Xfinity Series News (7632)
NASCAR Xfinity Series News
From the season’s beginning on the Daytona high banks to Saturday night’s very final laps of racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway the 2019 Xfinity Series championship battle was intense; ultimately coming down to a contest of speed, skill and bravado among a familiar lineup of drivers who combined to win 22 of the season’s 33 races.
And for the second consecutive year, it was Californian Tyler Reddick who hoisted a hard-earned Homestead race trophy and celebrated his second straight Xfinity Series championship. He led a race best 84 of the 200 laps Saturday and ultimately prevailed in a good ole NASCAR “slingshot” move that decided an exciting nail-biting lap-by-lap duel in the closing minutes with title challenger Cole Custer.
Reddick took the lead for good with 19 laps remaining and the checkered flag 1.038-seconds ahead of Stewart-Haas Racing teammates Custer and rookie Chase Briscoe. The other two championship eligible drivers - eight race-winner Christopher Bell and Justin Allgaier finished fifth and 14th, respectively.
Reddick, 23, becomes only the seventh driver to win back-to-back Xfinity Series championships – a list that includes some of the sport’s greatest names such as Sam Ard, Larry Pearson and Dale Earnhardt Jr. And Reddick is the first driver to earn the consecutive titles since Ricky Stenhouse Jr. in 2011-12.
What also distinguishes Reddick in championship lore is that he is the only driver to earn Xfinity Series titles in back-to-back seasons for two different teams. He earned this season’s championship driving the No. 2 Richard Childress Chevrolet. Last year he drove for the JR Motorsports.
The joy Reddick showed celebrating this impressive accomplishment was honest and exuberant. And it was hard-earned. This year Reddick, Bell and Custer combined for 21 wins. The veteran Allgaier won at Phoenix last week to secure his chance to chase a championship.
Last year Reddick’s championship win was considered by many to be an underdog triumph. Although he had been consistent enough to earn a shot in the Championship 4, he had only two career Xfinity wins when he arrived in South Florida last November. This year – even after switching race teams – Reddick quickly re-established himself as a championship favorite.
His winning performances didn’t take anyone by surprise.
While Bell, who drives the No. 20 Toyota for Joe Gibbs Racing, quickly showed himself to be a dominant driver again this year. Custer answered the ante all year himself winning seven times. And Reddick came into Homestead with five wins and the regular season championship – his 23 top-five and 26 top-10 finishes were most on the season.
“It was perfect, it came down to us three," Reddick said of his fellow championship contenders. “And that Stage 3 before the caution [flag] we were battling like we have all year long.
“It was just awesome we were able to come out on top of the deal. It’s been a lot of fun racing them and I’m looking forward to racing them and a lot of other talented drivers on Sunday."
That the season finale featured the same kind of competitive zeal that characterized such an ultra-competitive championship run.
“It was on us to give the guy the equipment to contend with," said his crew chief Randall Burnett. “He can elevate a car from third or fifth to a win or at least a pretty good shot at it."
And that’s exactly what happened Saturday night.
The win seems the perfect send-off for Reddick, who will move up into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series driving Childress’s No. 8 Chevrolet. He will join both Custer (No. 41 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford) and Bell (No. 95 Leavine Family Racing Toyota) in what will surely be one of the most talented rookie classes.
“I think as a driver I learned a lot about myself," Reddick said of the 2019 season.
It was the fifth series championship for team owner Richard Childress tying Joe Gibbs Racing for the most season titles in Xfinity Series history.
“He’s an amazing talent and I saw that before he won his first championship, his first race," his team owner Richard Childress said. “We’re so excited. I just felt if we could get here we had a great shot at winning the championship and the talent he has I’m excited for next year as I’ve been in a long time."
Richard Childress Racing Caps off 50th Anniversary Celebration with NASCAR Xfinity Series Driver's and Owner's Championships
Tyler Reddick and the No. 2 Tame the Beast Chevrolet Team Win at Homestead-Miami Speedway En Route to RCR's Series' Leading Fifth Title
"It was just an incredible effort by all of the guys at Richard Childress Racing. Our Tame the Beast Chevrolet was really good in practice and qualifying. The car allowed me to move around on the race track early in the run. I have to give it to our competition. They caught up to us on the short run. At the end of the night, when push came to shove, we went to the fence and we got it done. We got around the No. 00 and the No. 20 at the end to pull out the championship. It's my first championship with RCR and my second championship overall. It's just an absolute blast to run in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and go back-to-back as series champion. Hat's off to Team Chevy and all those guys for working on this Chevrolet, and all the guys at ECR for giving us great power. Richard Childress believed I could be a champion before I ever won my first championship, and it means a lot to be able to capture RCR's fifth Driver's Championship in the NASCAR Xfinity Series to cap off their 50th Anniversary Celebration."
With his girlfriend expecting a baby, Tyler Reddick confessed on Thursday that he had practiced changing diapers on a pet cat.
Now, after winning Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300 and his second straight NASCAR Xfinity Series championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Reddick gets to name the baby.
Finishing 1.038 seconds ahead of hard-charging Cole Custer, Reddick is the only driver to win consecutive titles in the series for two different car owners. The 23-year-old from Corning, Calif., won his first championship for JR Motorsports last year.
After switching rides to Richard Childress Racing, Reddick celebrated the organizations 50th anniversary by delivering his second straight title to team owner Richard Childress—the crowning achievement of a season in which Reddick collected a career-best six victories.
“It’s about this race team, man, and I was just honored to pilot this Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet,” Reddick said. “I’m losing my breath—I’m that excited. This one means so much more. It was just a lot better year, and it was really cool to go back-to-back.”
In winning for the second time at Homestead-Miami, Reddick was once again the quintessential rim rider, running within inches of the fence as he, Custer and fifth-place finisher Christopher Bell battled for the lead early in the final 79-lap green-flag run.
And now he can name his yet-to-be-born son “Beau,” under an agreement he made with girlfriend Alexa De Leon before the championship weekend. De Leon had another name in mind but agreed to let Reddick have his choice if he won the title.
Reddick had been so successful running the top lane in 2018 that Custer studied his in-car video before the race—but to no avail.
“Tyler—he can rip the top here,” Custer acknowledged after the race. “That’s about all you can say about it.”
After the top two drivers separated from Bell on Lap 167, Reddick closed on Custer until he reached his rear bumper. On Lap 182, Reddick dived to the inside into Turn 1 and slid up in front of Custer’s No. 00 Ford. Custer got the lead back briefly into Turn 3 on the same lap, but Reddick crossed over and cleared Custer for good off Turn 4.
In trying to catch the No. 2 Chevrolet, Custer scraped the wall in the closing laps.
“I could kind of match his lap time there and studied his in-car all the way coming here trying to figure out how to run the top better,” Custer said. “I got close. I tried to find a way to close the gap when I was behind and tried too hard and got into the fence.
“It sucks to come home second two years in a row. We’ll take it. We were a lot closer this year.”
Reddick, Custer and Bell all will graduate to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series next year—Reddick with RCR, Custer with Stewart-Haas Racing and Bell with Leavine Family Racing. But Reddick is the only one who will do so with an Xfinity title.
Chase Briscoe and Noah Gragson ran third and fourth, respectively, ahead of Bell, who claimed third place in the final standings behind the race winner and runner-up.
Despite missing pit road on his first attempt at a green-flag pit stop on Lap 159, Bell grabbed the lead on new tires by pitting three laps before Reddick and Custer. But the two chasers soon ran him down in a thrilling three-way battle for the top spot.
By the time Reddick took the checkered flag, Bell was 17 seconds in arrears.
“We just had great pit stops,” said Bell, who came to Homestead last year as the championship favorite and finished fourth. “Our pit stops would allow us to get up front, and then we would maintain until we started falling off, and then they would drive by me. For some reason, just can’t hit on what I need to, to be able to get around this place for a 30- or 40-lap run.”
A late brush with the wall and resulting flat tire relegated Championship 4 contender Justin Allgaier to a 14th-place finish.
SS Green Light Racing announced today ahead of the Ford EcoBoost 300 that Ray Black Jr. will return as the driver of the No. 07 Chevrolet full time for the 2020 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) season.
The 28 year-old driver from Palm Coast, FL. is set to enter his third full time season for Bobby Dotter and SS Green Light Racing. Black enters the season finale today at Homestead-Miami Speedway in hopes of capping off a stellar 2019 campaign, which has included a career best 22 top-20 finishes and eight top-15 finishes in 32 races. With a strong performance today, Black could finish out the 2019 season 15th in the NASCAR Xfinity Series point standings.
"It's unbelievable how much we were able to accomplish this year at SS Green Light Racing," said Black. It's really exciting to see how much we've all grown and how competitive the organization has become since I started running for Bobby in 2016. Bobby Dotter has put his heart and soul into this race team and I'm just proud to be a part of it for another year. I have a lot of confidence after this year and think we have even more to accomplish in 2020."
“Ray, in my opinion, really had a break out season this year,” team owner Bobby Dotter stated. "One of my favorite things about Ray is he's the type of driver that's going to get you the very most out of the car. He finds a way to get better throughout the race, keeps the car in one piece, and delivers the best result. I'm really excited to build on what we've already accomplished. It's going to be a fun year."
Long time crew chief Jason Miller is expected to return as the man calling the shots from a top the pit box for Black in 2020. Miller has worked with Black for most of the young driver's career and believes the chemistry the two share has made them the most successful.
Ray Black Jr. is excited to announce there will be a new primary sponsor on board his No. 07 Camaro for the 2020 season. More details about the partnership to follow in the upcoming weeks. Black's current primary sponsor, Isokern Fireplaces & Chimneys, will rejoin the team for the 2020 season, serving as an associate sponsor.
About SS Green Light Racing: As one of the most tenured teams in all of NASCAR, SS Green Light has been a developmental hub for drivers looking to climb the ranks. Led by Owner, Bobby Dotter, the team has fielded entries in either the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series or the Xfinity Series competition since 2001. Coming off an unprecedented 2019 Xfinity campaign, SS Green Light looks to build further momentum with their two-car program.
SS Green Light Racing PR
Winning back-to-back NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championships is a rare feat indeed—only Matt Crafton has accomplished it, in 2013 and 2014.
Winning consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series titles, on the other hand, is relatively commonplace. Sam Ard, Larry Pearson, Randy Lajoie, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr. and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. all have accomplished it.
No one, however, has won back-to-back titles in either series driving for two different owners, and both Tyler Reddick and Brett Moffitt have the opportunity to do so this year.
Reddick was last year’s upset Xfinity championship winner in a JR Motorsports Chevrolet. Moffitt was released from his ride after winning the Truck Series title with Hattori Racing Enterprises.
To Reddick, a second title would have added significance. His current team, Richard Childress Racing is celebrating its golden anniversary in NASCAR this season and already has announced that Reddick will drive a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car for the organization next year.
“It would mean a lot,” Reddick said on Thursday during Championship 4 Media Day at The Edition. “The second one—I kind of said it a few times today—for me it's more about winning it for RCR in the 50th year. Granted, Cup racing next year, but I want to do everything I can to win what I can for them. That's an Xfinity Series championship.
“All the guys at the chassis shop, on that compound, have put a lot of effort into these cars all year long. We have the five wins, got the most top fives (23), regular season championship. Those are all good things. We want to add one more thing to that and be a champion on Saturday after the race is over.
Reddick has to beat Christopher Bell, Cole Custer and Justin Allgaier in Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300 to secure his second Xfinity title (3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Moffitt will face off against Crafton, Ross Chastain and Stewart Friesen in Friday’s Ford EcoBoost 200 Truck Series race (8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Moffitt doesn’t consider himself particularly statistics-oriented, but, clearly, he would relish a second championship. That it would be a second straight with a different team isn’t the foremost consideration.
“Well yeah, obviously winning the championship is the first goal,” Moffitt said on Thursday. “I was fortunate to be with a good team last year and get the job done, and I'm fortunate to be with a good team again this year and be in position to do the same.
“So, I mean, obviously, winning it with two different teams is a little more difficult than staying with the same team two years in a row, but we have gained traction as a team and we get more competitive week in and week out. So I feel really good about it.”
Moffitt took no particular delight when Austin Hill, his successor in the Hattori ride, fell out of the Playoffs in the Round of 6.
“Yeah, I mean, you try not to think about it that way, but it's… obviously I was not happy about how the year ended last year, winning a championship and getting released from my job. And I guess it's karma—I'll say that.”
Note: Only once in NASCAR’s top three touring series has a driver won back-to-back championships driving for two different owners. In 1956, NASCAR Hall of Famer Buck Baker won the title with Carl Kiekhaefer as his primary owner. The following year, Baker drove his own car to the title.
Daniel Hemric will be returning to the NASCAR Xfinity Series with JR Motorsports in 2020, the team announced today. The 28-year-old Hemric has been tabbed to run 21 races for the organization, and will do so with a familiar number – the No. 8. He’ll join Jeb Burton (11 races) and team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. (one race) to round out the driver lineup for JRM’s No. 8 entry in its pursuit of the NXS owner’s title next season.
Details surrounding Hemric’s race schedule and sponsorship lineup will be announced at a later date.