With Tyler Reddick’s return to Richard Childress Racing just recently confirmed for next season, Reddick announced a surprise move for 2024.
Reddick, who just earned his first career NASCAR Cup Series two weeks ago at Road America, unexpectedly joined a scheduled Toyota media conference call on Tuesday about 23XI Racing in which he was introduced as a new driver with the organization beginning with the 2024 season.
“This is a conversation that started a long time ago, just very casual,” said team co-owner Denny Hamlin. “Really, Tyler reaching out when we started the team and said, ‘Love what you’re doing. Looks like you guys are pushing the limits and doing these differently and it’s good to see.’
“After a while, I started asking him important questions about his future and then I asked permission from (Toyota) if I could pursue this individual and they wholeheartedly agreed that this was a good direction for us.”
Reddick, 26, he had spent a lot of time of late contemplating his long-term future in NASCAR and where he could find the best fit.
“I’m always thinking about what lies ahead, what the future looks like for me and so that’s just the way I’m wired,” he said. “You really have to think about a lot of things, short-term and long-term. It’s just part of the way I think.”
Reddick is left now to complete the 2022 Cup season driving the No. 8 Chevrolet of RCR and will be among the 16 drivers competing for the series championship.
But he will also drive for RCR in 2023 with both RCR and he knowing he will definitely leave that organization at the end of next season.
That awkwardness may be a reason for a not-so-complimentary tweet RCR sent out about Reddick’s decision during his announcement on Tuesday.
“For me, my biggest thing with RCR. I got my first opportunity in a Cup car with Richard (Childress) and it’s been great to grow with them,” Reddick, a two-time Xfinity Series champion said.
“For me, it was really important to finish what I started there, see it through to its end. They’ve given me so many opportunities and chances to win, opportunities to be a two be a two-time Xfinity champion, and open the door to get into Cup Series.
“I’m extremely grateful for that and will continue to be. That is why I wanted to see through what I agreed to do with RCR to the end.”
Hamlin said the specifics of Reddick’s home at 23XI Racing – such as sponsors, which car he will drive or if the organization will expand again – remain totally up in the air as of now.
“I watched him, I raced against him, I wanted him and I got him,” Hamlin said. “I didn’t know anything else that goes along with that.
“There are no hidden secrets here. We do not know what car. All we know is we wanted him. And we planted our feet deep in the ground to make sure Tyler had an opportunity with this race team and we made it happen.”