NASCAR Cup Series driver Tyler Reddick (8) comes across the line as the winner of the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard, Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Sunday, July 31, 2022.
Despite the recent NASCAR drama surrounding Richard Childress and Tyler Reddick, the team owner stated after the Indianapolis Road Course event that Reddick will still return to Richard Childress Racing in 2023.
What made Childress make up his mind and who could replace Reddick in 2024?
Richard Childress’ decision to bring Tyler Reddick back next year
Rumors were floating around that Tyler Reddick might not return to Richard Childress Racing for the 2023 season, but those were squashed after the young driver’s victory at the Indianapolis Road Course.
Childress talked about the team’s fight as Reddick’s announcement came at a bad time for the organization.
“Well, after they made their announcement, I met — I thought about it a lot that night, gave it a lot of thought, and it’s more than just about one person. It’s about a team. Stayed up most of the night thinking about what I should do, how I wanted to handle it. I went in the next day and told the whole team it wasn’t a perfect circumstance the way it went down, but we’re going to give it everything we’ve got this year, and we’ll see where we go next year .”
Richard Childress talking about Tyler Reddick’s announcement
It’s a clear sign the team is going to put their best foot forward as they seem to be in a good position to make a deep postseason run, which is something that hasn’t happened since the 2014 season with Ryan Newman.
Childress then gave the confirmation that Reddick would still return to Richard Childress Racing in 2023 before moving to 23XI Racing the following year.
“Yeah, Tyler [Reddick] will be in the car at [Richard Childress Racing] next year.”
Richard Childress on the return of Tyler Reddick
There might be tension between the two parties but it doesn’t change the plan at hand. Reddick and Childress both want to win a NASCAR Cup Series championship, which would be the first one since Dale Earnhardt in 1994.
They have two years to make that happen and while it’s going to be difficult to put those feelings away from Childress’ perspective, it goes beyond personal feelings when chasing a title in NASCAR.
NASCAR: Potential replacements for the No. 8 cars in 2024
Now that Tyler Reddick has been officially confirmed for the 2023 NASCAR season, the next task at hand for Richard Childress Racing involving driver movement is finding his replacement.
There are a few names that make sense with their connections to Richard Childress Racing and even Chevrolet. Obviously, the first place to look is the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
Austin Hill seems to be in a great position to make a case for the No. 8 car in 2024. It has been a good season for Hill as he sits sixth in the Xfinity Series standings and has two victories.
In fact, the 28-year-old driver has even impressed enough for Childress to give him an opportunity in the NASCAR Cup Series race at Michigan International Speedway driving the No. 33 cars this weekend.
This coming Sunday will mark Hill’s Cup Series debut and it’s a show of confidence to him as he rightfully deserves the opportunity. If Hill does well, it further makes his case stronger.
Sheldon Creed, another driver for the organization in the Xfinity Series, could make a case for the No. 8 car but a drastic improvement in performance will be needed from him next season.
Creed sits 13th in the standings and only has eight top-10 finishes. To put it in perspective, Hill has eight top-5 finishes and 13 top-10 finishes. Hill also has a better average finishing position by 8.1 positions.
Many did not expect Creed to struggle this much, including Childress who stated the organization wanted to do the same thing they did for Reddick and promote Creed to the Cup Series.
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The opportunity is presenting itself for the 24-year-old driver but work needs to be done if that wants to happen. Creed needs a big season in the Xfinity Series next year.
Another driver that would make sense is Noah Gragson since Chevrolet loves his services. However, it’s widely speculated that Gragson will replace Ty Dillon in the No. 42 car for Petty GMS Motorsports in 2023.
Perhaps, if Gragson performs well enough in the No. 42 car, he could jump to a better Chevrolet team in the Cup Series. The 24-year-old deserves a good opportunity and the No. 42 represents that first.
Richard Childress Racing will have plenty of options if the No. 8 car makes a deep run in the NASCAR playoffs, so it should be nothing to be concerned about right now.