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Reddick: Losing Ride To Busch A Business Decision

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, September 17 2022

Tyler Reddick’s Cup became cloudy in the wake of the announcement that Kyle Busch will drive the No. 8 next year. (Photo by Jim Fluharty/HHP for Chevy Racing)

BRISTOL, Tenn. – Tyler Reddick calmly said Friday that he views actions NASCAR team owner Richard Childress took when he hired Kyle Busch as strictly business and no personal vendetta against him.

“I’m not going to be there after 2023 and they have to look after their best interests,” Reddick said at Bristol Motor Speedway during preparations for Saturday’s Bass Pro Shops Night Race. “They’re looking ahead to the future and what’s gonna be best for them in the long term. I understand that.

“I’m sure I could understand how people think it’s personal, but I’m not looking at it that way. For the long term of RCR, it makes sense to put him (Busch) in the (No.) 8 car.”   

Childress told Reddick an hour before the Busch announcement earlier this week that the two-time NASCAR champion would replace him as the driver of the No. 8 Chevrolet in 2023.

He also said Busch would have the crew chief that now works with Reddick. However, he told Reddick he would field a third Cup team next year for him and he was working to acquire a charter. 

“None of it surprised me,” said Reddick, who noted the meeting he had with Childress wasn’t tense.

In March, Reddick signed a one-year deal with RCR. Then in mid-July, it was announced that Reddick would join 23XI Racing in 2024. Reddick thought he wouldn’t have to adjust to a new team until 2024, but now he finds himself in that position for 2023. 

“It’s a unique challenge to be able to kind of go through that next year with a new group of people (at RCR),” Reddick said. “I think if anything, it will probably help me when I move on to the next place, kind of getting used to working with different people.”

Reddick, who has remained the consummate professional throughout the ordeal, said he intended to finish what he agreed to do at RCR.

“He (Childress) said he’s going to have details for me soon,” Reddick said. “We both agree the most important thing (this weekend) is for me to focus on this race.” 

There has been speculation that Reddick might move to 23XI Racing a year early if Kurt Busch is unable to return. However, team co-owner Denny Hamlin said Thursday their intention was to field the No. 45 Toyota next year for Busch who’s recovering from a concussion he suffered in July at Pocono during a qualifying crash.

“We have Kurt under contract this year, next year, and an optional third year,” Hamlin said. “It’s important for us to make sure that Kurt has the opportunity to come back whenever he wants. Situations that might change around the race team shouldn’t affect our commitment to Kurt whatsoever.” 

For several months, Reddick and Kyle Busch have been the center of attention on social media and in interviews each race weekend. It’s chatter that hasn’t affected Reddick who leaves his house at 7 a.m. to go workout or go to the simulator and doesn’t return until 4 p.m. or 5 p.m.

“I don’t even have enough time to keep my house looking the way I’d like to,” Reddick commented. “I try to leave a little bit on the side so I can spend it at home with (girlfriend) Alexa and (son) Beau.”

When asked how he would respond to people claiming he would get the third best equipment next year, Reddick said he would point out that the Next Gen car is “pretty spec.”

“It’s all the same stuff, so I think they can rule that out pretty quickly,” Reddick said. 

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NASCAR Cup Series

Next Race: Bass Pro Shops Night Race

The Place: Bristol Motor Speedway

The Date: Saturday, September 17

The Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

The Purse: $8,338,394

TV: USA, 6:30 p.m. ET

Radio: PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR (Channel 90)

Distance: 266.5 miles (500 Laps); Stage 1 (Ends on Lap 125),

Stage 2 (Ends on Lap 250), Final Stage (Ends on Lap 500)

 

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Saturday, September 17 2022
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