23XI Racing has just made a massive announcement that will shake up the Cup Series landscape. The team has revealed that Tyler Reddick will leave Richard Childress Racing and join the lineup for the 2024 season, which has prompted a strong statement from Richard Childress.
“We’re proud of the success Tyler Reddick has found at Richard Childress Racing,” the statement said. “We’re focused on winning a championship in 2022 and 2023, although timing of this announcement could not be any worse.”
The timing, which Childress mentioned, is in the middle of the regular season. There are seven races remaining before the postseason, which the organization will use to attempt to get Austin Dillon into the 16-driver field. Reddick, for comparison, will strive to add more playoff points to his total to give him a better chance at a deep run.
Reddick is currently in his third full-time season with Richard Childress Racing. He took over the No. 8 in 2020 after winning back-to-back Xfinity Series championships, and he kicked off a tenure that includes 33 top-10 finishes, 11 top-fives, and one win. He has one career postseason appearance, and he is about to make his second after winning at Road America.
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Reddick also became the first RCR driver to win the pole for a road course race since Dale Earnhardt at Watkins Glen International (1996). He posted the fastest speed at Circuit of the Americas in 2021 and started the road course race from the pole position.
Reddick Previously Announced Separate Plans
The announcement takes place at an interesting time for Reddick and Richard Childress Racing. The third-year Cup Series driver only recently confirmed that he would return to the No. 8 for a fourth season after the team picked up his option.
Reddick said ahead of the race at Road America that he had a secure spot with the team for 2023, but he also noted that anything beyond that was uncertain. He explained that he needed to make some moves in the present because they would affect what happens in the future.
Following this statement, Reddick went out and scored his first career Cup Series win at Road America. He went toe-to-toe with Chase Elliott, the best active driver at road courses, and he came out victorious.
Reddick jumped from below the playoff cutline into the 16-driver field, and he turned some heads in the process. This victory created conversations about whether another team would try to woo Reddick away from RCR, and 23XI Racing quickly provided that answer.
23XI Racing Explained the Timing
The 2022 season is only 19 races deep, and everyone is focusing on the Silly Season moves that will affect 2023. So why did 23XI Racing announce Reddick’s deal so early? The answer is very simple.
23XI Racing President Steve Lauletta explained that making this announcement more than a year ahead of Reddick joining the team is unprecedented, but he said that this move presents opportunities for potential partners to jump on board.
Hamlin provided further context during an appearance on SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. He told ‘Tradin’ Paint’ that “tearing off the bandaid” makes it possible for 23XI Racing to openly negotiate with potential partners. It also removes the possibility of unfortunate situations during the playoffs.
Hamlin said that he did not want this deal to get leaked on social media, which would force Reddick to answer questions every single week about his plans for the 2024 season. Now there are no concerns about this being a distraction. Reddick can answer some questions during the regular season before focusing on the playoffs.
“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.”
With Reddick signing his deal, he can focus on finishing out his time with RCR instead of fretting about the future. 23XI Racing sits in a similar situation in that it can focus on adding partners for 2024 and beyond instead of trying to examine its lineup.