It has been reported by Richard Childress Racing that Tyler Reddick has been bought out of his Richard Childress Racing (RCR) contract by 23XI Racing, allowing him to compete for the team in 2023. In July, it was reported that top NASCAR driver Tyler Reddick was leaving RCR to head for Michael Jordan – owned 23XI Racing in 2024. The move caught owner Richard Childress and the team off guard, as in NASCAR it is unusual for a driver to have a contract done a full year before leaving their current team. The last time this situation occurred was in 2014, coincidently with Kevin Harvick parting ways with RCR to head for Stewart-Haas Racing.
Richard Childress has made it publicly clear that he was not happy with Reddick’s antics or the fact that he was leaving in 2024. In the past month, RCR has signed two-time Cup champion Kyle Busch to drive the #8 Chevy. When the announcement was made, it was overshadowed by the question of what the team would do with Reddick. At the time, Childress stated that the team would field a third car for Reddick alongside Busch and Austin Dillion.
The news was made public after Kurt Busch announced that he would not be returning to 23XI in 2023. Reddick will be taking the place of Kurt Busch, who has been out of competition since July due to a concussion sustained at Pocono. In his press conference, Busch stated, “I know I am not 100% in my ability to go out and race at the top level in the NASCAR Cup Series.” The 2022 season has marked a decline in the safety of race cars in NASCAR. Drivers have become increasingly worried about the safety of the “next-gen” model after several drivers sustained concussions from rear-end collisions, apparently due to the design of the rear of the car.
Reddick will join Bubba Wallace to complete the 23XI stable for 2023. This leaves Kyle Busch and Austin Dillon at RCR. At this time, it is unclear if RCR will seek to expand to a three-car program or if the idea of a third car was merely a tactic in negotiations.
This is an outcome that many industry members believed was inevitable with Kurt Busch’s concussion and Kyle Busch joining RCR. This resolution will allow both programs to focus on the future without the looming distraction that would have been present if Reddick had stayed at RCR in 2023.
Jack Bradley is currently a Law school student at Duquesne University School of Law and an alum of Georgetown University (MPS) and Penn State University (BA). Jack is also the Co-founder and President of Poppy Packs, a 501c3 charity, and former Head of Marketing and Communications within NASCAR.