Richard Childress Racing says the timing couldn’t be worse
Tyler Reddick recently won his first NASCAR Cup Series race. The win came on July 3 at Road America.
Now, Reddick has signed with 23XI Racing in a deal that begins in 2024 as confirmed by 23XI Racing President Steve Lauletta. Reddick will remain with Richard Childress Racing through the end of the 2023 season.
23XI Racing is owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin. The two opened the team in the 2021 season with Bubba Wallace. They recently expanded to a two-car operation for 2023, signing Kurt Busch.
23XI Racing owns two charters. They recently purchased 3.7 million in land for a possible shop expansion. However, plans for that property are on hold as they await announcement of the new NASCAR tv deal.
Denny Hamlin comments
Denny Hamlin is the driver of the No. 11 for Joe Gibbs Racing. He’s also the co-owner of the 23XI Racing.
“I watched him, I raced against him. I wanted him and I got him,” Hamlin said.
“And I didn’t know anything else that goes along with that. And honestly, there’s no hidden secrets here. We do not know who the sponsor will be. We do not know what car it is. All we know is we wanted him.
Hamlin added, “We made sure we planted our feet deep in the ground to make sure that Tyler had an opportunity with this race team and we made it happen.”
Hamlin recalled communication with Reddick back in 2021, before the team entered the sport.
“(He said), ‘I love what you’re doing. It looks like you guys are really pushing the limits and doing things a little differently. And it’s good to see,’” Hamlin recalled.
“From that point, you just start some conversations. And obviously, I’ve looked at his talents for a very long time. And after a while, I realized that I started asking those kind of important questions about his future.”
“Then I asked obviously, permission from (Toyota) that can I pursue this individual, and they wholeheartedly agreed that this is a good direction for us.”
Hamlin added, “Franchise drivers don’t come around that often. So if there’s ever one that you feel like you can grab, you go after it. And you do whatever it takes to make that happen. And then you work on the details later.”
23XI Racing currently has two charters. Will Kurt Busch stay in 2024? Or will the team expand to three cars?
“As long as Kurt wants to be a race car driver, we want to have him. So that’s pretty much the end of that,” Hamlin said.
“And then once he’s done driving, he’s going to have a nice cushy office job at 23XI. So he’s going to be part of our future well beyond his driving days.
“We constantly are in dialogue with him on what his plans are. But ultimately, you never know. Things could change, and Kurt could want to race until he’s 48 years old. If he does, then we’re going to build a car for him.”
Tyler Reddick comments
“I feel like it’s just the way my mind works. I’m always thinking about what lies ahead,” Reddick said.
“I just think it’s important to always be thinking about everything, short-term and long-term. So for me, just those gears never really stopped turning. You know, I’m always thinking about what, what is the smartest move with the lies ahead in the years to come.”
Reddick said more than 23XI Racing was interested in signing him for 2024.
“Just seeing where 23XI has started and where they’re going, it’s been very obvious to me that the ramp that they’re on and how they’re improving, it was very exciting for me. And I wanted to be a part of that,” Reddick said.
“Also … just talking to Denny and getting to watch and see the direction the team was going, where Toyota is and their commitment to the sport, to NASCAR, to this team, they’re all very exciting things, and I really wanted to be a part of it. And that heavily influenced my decision.”
Richard Childress Racing comments
“We’re proud of the success Tyler Reddick has found at Richard Childress Racing. We’re focused on winning a championship in 2022 and 2023, although timing of this announcement could not be any worse.”
RCR is a Chevrolet backed team.