All in good time: Tyler Reddick focuses on advancing to the Round of 12

All in good time: Tyler Reddick focuses on advancing to the Round of 12
HHP/Tom Copeland

BRISTOL, Tenn.—Tyler Reddick is curious to find out what his future holds for 2023.

Nine days after winning his first Cup race behind the wheel of the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, Reddick announced he would drive for 23XI in 2024. Nine weeks after that, RCR announced Kyle Busch would be driving the No. 8 Chevy with Reddick’s current crew chief, Randall Burnett. 

Hours earlier last Tuesday, team owner Richard Childress informed Reddick of the changes coming for next year. 

“None of it surprised me, honestly,” Reddick said. “I'm going to be moving on in 2024 to a new group of people, new teams. So it's a unique challenge to be able to kind of go through that next year with a new group of people. I think, if anything, it'll probably help me when I move on to the next place. Kind of getting used to working with different people and going through that process.

“I'm not going to be there after 2023 and, you know, they've got to look after their best interests.” 

The 26-year-old racer is taking a pragmatic approach to the situation. Childress was ready to discuss options leading into this weekend’s events. However, both parties agreed there was a more pressing matter—transferring to the Round of 12 in the NASCAR Cup Playoffs. 

Reddick had a rocket ship last weekend at Kansas Speedway. He won the pole. He led 38 laps before his tire blew and he slammed into the Turn 2 wall. Suddenly, the potential of a solid points day evaporated. Reddick finished 35th and dropped from fifth in the standings to 11th. 

“This is a really big weekend for us,” Reddick said. “Kansas didn't really go as planned, obviously with the (tire) failure, so we had a lot of things to try and figure out for this race. Just with this car and really going off of the wheel force data that we have, it just seems like it's got a lot of grip and we're going to find out.

“So that's how this kind of playoffs have been.” 

Certainly, 2022 has been a breakout year for Reddick. He won two races—at Road America and the Indianapolis Grand Prix Course from the pole. In Reddick’s defense, he finished third in the Playoff opener at Darlington Raceway. He rolls off 17th in the Bass Pro Shops Night Race. In three previous starts at the half-mile bullring, his best result is fourth. As hectic as his life has become lately, driving the car might provide the driver with some solace.

“We've been able to stay really busy and keep the noise out and stay focused on the task at hand,” Reddick said. “I mean it's out of my hands. As I've said to everybody I've intended on finishing what I agreed to do at RCR and I want to see that through the end, whether it was with the 8 car or whatever car it will be. 

“Richard has told me he will share a lot of those details as he gets them…maybe after the race 'cause, he said he won't discuss that here at Bristol, but, you know, we both agree that it's most important for me to focus on this race and we'll talk about it after.” 

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