NASCAR: Kurt Busch admission hints Tyler Reddick landing spot

Tyler Reddick, Richard Childress Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Tyler Reddick, Richard Childress Racing, NASCAR (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /

Kurt Busch’s admission about his future in the NASCAR Cup Series may provide a clue on which car Tyler Reddick will drive in 2024.

After earning his first career NASCAR Cup Series victory for Richard Childress Racing at the beginning of July at Road America, Tyler Reddick announced that he had signed with 23XI Racing and Toyota for the 2024 season.

The news came as a big surprise to Richard Childress Racing, which announced just days before Reddick earned his first win that they had picked up the option in his contract to keep him behind the wheel of the #8 Chevrolet in 2023.

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What hasn’t been announced, however, is which car Reddick will drive in the 2024 season.

Bubba Wallace, who joined 23XI Racing ahead of their first season last year, is under contract to drive the #23 Toyota through next year, and Kurt Busch, who joined the team after they expanded to two cars for this year, is under contract to drive the #45 Toyota through next year as well.

So will Reddick drive a third car in 2024, or will he replace Wallace or Busch?

While some have speculated that Wallace could be out, considering the fact that 23XI Racing have made clear that they want Busch to compete for them for as long as he wants to drive, there has long been speculation that Busch has already signed his final contract.

The 2004 series champion is in his 23rd season in the Cup Series and 22nd as a full-time driver. The 2022 season is his first season with Toyota, making him just the second driver to compete for Dodge, Ford, Chevrolet, and Toyota.

Busch, who now has 34 career Cup Series victories, made the 2022 season his ninth consecutive winning season, and presumably his 10th straight season with a playoff berth, by winning the race at Kansas Speedway in mid-May. There is no doubt that he is still performing at a high level.

But the 43-year-old Las Vegas, Nevada native appeared on “CBS Mornings” on Thursday to discuss NASCAR’s addition of the first ever street course race in Chicago, Illinois, and he admitted that he could very well decide to call it a career after next season.

Here is what Busch had to say about the matter.

"“I’ve been in this sport 23 years, and this, to me, is like one of those kid-in-the-candy store moments of, ‘I wanna be a part of this.’ And I’m glad I’m having the chance to drive next year for the team, and I might be done driving after that.”"

Busch has hinted at retirement before, only to decide against it, but with him expected to stay with 23XI Racing in some capacity even after he retires from driving, it seems as though things could be a bit different this time around. After all, there is still a season and a half to go until next year ends; it’s not like he’d be hanging up his helmet next week.

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So is it inevitable that Tyler Reddick will drive the #45 Toyota in 2024? That would seem like the logical decision if Kurt Busch does indeed step away, even though Busch retiring doesn’t necessarily mean that Bubba Wallace will stay in 2024. Based on Busch’s statement, that car is probably the most likely landing spot for the 26-year-old Corning, California native.