Tyler Reddick Ready for Next Chapter with 23XI Racing

The team co-owned by Denny Hamlin and Michael Jordan adds a multi-race winner in Tyler Reddick, while retaining Kurt Busch in a different role.
Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing
Tyler Reddick, 23XI Racing

After his breakout season with Richard Childress Racing, Tyler Reddick is eager to start his next journey with his new team at 23XI Racing. The 26-year old

Reddick was originally slated to finish the final year of his contract with RCR this season, but some unusual circumstances altered that plan. Oddly enough, it was the Busch brothers that paved the way for this deal to happen earlier than expected.

By the time Kyle Busch made his decision to leave Joe Gibbs Racing for RCR, the writing was on the wall. With the two-time Cup champion set to take over the No. 8 car, team owner Richard Childress said that Reddick would remain in a third RCR car, but didn't provide any specific details.

Just a few weeks later, Kurt Busch made the difficult decision to retire from full-time competition due to his health. That opened up the seat at 23XI a year early, making a seamless transition for all parties.

In his third full-time season at the Cup level, Reddick earned his first career win, and three victories overall. His 10 top-five finishes were a career high, as were his three poles. He led 503 laps last season, after registering just 73 total laps in his first 74 races.

Reddick slides into the No. 45 Toyota, where he will team up with Bubba Wallace. After spending most of last season learning under the guidance of Kurt and his vast experience, Wallace now becomes the elder statesman of the team. The two young drivers will push each other, in a good way.

Tyler Reddick Ready for Next Chapter with 23XI Racing

Both drivers are capable of winning races and making the playoffs, but Tyler is the one with championship pedigree. After winning back-to-back titles in the Xfinity Series, the 26-year old knows how to perform under pressure, and he got another taste of that in the playoffs last season.

It may take some time for Tyler to gel with the team, but he proved last year that he was quick to adapt to the NextGen car. Everyone was on equal footing for most of the year, which led to tremendous parity over the course of last season. Still, there will be some learning curves along the way.

The biggest hurdle that Toyota had last season was performing on the road and street courses. They were clearly miles behind both Ford and Chevrolet on that front, but Reddick should be able to help clean that up. His first career win came at Road America, and his second on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Tyler Reddick Ready for Next Chapter with 23XI Racing

With Reddick’s strengths on the non-ovals and Wallace being one of the best superspeedway drivers in the garage, this organization has the ingredients necessary to have success. The mentorship and guidance of a veteran champion like Kurt Busch could speed up the entire process.

The duo will become a trio at Daytona, as action sports star Travis Pastrana is expected to drive a third car for the team in the Daytona 500 next month. Pastrana ran a full-season Xfinity schedule in 2013, and has some starts in the Truck series, but this will be his first race in Cup. He will be one of a handful of drivers trying to earn one of the four available spots in the 40-car field.

It was a disappointing end to the season for Reddick, who parked his car after not feeling well in the penultimate race at Martinsville, and settling for a 23rd place finish in the finale at Phoenix. That 23 could be a good omen though, as he prepares to lead 23XI Racing back into the playoffs.

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