Richard Childress Racing made it clear the organization was not happy when Tyler Reddick announced he would be joining 23XI Racing in 2024. It has been several weeks since that big announcement.
Childress was asked about his driver’s departure last weekend and was outspoken, describing what happened as disrespectful and unprofessional. He also added fuel to the fire of speculation that Reddick might not be back in the No.8 car in 2023.
Richard Childress loses Tyler Reddick in 2024 and the team responds
Tyler Reddick shocked the NASCAR world earlier this month, less than two weeks after winning his first-ever Cup Series race with Richard Childress Racing, when he joined Denny Hamlin and announced he would be competing with 23XI Racing in 2024.
The unexpected news generated a massive response from the NASCAR community due to its ripple effects throughout the sport. RCR responded via a simple statement on Twitter and revealed that he was unhappy with Reddick’s decision.
“We are proud of the success Tyler Reddick has found at Richard Childress Racing,” the statement read. “We are focused on winning a championship in 2022 and 2023, although the timing of this announcement couldn’t be worse.”
Childress doesn’t hold back, calling him ‘very unprofessional’
While everyone understood that the Childress organization was disappointed to lose what was their best driver in 2022, the choice of word was confusing. The “timing of this announcement” seemed odd because RCR has an 18-month lead to find a replacement.
However, Childress clarified the timing element this week during his visit with Fox’s Bob Pockrass. And the 76-year-old owner didn’t water down his thoughts on the situation and how it was handled.
“The biggest surprise was when he came to see us less than an hour before the announcement. I don’t think it showed any respect for his racing team or anyone who got him where it’s,” Childress said. “Less than an hour before the announcement? A lot of things are swirling around an 18-month-old announcement.
“The most important thing is that you should respectfully come up to me and say, ‘Hey, I signed, I want to do something, how do you think we should make a joint announcement? None of this happened. I’m not mad that he goes wherever he goes. But the way it was handled was very unprofessional.
Return in 2023 not certain
With this news behind them, Childress and Reddick are focused on the future and trying to win a championship in 2022. But what about 2023? Is there any truth to the speculation that Childress could find someone else to drive the #8 car next season?
“I have a contract with him in 2023. He will be at RCR in 2023,” the owner said. When Pockrass remarked that he hadn’t specifically mentioned the No. 8 car, Childress coyly replied, “You said that, not me.”
During the same conversation, he offered another interesting answer when asked about Reddick in 2023.
“Next year is a long time,” Childress said. “I made a commitment to his team to give them everything they needed to win the championship and to come out in 2023 and give them everything they needed to win the championship. race.
Childress has been in NASCAR for over 50 years. He saw almost every situation play out. He knows that when you have a lame duck, you need to keep your options open and be prepared to adapt. Sounds like what he’s doing here.
Time will tell if the owner finds a different driver for the #8 next year. If he does, Reddick shouldn’t expect to get much notice.
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