Nobody asked for it, but join me, as I break down Tyler Reddick moving to 23XI Racing in 2024.
23XI Racing announced, Tuesday, that Reddick will join the organization in the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season. Likely to be a three or four-year deal, which is the norm in NASCAR.
“Tyler is one of the most sought-after young drivers and has been competitive in everything he’s raced,” team co-owner, Denny Hamlin, said. “His work on the track speaks for itself and he will make a fantastic addition to our lineup in 2024.”
That work includes two XFINITY Series championships, 10 wins in the series, three in the Camping World Truck Series and one in the Cup Series.
The move comes after 23XI expanded to two cars for the 2022 season. Though a move over a year in advance is unprecedented. Team president, Steve Lauletta, however, said that Reddick “was the driver we wanted” and that it “did not want to miss the opportunity to bring him to our team.”
“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.”
Reddick released a statement, saying he’s “thrilled to have the chance to join” and that he looks “forward to how I can contribute to the organization.”
Richard Childress Racing tweeted the following.
— RCR (@RCRracing) July 12, 2022
Reddick also noted that until then, his focus remains on winning races and “being competitive” with RCR.
On a scale of 1-10, this is a 10.
As previously mentioned, a move this far out is (largely) unprecedented. Usually, such moves go into effect the following season.
The only time that comes to mind where news broke of a driver jumping ship this far out is Kasey Kahne joining Hendrick Motorsports in 2012, made in April of 2010.
In that case, however, Kahne needed a ride for the 2011 season. Whereas with Reddick, he’s staying put with RCR through 2023 (barring any future developments).
At press time, 23XI Racing hasn’t announced whether or not it intends to purchase a third charter. This leaves three possibilities:
- 23XI purchases a third charter and Reddick joins Kurt Busch and Bubba Wallace in the lineup. Now if I were a betting man, that’s what I gamble on happening. Of course, with a new TV contract coming in the near future, we don’t know if the share of the pie charter teams gets makes that viable.
- Busch retires in 2023, and Reddick takes over the No. 45 Toyota. At 43 years of age, Busch is probably on the back-end of his 22-year career. So if a charter purchase doesn’t happen, this is the next likely avenue.
- Wallace’s days with 23XI are numbered. Yes, he delivered the team its first Cup Series victory, last season, at Talladega. Yes, his pit crew cost him multiple chances at a great finish, if not a win, this season. With all of that said, however, Wallace underperformed in 2021 and 2022. For as many times as his team coughed up, he’s failed to deliver just as many times, if not more.
Furthermore, how does Reddick’s remaining tenure with Richard Childress Racing play out? As the aforementioned tweet notes, “the timing of this announcement could not be any worse.” How this affects Reddick’s relationship with Richard Childress, his teammate, Austin Dillon, or even his own team, only time will tell.
The answers to these questions will come, eventually. For now, however, we’ll see how everything pans out.
TOP IMAGE: Sean Gardner/Getty Images