Tyler Reddick is leaving Richard Childress Racing after the 2023 season.
23XI Racing announced Tuesday that Reddick would join the team in 2024. 23XI is co-owned by Michael Jordan and Denny Hamlin and currently fields cars for Bubba Wallace and Kurt Busch.
The team was formed ahead of the 2021 season and ran as a one-car team a season ago. It added a second car for Busch in 2022 and didn’t specify in its statement if it would be expanding to three cars in 2024.
Reddick’s contract with RCR had an out after the 2022 season and included an option for 2023. In March, team owner Richard Childress said that Reddick was "under contract" with the team for next season. Reddick got the first Cup Series win of his career July 3 at Road America when he beat Chase Elliott to the finish line.
A two-time Xfinity Series champion, Reddick, 26, has established himself as one of the better young drivers in the Cup Series since RCR elevated him to the Cup Series full-time in 2020. He has 11 top-five and 33 top-10 finishes in 93 starts and made the playoffs for the first time in 2021.
Reddick is in line to make the playoffs again in 2022 thanks to that victory and currently sits 14th in the points standings with five top fives and seven top 10s in 19 races this season.
In its statement acknowledging Reddick's departure, RCR curiously said that the timing of the announcement "could not be any worse."
The announcement that Reddick is heading to Toyota and 23XI in 2024 is reminiscent of the announcement that Kasey Kahne would join Hendrick Motorsports in 2012. Kahne’s move to Hendrick was announced in the summer of 2010 and he ended up spending the 2011 season with Red Bull Racing before Hendrick Motorsports had an open seat for him.
The timing also means Richard Childress Racing has plenty of time to find Reddick’s replacement. The team doesn’t have an obvious in-house candidate to take over the No. 8 car at the moment, though that could change over the course of the next 18 months.
Wallace got 23XI its first win in the fall of 2021 at Talladega and Busch won earlier this season at Kansas. Busch is currently 16th in the points standings with the same number of top fives and top 10s as Reddick, while Wallace is 24th in the standings thanks to myriad pit crew issues over the course of the season.
If the team doesn’t expand to a third team in 2024 when Reddick arrives, it reasons that Busch, 43, could be departing the team after two seasons. The 2004 Cup Series champion will be 45 at the end of the 2023 season.