23XI team co-owner Denny Hamlin wanted Tyler Reddick, and so he went and signed him to drive for 23XI beginning in 2024.
“I watched him, I raced against him, I wanted him and I got him,” Hamlin said Tuesday afternoon.
It is a multi-year deal for Reddick, who won his first NASCAR Cup Series race two weekends ago at Road America. However, details of how Reddick will fit into 23XI Racing are unclear. The organization currently fields two full-time cars for Kurt Busch and Bubba Wallace, which will not change for the ’23 season.
But unlike the last two years with a fast entry into the Cup Series with the No. 23 team and then expansion with the No. 45 team had a tight window, Hamlin, team president Steve Lauletta, and others at 23XI Racing have 18 months to prepare for 2024. Driver lineup, partners, and any possible expansion are all details now getting their focus.
“I didn’t know anything else that goes along with that,” Hamlin said of his plans past signing Reddick. “Honestly, there are 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 and we made sure we planted our feet deep in the ground to make sure Tyler had an opportunity with this race team, and we made it happen.”
Reddick will join 23XI Racing from Richard Childress Racing, with whom he moved into the Cup Series in 2020. He is a two-time Xfinity Series champion, winning one with JR Motorsports (2018) and one with Childress (2019). Childress picked up the option on Reddick’s contract for the 2023 Cup Series season.
But Reddick admitted he was always looking ahead and is wired to weigh his short and long-term future. Reddick doesn’t believe his move is a “total shock” to Childress based on how the two sides were navigating his ’23 option and looking ahead.
“It’s very exciting,” Reddick said. “Denny [Hamlin] and Steve [Lauletta], David [Wilson, Toyota] – getting to speak with them and getting to know everyone here, the amount they believe in what I do, and what I can bring to the table, is very exciting.
“The team is very young, but it’s been going in a very positive direction from day one. It’s been obvious. I’m just really excited to get it out there and it’s in front of everyone. 23XI can go to work, myself and RCR can go back to work and continue to be as competitive as possible. But also, I know the future is set in stone and what lays ahead.”
An post on the Childress team’s official Twitter account read:
— RCR (@RCRracing) July 12, 2022
A Chevrolet driver since 2017, Reddick will drive a Toyota beginning in 2024.
“From a Toyota perspective, I talk all the time about the challenge of week to week versus the focus on the horizon, and planning forward and being strategic,” TRD president David Wilson said. “This announcement today is all about that strategic perspective. So, we’re delighted to have Tyler in our future.
“One thing whether you know Tyler or you just watch him – how he holds himself, how he races, he is a good dude and he’s got the character that meshes well with us. We’re honored and flattered that he would consider being a part of our team. And this is a direct reflection on Michael [Jordan], Denny [Hamlin], Steve [Lauletta], the 23XI organization begin well ahead of schedule, and reflects our long-term commitment to their success.”