"It's always awkward" - NASCAR drivers react to Tyler Reddick's 2024 contract with 23XI Racing

Tyler Reddick celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Kwik Trip 250 at Road America
Tyler Reddick celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Cup Series Kwik Trip 250 at Road America

Tyler Reddick has been the talk of the town for the past few days, with the young driver recently taking his first career win at Road America. After claiming his first career win, the two-time Xfinity champion surprised everyone with his unexpected move to sign a new deal with 23XI Racing.

#NASCAR ... 23XI Racing's signing of Tyler Reddick to a contract that begins 2024 proves brilliant because of all the suitors that might have been vying for him next year.…

With the new contract, Reddick is set to join 23XI in 2024, but the car he’ll be driving is still unclear at the moment. His recent move has sparked mixed reactions from different NASCAR drivers. Richard Childress’s grandson and Reddick's teammate Austin Dillon was among the drivers who gave their thoughts on the driver's move.

According to Dillon, Reddick is a good dude, and working without him will be awkward. In a media interaction, Dillon said:

“If you’ve worked with Tyler Reddick at all, it’s always awkward. So it’s nothing new. Tyler is a good dude, me and him have a good relationship. He’s just different.”

Things might seem a little awkward, considering he’ll be staying with RCR for another one-and-a-half seasons. It is, however, business as usual for him, and with one win which guarantees him a direct ticket to the playoffs, his main target is the championships.

Meanwhile, RCR announced they were proud of Tyler Reddick’s success since joining them. Following their announcement, the team is focused on securing a championship in 2022 and 2023. Reddick is the only shot RCR has had at winning the championship since he was the only one locked up for the 2022 playoffs.

Kevin Harvick was in Reddick's shoes in 2012 with RCR and shared his thoughts based on his experience. According to him, the situation might be more awkward, but as a driver, you probably have to work harder since your reputation is important. Harvick said:

“It’s probably more awkward in the beginning than it really is once you get racing. Right now, the hard part is answering all the questions and getting through that side of things.”

RCR had already selected a car for Tyler Reddick’s 2023 season, but no deal was drafted. According to the team, they were on the hunt for a multi-year sponsor for the #8. Following the tough decision, many wondered if RCR could sideline Reddick in 2023.

While it is possible, it will be a loss that the team won’t be ready to take. Reddick is one of the best drivers at RCR; getting a driver of his stature isn’t easy. At the moment, NASCAR’s pay plan for the next three seasons is determined by the team’s final standings to finish, and RCR is trying to get as high as it can, and they need him for that.

While Reddick is in an awkward situation with an early deal, Kyle Busch, on the other hand, is still struggling to get a sponsor for the 2023 season. At the moment, Busch hasn’t signed a contract with Joe Gibbs since they are trying to get a sponsor for #18 after M&M withdrew its deal post-2022.

Despite the back and forth concerning his future, Busch has stated that he’s still behind the wheel of #18 until the team announces another driver. Busch said.

“It doesn’t matter how soon or how late it gets done — until there’s an announcement that somebody else is driving the 18 car, I feel like I still have a seat.”

He recently confirmed that he’s in talk with other teams.

Kurt Busch insists the signing of Tyler Reddick has not affected his timeline

While joining 23XI in the fall of 2021, Kurt Busch signed a two-year deal that will lapse at the end of the 2023 season. With Tyler Reddick arriving at the team’s headquarters in 2024, it has left many wondering if Busch will be heading for retirement after the 2023 season.

Busch has not yet confirmed reports of his future, but he has insisted the signing of Reddick has not affected his timeline. According to him, it is a matter of what is the right option.

Kurt Busch says that 23XI Racing signing Tyler Reddick starting in 2024 doesn’t change his timeline on a decision whether to retire following the 2023 season.

After Denny Hamlin signed Tyler Reddick, he stated that they were still conversing with Kurt Busch about his future, and they have a seat for him on and off track. Hamlin also highlighted that signing Reddick gave the organization a sense of legitimacy.

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Edited by Anurag C
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