Tyler Reddick takes Xfinity title with surprise win at Homestead

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Tyler Reddick takes Xfinity title with surprise win at Homestead
Jim Utter
By: Jim Utter
Nov 17, 2018, 11:10 PM

Tyler Reddick bookended the 2018 Xfinity Series season with victories and in the process became an unexpected champion.

Tyler Reddick, JR Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro BurgerFi celebrates
Tyler Reddick, JR Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro BurgerFi celebrates
Tyler Reddick, JR Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro BurgerFi wins
Tyler Reddick, JR Motorsports, Chevrolet Camaro BurgerFi celebrates
Cole Custer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Haas Automation
Cole Custer, Stewart-Haas Racing, Ford Mustang Haas Automation
Christopher Bell, Joe Gibbs Racing, Toyota Camry GameStop Transformers
Daniel Hemric, Richard Childress Racing, Chevrolet Camaro South Point Hotel & Casino

Reddick began the year with a victory in the season-opener at Daytona and didn’t win again until Saturday night’s season finale Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The impressive victory over fellow title contender Cole Custer, however, handed Reddick the series championship in his rookie season. It’s the second consecutive title for JR Motorsports and third in the last five years.

"I just knew we had to execute. I thought we had a chance if we just made it to Homestead, It rewards my aggression," Reddick said after the race. "Tonight, we hit the wall a lot but the car kept in one piece, enough for me to get to the end.

"These guys worked so hard on this No. 9 Chevrolet. We had to overcome a lot. This year was all about just learning - it was an up and down year. We did everything we had to do in the playoffs and we wound up with the championship.

"We can hang our hats on that and people wills say others were more consistent, we got it when it counted."

Asked if doubted he would make it to the Championship 4, Reddick said, "I knew this team could make it to Miami. Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler and Michael Annett had speed all year long. It was just a matter of executing. 

"I picked a really good time to get my life together and win another race."

Reddick, 22, came into the championship race as an underdog, with Christopher Bell – who led the series with seven wins this year – as the heavy favorite.

Reddick's team owner, Dale Earnhardt Jr., said of Reddick's performance: "I'm telling you, to run on that fence at the end of the race like he did, that takes some precision, he did an amazing job and he earned a victory tonight and he earned a championship."

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John Hunter Nemechek finished third in the race, title contender Daniel Hemric was fourth and Austin Cindric finished fifth. The final title contender, Bell, ended up 11th.

On Lap 142 of 200, Bell headed down pit road to start a final round of green-flag pit stops. Reddick followed soon after. Hemric was the third title contender to pit, on Lap 147. Custer was the last to pit on Lap 147.

Once the cycle of stops were completed on Lap 149, Reddick took over the race lead. Bell ran second, Custer fifth and Hemric seventh.

Bell got around Reddick on Lap 155 to take the race lead for the first time. Nemechek ran third and Custer fourth.

Custer passed Nemechek for third with 40 laps to go as Bell maintained a small lead over Reddick.

With 36 to go, Reddick moved to the outside of Bell to retake the lead as Custer moved into second and Bell dropped to third.

Reddick held a more than 2.5-second lead over Custer with 30 laps left in the race.

With 10 laps to go, Bell was forced to pit under green with a flat right-rear tire.

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Stage 2

Custer maintained his dominance leading all green-flags on his way to the Stage 2 victory.

Nemechek finished second, while title contenders Bell and Hemric were third and fourth, respectively. Ryan Preece completed the top-five.

Reddick, the final title contender, ended up eighth.

Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, all lead-lap cars elected to pit and Custer was the first off pit road. He remained in the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 52. Reddick was second and Bell third.

Shortly after the restart, Nemechek powered his way into the second position as Reddick dropped to fourth.

With 30 laps remaining in the second stage, Custer held a small advantage over Nemechek with Bell running in third and Cindric moved into fourth.

Bell got around Nemchek with 25 laps left in the stage to take over the runner-up spot as Hemric ran in fifth and Reddick dropped to seventh.

With 20 laps left, Custer held a 1.6-second lead over Bell as Hemric took over the fourth position.

With 10 laps remaining in the stage, Custer held a 1-second lead over Nemechek as Bell dropped to third and Hemric was close behind in fourth.

Nemechek was able to close the gap with Custer to under a second with four laps to go in the stage as Hemric continued to battle Bell for third.

Stage 1

Custer jumped out front from the start and led all 45 laps to earn the Stage 1 victory.

Hemric ended up second and Reddick was third as title contenders swept the top three positions. Justin Allgaier was fourth and Nemechek was fifth.

Bell, the final title contender, finished sixth.

Custer, the pole-winner, took early control of the race, running out to a 1.7-second lead through the first 15 laps of the race. Reddick was second and Hemric running third.

With 20 laps remaining in the first stage, Custer had built up a more than 2-second lead over Reddick with Hemric running in third. Bell, the fourth title contender, was fifth.

Custer maintained a 2-second lead over Reddick with 10 laps left in the stage. Hemric continued to put pressure on Reddick for the second position. Bell had dropped back into sixth.

With six laps left in the stage, Hemric finally got around Reddick to take over the runner-up position.

Cla # Driver 4506 Laps Time Laps Led
1 9 United States Tyler Reddick  Chevrolet 200   44
2 00 United States Cole Custer  Ford 200 6.902 95
3 42 United States John Hunter Nemechek  Chevrolet 200 12.859 52
4 21 United States Daniel Hemric  Chevrolet 200 17.836  
5 22 United States Austin Cindric  Ford 200 20.165  
6 18 United States Ryan Preece  Toyota 200 30.958  
7 7 United States Justin Allgaier  Chevrolet 200 35.474  
8 19 United States Brandon Jones  Toyota 199 1 lap  
9 5 United States Michael Annett  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
10 2 United States Matt Tifft  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
11 20 United States Christopher Bell  Toyota 199 1 lap 9
12 16 United States Ryan Reed  Ford 199 1 lap  
13 60 United States Chase Briscoe  Ford 199 1 lap  
14 1 United States Elliott Sadler  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
15 11 United States Ryan Truex  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
16 4 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 199 1 lap  
17 23 United States Spencer Gallagher  Chevrolet 198 2 laps  
18 61 United States Kaz Grala  Ford 198 2 laps  
19 51 United States Jeremy Clements  Chevrolet 198 2 laps  
20 3 United States Shane Lee  Chevrolet 198 2 laps  
21 36 Canada Alex Labbé  Chevrolet 197 3 laps  
22 38 United States Ryan Sieg  Chevrolet 197 3 laps  
23 35 United States Joey Gase  Chevrolet 196 4 laps  
24 86 United States Brandon Brown  Chevrolet 196 4 laps  
25 26 Max Tullman  Ford 195 5 laps  
26 8 United States Tommy Joe Martins  Chevrolet 195 5 laps  
27   United States Garrett Smithley  Chevrolet 194 6 laps  
28 52 United States David Starr  Chevrolet 194 6 laps  
29 15 United States Quin Houff  Chevrolet 191 9 laps  
30 76 United States Spencer Boyd  Chevrolet 189 11 laps  
31 66 United States Chad Finchum  Toyota 187 13 laps  
32 01 United States B.J. McLeod  Chevrolet 185 15 laps  
33 40 United States Carl Long  Dodge 180 20 laps  
34 90 United States Caesar Bacarella  Chevrolet 161 39 laps  
35 13 United States Timmy Hill  Toyota 54 146 laps  
36 93 United States J.J. Yeley  Chevrolet 46 154 laps  
37 39 United States Angela Ruch  Chevrolet 36 164 laps  
38 89 United States Landon Cassill  Chevrolet 16 184 laps  
39 37 United States Jeff Green  Chevrolet 14 186 laps  
40 78 United States Vinnie Miller  Chevrolet 10 190 laps  

 

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About this article

Series NASCAR XFINITY
Event Homestead
Drivers Tyler Reddick
Teams JR Motorsports
Author Jim Utter