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Outside of Trackhouse Racing’s success, Tyler Reddick has been one of the biggest storylines of the 2022 NASCAR Cup Series season. The driver of the No. 8 Richard Childress Racing car has been impressive all year, earning seven top-10 finishes, and his first win earlier this month at Road America.

On Tuesday, Reddick dropped a massive silly season bomb, announcing that he would be leaving RCR for 23XI Racing starting in 2024. The out-of-the-blue news shocked fans, and the folks at RCR made it abundantly clear how they felt about the move in a tweet. 

Tyler Reddick moving to 23XI Racing in 2024

Less than 10 days after winning his first Cup Series race, Tyler Reddick — who many have suggested for some time that once he got his first win, many would follow — announced that he was leaving RCR to join 23XI Racing starting in 2024, and did so in a surprising and humorous way.

Reddick wasn’t originally part of a call that Toyota was hosting with reporters, which included Denny Hamlin from 23XI and Toyota Racing Development President and GM David Wilson. Surprisingly, the driver showed up on a split screen and the host, playing along with the surprise, suggested that he might be on the wrong call.  

“Uh, yeah, actually, I don’t think that he did,” Hamlin responded, suggesting Reddick was in the right place. “Um, I’d like to announce to the media that today, I would like to formally announce Tyler Reddick is part of a future member of the 23XI and Toyota Racing family, starting in 2024.” 

At the conclusion of his comment, Reddick appeared in the same screen and sat down next to Hamlin.  

Richard Childress unhappy with Reddick’s departure

Richard Childress has been in NASCAR a long time, and been quite successful, including six titles with Dale Earnhardt. He knows it’s a business.

Reddick leaving for 23XI Racing is a business decision. Despite that understanding, it doesn’t make the departure any less painful. That’s why shortly after the announcement, the RCR Twitter account responded and didn’t sugarcoat how the organization felt about the move. 

“We’re proud of the success Tyler Reddick has found at Richard Childress Racing,” the statement read. “We’re focused on winning a championship in 2022 and 2023, although timing of this announcement could not be any worse.”

Big loss sets RCR back

Tyler Reddick and Richard Childress talk
Tyler Reddick and Richard Childress talk on the grid prior to the NASCAR Cup Series EchoPark Texas Grand Prix at Circuit of The Americas on May 23, 2021. | Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The timing couldn’t be any worse? The timing of this announcement was never going to be good. In the middle of the season, at the end of this coming season. Take your pick. Whenever it happened, it would never be a good time for RCR. 

Childress officials, including the company namesake, aren’t bothered by the timing. They’re justifiably upset at the simple fact that it’s happening. They understand the significant implications of this loss. Reddick’s win at Road America was the organization’s first trophy since 2020, when Austin Dillon won at Texas.  

Childress plucked Reddick from JR Motorsports in 2019 and gave him an Xfinity Series ride and a clear-cut path to the Cup Series. He was promoted the next year. In the last two seasons, he’s performed at a high level and his star has rapidly been on the rise. 

Denny Hamlin saw this, didn’t blink, and made the move. Richard Childress is now left to try and find the next talent for the team. He’ll have plenty of interest and talent to choose from (Noah Gragson, Austin Hill), but this one is going to sting for a while.

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