Reddick targets “next level” driving for Michael Jordan in NASCAR

Tyler Reddick wants to “take it to the next level” with 23XI Racing, the NASCAR Cup Series team owned by basketball legend Michael Jordan and three-time Daytona 500 winner Denny Hamlin.

Reddick targets “next level” driving for Michael Jordan in NASCAR

Reddick, who won his first Cup Series races with Richard Childress Racing in 2022, made the move to 23XI in the off-season, replacing Kurt Busch.

When asked what it felt like to drive for six-time NBA champion Jordan, who co-founded the team with Hamlin ahead of the 2021 Cup season, Reddick said: "It’s a huge responsibility.

"That guy has done nothing but win, on and off the race track throughout his whole life. He has done really, really well.

"That is the tone and the precedence on how we are going to operate and go throughout our year here at 23XI.

"He has high expectations, and I knew that he was involved, but it is really cool to see, as I’ve been getting integrated into the team, on how much he does pay attention, even more so than I expected.

"It’s all been really good. I’m excited to drive for him and Denny and continue to grow in the right direction that this team and Toyota want us to."

Reddick also told reporters at the Daytona 500 media day that he was genuinely surprised about how involved Jordan was with the team.

"He’s definitely locked in,” said Reddick. "It’s funny, I wasn’t feeling my best out at the Clash and somehow, he knew. I hadn’t told very many people, but he was in the loop and wanted to make sure I was all good.

Bubba Wallace with Michael Jordan, 23XI Racing

Bubba Wallace with Michael Jordan, 23XI Racing

Photo by: Jasen Vinlove / NKP / Motorsport Images

"It’s great to know – I mean I know he cares about it; it is his team – but certainly he is really in the loop and pays attention to what is going on.

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"I’m not going to lie, when you sit down and talk with a guy like that and you talk about the future and him wanting you to drive for his team – if that doesn’t get you excited and find a way to take it to the next level, then I don’t know what will.”

His move from Chevrolet-equipped RCR to 23XI means a new relationship with Toyota, and says he’s felt a change in the level of support from the manufacturer.

"Honestly, I would say it’s Toyota and TRD [Toyota Racing Development] and how they interact with the drivers," he replied when asked what was different.

"The support that 23XI and Joe Gibbs Racing gets from them is really, really incredible. I’d say that for me has been the biggest thing.

"Obviously, I changed teams too, for sure, and how the teams operates is different. But the overwhelming support and all the great people at Toyota is the biggest thing for me."

Reddick gains a new team-mate in Bubba Wallace this year, and believes he can learn a lot from the two-time Cup Series race winner when it comes to superspeedway racing.

"Just how he approaches speedway racing is definitely different than mine," said Reddick. "His comfort level to be able to just jump in and go – is something that I don’t have the same understanding for.

"I have picked his brain on what him and Freddie [Kraft, spotter] do – how they communicate throughout the race is something that Nick [Payne, spotter] and I have tried to learn from and will continue to learn from."


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