Tyler Reddick focused on playoffs but ready for ‘unique challenge’ in 2023

·3 min read

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Tyler Reddick admits it will be a “unique challenge” to go through next season without his crew chief, who will move to Kyle Busch’s team at Richard Childress Racing in 2023.

Reddick spoke publicly for the first time Friday at Bristol Motor Speedway since it was announced this week that Busch would drive the No. 8 car and have Reddick’s crew chief Randall Burnett. Reddick and Burnett have been together since 2019, winning a title in the Xfinity Series and two Cup races this year.

The announcement came two months after Reddick’s deal to join 23XI Racing in 2024 became public.

Car owner Richard Childress said this week that he informed Reddick of the changes about an hour before Tuesday’s press conference with Busch. Childress he made the changes since Reddick will be gone after next season and to build up Busch’s team.

“None of it surprised me, honesty,” Reddick said of the changes.

“I’m going to be moving on in 2024 to a new group of people, new team. It’s a unique challenge to be able to go through that next year with a new group of people. If anything, it will probably help me when I move on to (23XI Racing in 2024), kind of getting used to working with different people and going through that process.”

Childress said this week that he would field three chartered teams next year, keeping Reddick with Busch and Austin Dillon. Childress has only two charters and would need to lease a charter or purchase one to give all three teams a charter.

With Childress providing little details of how he’ll have three teams, questions remain if Reddick moves to 23XI Racing a year early.

“It’s out of my hands,” Reddick said of where he’ll race next year. “As I’ve said to everybody, I intend to finish what I agreed to do at RCR. I want to see that through the end, whether it was with the No. 8 car or whatever car it will be. Richard has told me he will share a lot of those details.”

Change is not new to Reddick, the only driver in NASCAR history to win back-to-back Xfinity championships with different teams. He won the 2018 crown with JR Motorsports and moved to Richard Childress Racing in 2019 and won the championship that season.

“It certainly doesn’t hurt,” Reddick said of that experience. “I’ve been through that similar situation before. .. Just like any of us would do, we just try to make the most out of what lies ahead, or what our situation is, and give it 100% effort every day and hope it is enough.”

For now, though, Reddick’s focus is on advancing to the second round of the playoffs. He enters Saturday night’s Cup elimination race two points above the cutline after finishing 35th last weekend at Kansas because of a crash.

Reddick will start Saturday night’s race 17th in the 36-car field at Bristol.

“Even though we had a rough weekend at Kansas, falling out, we still just approach it like any other race we’ve had so far this year and go out and give it our best effort,” Reddick said.

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Tyler Reddick focused on playoffs but ready for ‘unique challenge’ in 2023 originally appeared on NBCSports.com