No time for RCR, Tyler Reddick to look back; focus turns to track


LOUDON, N.H. — While car owner Richard Childress has not spoken publicly about Tyler Reddick signing this week with 23XI Racing for the 2024 season, RCR driver Austin Dillon raised questions about how the announcement could impact Reddick’s team.

Richard Childress Racing has not commented since it issued a statement Tuesday that read in part: The “timing of this announcement could not be any worse.”

Dillon repeated that claim Saturday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and explained the challenges he sees for Reddick’s team.

“I think the biggest thing, for all the hard work and effort that your guys put in for you, it can affect you going into the playoffs, even though you say it’s not going to,” Dillon said. “There’s probably an effect that goes on there. On top of the fact you’ve got sponsors and different things during the year. That’s tough. 

“Is there a good time? I’m sure that’s what they’re going to say, is there ever a good time?

“For our side of it, yeah, there’s probably a better time — when the season is over. Then you talk about it and you figure out the best way to move forward. Midseason, everybody is really focused on trying to win races and that can be tough.”

Reddick reiterated Saturday his commitment to Richard Childress Racing and through the 2023 season. He’ll start 13th in Sunday’s Cup race (3 p.m. ET on USA Network).

“The good thing is I’ve got plenty of time left to continue to do what I wanted to come to RCR and do,” Reddick said. “That’s win races and try to put ourselves in contention … for championships. I’ve got a really good team behind me, and I am behind them.”

Dillon said he called Reddick after the announcement and told him: “I’ve enjoyed working with you, congratulations on your new deal.”

Dillon said that Reddick “made it real adamant, me and him are going to push each other the rest of our time together trying to win races at RCR.”

Denny Hamlin, co-owner for 23XI Racing, said Saturday that the team is not looking to have Reddick drive for the team next year. Childress previously picked up the option on Reddick’s contact for next season. 

Kurt Busch said Saturday that his plans haven’t changed beyond next season because the team signed Reddick.

Hamlin says the No. 45 car is Busch’s for as long as he wants. 

“It makes me smile and want to race harder and work harder,” Busch said of Hamlin’s comments. “There’s still plenty of options that we’re looking at.”

While there are many other things for 23XI Racing to figure out — how many cars it will have in 2024, who will be Reddick’s sponsor and crew, etc. — Reddick also faces the possibility of having to repair his relationship with Childress.

Kevin Harvick knows what that can be like.

News came out late in the 2012 season that Harvick would drive for Stewart-Haas Racing in 2014, leaving him one last season with RCR — a team that brought him to NASCAR and had put him in a Cup car since 2001.

While Harvick went on to win four races and finish third in his final season with Richard Childress Racing, things weren’t always smooth with Childress.

Harvick said it took “probably a couple of years just to really have good, meaningful conversations” with Childress.

“There were definitely a couple of things I would have done differently,” Harvick said. ” I still went into Richard’s office and told him myself, and we had a firm understanding where everybody stood with everything and understood the contracts and situations that were out of bounds. That was really the hardest part. I knew I needed to tell him myself in person.”

What was that like?

“It was probably the most nervous I’ve ever been in my entire life,” Harvick said. 

He said it proved meaningful to talk to Childress.

“That, to me, was the most important thing, that I look back on now that I did right and be able to go back and repair those emotional situations and be able to have a good relationship as you go forward,” Harvick said. 

“In this garage, you always want to be able to have those relationships because you might go back and have to drive that car or work for that person, you never know, what the scenarios are.”

COTA Xfinity starting lineup: AJ Allmendinger takes pole


AJ Allmendinger, who won this race a year ago, will start on the pole for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Circuit of the Americas.

Allmendinger earned the pole with a lap of 92.173 mph Friday on the 20-turn, 3.41-mile road course.

MORE: COTA Xfinity starting lineup

He will be joined on the front row Sammy Smith (91.827 mph).
Ty Gibbs (91.665) will start third. Sheldon Creed (91.652) qualified fourth. Parker Kligerman (91.195) will start fifth.

Cup driver William Byron will start ninth. Byron’s time was disallowed for cutting the esses. Cole Custer, who will start 10th, didn’t make a lap in the final round of qualifying.

Cup driver Aric Almirola (91.269) qualified 13th. Truck Series racer Carson Hocevar (90.669) will start 17th. Alex Labbe (90.476) will start 23rd. He’s filling in for Josh Williams, who is serving a one-race suspension for parking his car at the start/finish line of last weekend’s race at Atlanta.

COTA Truck starting lineup: Ross Chastain wins pole


Ross Chastain will start on the pole for Saturday’s Craftsman Truck Series race at Circuit of the Americas.

Chastain earned the top starting spot in Friday’s qualifying with a lap of 91.877 mph. He’ll be joined on the front row by Kyle Busch (91.490 mph).

More: COTA Truck starting lineup

Ty Majeski qualified third with a lap of 91.225 mph. Rookie Nick Sanchez (90.993) will start fourth, and Christian Eckes (90.937) will complete the top five.

Alex Bowman failed to make the race. Bowman had a flat right front on his qualifying lap.

Tyler Reddick leads Cup practice at COTA


Tyler Reddick posted the fastest lap in Friday’s Cup practice at Circuit of the Americas.

Reddick, who won two road course races last season, topped the field in his 23XI Racing Toyota with a lap of 92.989 mph. Kyle Larson was next, posting a lap of 92.618 mph around the 3.41-mile road course.

MORE: COTA Cup practice results

Ross Chastain, who won this race a year ago, was third on the speed chart in practice with a lap of 92.520 mph. He was followed by Kyle Busch (92.498 mph) and Daniel Suarez (92.461 mph).

Jordan Taylor, subbing for the injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports, was 10th on the speed chart in practice after a lap of 92.404 mph.

Former world champion Jenson Button, driving for Rick Ware Racing, was 28th in practice with a lap of 91.759 mph. Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen, driving the Project 91 car for Trackhouse Racing, was 32nd in practice after a lap of 91.413 mph.

Seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson, driving in his first race for Legacy Motor Club since the Daytona 500, was 36th in practice after a lap of 91.072 mph. IndyCar driver Conor Daly was last among the 39 cars in practice with a lap of 90.095 mph.

Cup qualifying is Saturday. The series races Sunday.


Saturday COTA Xfinity race: Start time, TV info, weather


Austin Hill, the dominant driver in the NASCAR Xfinity Series through the early weeks of the season, will be looking for his first Xfinity road course win Saturday.

Hill has won three of the season’s first five races, scoring victories at Daytona, Las Vegas and Atlanta.

Hill has been close in previous road course runs. He has a second at COTA, a third at Portland, a fourth at Road America and a ninth at Indianapolis.

MORE: Dr. Diandra takes a look at top Cup road course drivers

Kyle Busch and AJ Allmendinger own wins in the previous Xfinity races at COTA.

Allmendinger and three other Cup Series regulars — Aric Almirola, William Byron and Ty Gibbs — are scheduled to race in the Xfinity event.

Details for Saturday’s Xfinity race at Circuit of the Americas

(All times Eastern)

START: The command to start engines will be given at 5:08 p.m. … The green flag is scheduled at 5:19 p.m.

PRERACE: Xfinity garage opens at 2 p.m. … The invocation will be given by Jordan Thiessen of Pit Boss Grills at 5 p.m. … The national anthem will be performed by recording artist Payton Keller at 5:01 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 46 laps (156 miles) on the 3.41-mile track.

STAGES: Stage 1 ends at Lap 14. Stage 2 ends at Lap 30.

TV/RADIO: FS1 will broadcast the race at 5 p.m. … NASCAR RaceDay airs at 4 p.m. on FS1. … Performance Racing Network coverage begins at 4:30 p.m. and can be heard at …SiriusXM NASCAR Radio will carry the PRN broadcast.

FORECAST: Weather Underground — Mainly sunny. Temperature of 82 at race time. No chance of rain.

LAST TIME: AJ Allmendinger won last March’s Xfinity race at COTA. Austin Hill was two seconds behind in second place. Cole Custer finished third.