slippery soap. Reddick has always proven to have the speed and gets everything he can out of a race car. He ran 2 full time years for Brad Keselowski Racing in the Truck Series in 2015 and 2016. As a rookie, he finished 2nd in points with the highlight being a win in the season opener at Daytona. He was 9th in points a year later. Still, he moved up with JR Motorsports to replace the departing William Byron in the No. 9 Chevrolet for 2017. That year, he excelled. While taking over a car that won the title in 2016, Reddick won the opening race at Daytona just as he did in his rookie season in Trucks two years prior. He’d win the final race at Homestead and took home the title that year.
RCR was after him hard and decided to bring him over to the No. 2 Chevrolet for 2019. Reddick again won the title, his 2nd straight. With teams giving him Cup offers and Reddick knowing a 3rd year in Xfinity wasn’t wise, he pressured RCR to get him a Cup seat. If they couldn’t, he’d leave.
So, despite winning the Rookie of the Year, RCR cut ties with Daniel Hemric and brought Reddick into the No. 8 Chevrolet on the Cup side. He had a typical rookie Cup year with finishing 19th in the final standings. He had to do so in a pandemic too where there wasn’t any practice or testing allowed for the final 32 races. Last year, he made the playoffs despite not winning a race. The pace and speed were on par for a breakout in 2022.
He’s fulfilled that promise reaching victory lane in Road America and leading the most laps on a couple of instances prior too. He’s had 5 runner-up finishes and a win in 2 1/2 years in NASCAR’s premiere series.
That’s why he was at a crossroads. Does he negotiate with RCR, an organization that hasn’t proven to be a consistent winner on a weekly basis nor has won a championship since 1994, or does he look elsewhere. In a year to where parity is at it’s highest, he didn’t know what to do.
Now he does.
23XI Racing announced on Tuesday morning that they’ve signed Reddick for the 2024 season. It allows Reddick to run out his contract with RCR and then move over to what would likely make 2023 Kurt Busch’s last in the sport. That’s unless 23XI expands to a 3rd full time team and can secure a charter by then.
“Tyler is one of the most sought-after young drivers and has been competitive in everything he’s raced,” said Team Co-Owner, Denny Hamlin. “His work on the track speaks for itself and he will make a fantastic addition to our lineup in 2024. The team has seen a lot of growth since our first race and signing Tyler is a great next step for us to remain competitive for years to come.”
Still, it moves Reddick to a 3rd manufacturer in NASCAR as he was with Ford initially in the Truck Series, Chevrolet the last 6 years and now Toyota for 2024.
“I’m thrilled to have the chance to jointhis team and look forward to how I can contribute to the organization,” said Tyler Reddick. “23XI has accomplished a lot in the less than two full seasons they’ve been in the garage, and I can’t wait to be a part of that continued success. Until then, myfocus remains on my current team, winning races and being competitive.”
For RCR, it has to be a bit hurtful to hear this news. I think they expected him back.
“Well, I think it’s a pretty big deal for us, RCR, everybody at ECR, to finally get that win for Tyler,” Reddick’s crew chief Randall Burnett just said a few weeks ago after their win together. “He’s worked really hard, especially at these road course tracks, to do everything he can to make himself the best he can be on these places, and it showed today. He went toe-to-toe with Chase, which is arguably one of the best road course racers we’ve got, and came out on top. I think that shows how much work and effort he’s put into it, and just really happy we gave him a car that he could go out and run with him.”
Childress echoed that sentiment.
“It’s great to see Tyler Reddick in the winner’s circle,” he said. “It wasn’t a matter of if he was going to do it, it was when they were going to win. That’s what we kept telling them. Had a couple of meetings, all of us, and talked about what it’s going to take to get us in the winner’s circle, and that’s not beat yourself and be solid, and that’s what these guys did today, and they did that.
When you beat Chase Elliott, you beat one of the best, and Hendrick’s guys, hats off to them.
“I’ve watched Tyler since he was running the trucks. He struggled a little bit there, but he was always driving the trucks to their limit. Then when he got in the Xfinity at JR Motorsports, he was the same. He drove — he’s got so much talent, he just pushes that limit every week, and I knew between Randall and myself and talking with him, and I told him this morning, you’re going to win this race, we just can’t beat ourselves; be solid. I think I told y’all that on the radio when the race started.
“I was just proud of what these guys have done and accomplished, and it’s been a huge team effort, and to have our engines today out there running like they were, the HCD engines that Hendrick and I are working together to develop, it made me feel really good.”
Now, they can’t be feeling too good to be losing a driver of Reddick’s caliber.
So why make the announcement for early then?
“Announcing a driver over a year before he will be racing with 23XI is a little unprecedented, but Tyler was the driver we wanted and we did not want to miss the opportunity to bring him to our team,” said 23XI Team President, Steve Lauletta. “In making the announcement now the team has ample time to prepare for 2024 on the business side as we expect interest from potential partners and continue to see strong engagement from our current partners.”