NASCAR: Key detail left out of Tyler Reddick announcement

Tyler Reddick, Richard Childress Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
Tyler Reddick, Richard Childress Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /

In a relatively shocking move, it was announced that Tyler Reddick is set to join 23XI Racing for the 2024 NASCAR Cup Series season. But one thing was left out of that announcement.

Richard Childress Racing recently announced that they had exercised an option in Tyler Reddick’s contract to keep him behind the wheel of the #8 Chevrolet for the 2023 NASCAR Cup Series season.

But what they did not do was extend his contract, and that led Reddick to make the shocking move to sign with 23XI Racing for the 2024 season, a move that caught Richard Childress’s team off guard.

It was a brilliant signing for 23XI Racing, which effectively avoided participating in the Reddick sweepstakes that looked inevitable for next year’s silly season.

Now they have him under contract through at least the 2025 season, as his deal with the team is reportedly a “multi-year deal”.

But there was one thing notably missing from 23XI Racing’s announcement, and that is which car Reddick is set to drive in 2024.

And there is still no clear answer here.

23XI Racing have confirmed that both Bubba Wallace, who has driven the #23 Toyota since the team entered the Cup Series last year, and Kurt Busch, who joined the team in 2022 when they added a second car, the #45 Toyota, are both under contract for the 2023 season.

However, it wasn’t confirmed whether either one of them has a deal in place for 2024.

The #45 Toyota is certainly an option for Reddick, as Busch is currently in his 22nd full season of Cup Series competition. Many believe that the 2004 series champion has signed his final Cup Series contract. But given the fact that he is still performing at a high level, it’s not hard to imagine him returning in 2024.

As for the #23 Toyota, Wallace himself hasn’t been super productive since joining the team, but he has also justifiably grown frustrated with his pit crew on multiple occasions.

Was it any coincidence that Wallace got a new pit crew just days before the Reddick announcement was made? He certainly has the sponsors to look for a ride elsewhere, and there are sure to be plenty of rides open post-2023.

And then there is the idea of Reddick driving a third car for the team, in which case they would likely pursue a third charter.

However, team co-owner Denny Hamlin recently stated that he was going to pause 23XI Racing’s growth until NASCAR’s business model changes, putting all further investments on hold.

What has changed? What will change before 2024?

Bottom line, the Reddick to 23XI Racing subject isn’t exactly closed, though with him having signed for 2024 as opposed to 2023, the team do appear to have some time to figure things out.

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Of course, if Richard Childress Racing and Reddick cut ties after the 2022 season, a possibility that has been floated given the team’s reaction to the news, then things have the potential to get even more interesting.