Xfinity Series News

Xfinity Series News (7159)

NASCAR Xfinity Series News

Spencer Gallagher, No. 23 Allegiant Chevrolet Camaro

START: 17th

FINISH:17th

POINTS:11th

Notes & Quotes:—

-GMS Racing finishes 11th-place in the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) owners points standings.

-In 2018, Gallagher participated in 19 of the 33 NXS races, collecting one win, three top-fives, and 10 top-10’s.

“I was battling with a really tight Allegiant Chevrolet throughout the entire race. I came to pit road a few times to try and loosen me up but nothing seemed to really fix it completely. I had a better drive off the longer the run went on and that’s when I would make some gains. I appreciate all of the hard work team 23 put in this year. From the first lap to the last, it’s been an adventure I’ll never forget. Thank you all for your support throughout my career. Here’s to new beginnings.”

 

GMS Racing PR

Matt Tifft Secures Top-10 Finish with No. 2 Tunity Team in 
2018 Season Finale
 

10th 
 
 
 9th
 
 6th
"We may have finished 10th, but this result doesn't show how fast our No. 2 Tunity Camaro was all weekend long. My team worked hard during both practice sessions to get our Chevrolet to where I could run the top lane, and I thought we were in a good spot for the race. We also qualified well, grabbing the ninth spot with a decent balance on the car. Unfortunately, when the race started I just couldn't get the front grip out of the tires that I needed to make the top groove work. My team fought hard to get it to where I could stick and make the bottom work to my advantage, and that really helped give me just enough to break into the top 10 for the finish. I can't thank this No. 2 team enough for everything they've done for me this season. We had a great year together, and I learned a lot. I also want to thank all my partners for coming on board this season. Their support means a lot to me, and I hope we did them all proud this year."
-Matt Tifft 
Shane Lee Earns Gritty Performance in His First Race at Homestead-Miami Speedway in CMR Contruction Chevrolet
 

20th 
 
 
 21st
 
 12th
"I can definitely say we worked hard and gave it our all at Homestead-Miami Speedway. We spent most of the race just searching for grip on the track. Crew chief Nick Harrison and the team did a good job making adjustments throughout the race to help our CMR Construction Chevy's handling, but  we unfortunately ended up with a flat right-rear tire after the car broke loose and we scraped the wall with less than 80 laps to go. That really affected our race because we had to make an unscheduled green-flag pit stop. The cautions just didn't fall the way we needed to. I'm thankful for the opportunity with Richard Childress Racing and I want to thank everyone at CMR Construction and Roofing for joining us at Homestead-Miami Speedway."
-Shane Lee
Daniel Hemric and The South Point Casino and Hotel Chevrolet Team Make Valiant Effort to Finish Third in
Championship Standings
 

4th 
 
 
 10th 
 
 3rd
"After qualifying in the 10th position, I drove the heck out of our South Point Hotel and Casino Chevrolet at the start of the race. At the end of Stage 1, we pitted and lost some spots on pit road but those guys rebounded really well and the rest of our stops were solid. The white line was my best friend all night.  I thought the race track maintained speed down there and I was able to make hay for the majority of time. About 25 laps into a run, our car really started to gain speed. I thought it was really going to pay off for us but when we went to the next-to-last green-flag run, I saw that the No. 9 car was going to pit. We knew that if we didn't pit within a lap of that, we were committed to a longer run. I applaud Danny Stockman for making a gutsy call to stretch it out. We gambled that the caution would come out, but it never did. I thought we did a great job of making our South Point Chevy the best we could throughout the night. We just didn't have enough."
-Daniel Hemric

RCR PR

Chase Briscoe finished out the NASCAR Xfinity Series season for the No. 60 team with a 13th-place finish in the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“I think we did a really good job all weekend long and just continuing to build on it,” said Briscoe. “Even in qualifying I felt like we made really good gains round to round and then at the start of the race we weren’t necessarily great and we continued to make it better and better. We still weren’t quite where we needed to be, but from the start of the weekend to the end of the weekend it was a lot better, so hopefully we can come back next year and be a little bit better.”

Briscoe’s steady Saturday started by advancing to the second round of qualifying and putting his Nutri Chomps Ford Mustang in the 13th position to begin the 300-mile race. After struggling to find the balance on handling all weekend, Briscoe continued to battle in the first segment of the race. He would complain of a loose handling car, ultimately finishing 16th at the stage break.

Crew chief Mike Kelley brought Briscoe down pit road at the caution for four fresh tires, fuel and chassis adjustments to help with handling. The changes made Briscoe’s Mustang tighter in the corners, and he slid through turn four on the first lap of stage two before collecting himself. He would surrender several positions after the slide, but on the long green flag run started to see the benefits of the changes. He would conclude stage two in the 17th position.

Briscoe would come down pit road again in the stage intermission for four tires, fuel and air pressure adjustments to fine tune his turning, leaving pit road in the 18th position. The Nutri Chomps Ford Mustang sprang to life in the final segment, and Briscoe began to motor forward through the field. Briscoe was clocked running lap times similar to the top five contenders in the race, and was able to work his way back up to 13th as the final segment ran caution-free.

RFR PR

Ryan Reed, driver of the No. 16 Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes Ford Mustang, capped off a consistent day with an 12th-place finish in the final race of the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series season at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

“We had moments of where the car was really good,” said Reed. “In the second practice, we were really good at firing off and put it top of the board there, but we just couldn’t ever get it to turn across the center like we needed in our Ford Mustang to be competitive and compete up in the top 10 and top five all night.”

Reed’s team worked on the Lilly Diabetes DriveDownA1C.com Ford Mustang all weekend to improve handling, paying off when the team topped the speed charts in Friday afternoon’s final practice. Reed would again have speed in his Mustang Saturday morning, advancing to the final round of qualifying and securing the 11th starting position.

Speed in the Mustang was consistent throughout the race, with Reed finishing the first two stages in 10th and 11th place, respectively. With track temperatures changing as the race went on, Reed’s handling worsened and he faded to 13th midway through the stage. With no cautions in the final segment, all Reed could do was maintain his position, ultimately finishing the season finale 12th.

RFR PR

Tyler Reddick book-ended his rookie NASCAR Xfinity season run – with wins in the season-opener in Daytona Beach and again Saturday evening in the Homestead-Miami season finale.

But a stellar championship field kept him honest – truly settling the season trophy among themselves. Last year’s Homestead winner Cole Custer finished second- a full 6.9-seconds behind Bell in the race and therefore second also in the title chase. But his effort was still good enough Saturday to give Stewart-Haas Racing its first Xfinity Series owner’s championship.

Richard Childress Racing driver Daniel Hemric was fourth in the race and seven-time season winner Christopher Bell drove his No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota home to an 11th-place finish after a late race green flag pit stop to change a tire. They finished third and fourth in the title chase.

Reddick led 44 of the race’s 200 laps - including the final 37. Custer was out front for 95 laps and Bell led nine too. All four championship-eligible drivers spent the majority of the day among the top–five.

Custer who set a race record, leading 182 of the 200 laps in his 2017 victory, won the pole position Saturday morning and paced the field for the opening 93 circuits Saturday afternoon. Pit strategy later in the evening, however, shuffled the leaders. Reddick was able to take the lead, pitting three laps before Custer and forcing the Stewart-Haas driver to play catch up. While Reddick was able to hug the wall and excel in the track top-line and pull away, that line didn’t work so well for Custer.

“Congrats to Tyler," Custer said immediately, sitting on pit wall after the race. “He could run the wall better than I could and I was so far back from my pit stop and strategy. Once I got there [back to the front group] my tires kind of equaled out and he could run the top and I couldn’t keep up with him.

“I couldn’t’ do it. I don’t know if I just need to practice I guess.”

His team owner Tony Stewart - a three-time Cup championship driver, who also fields a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup championship-eligible car for Kevin Harvick in Sunday’s race – was happy for the owner’s title. But he felt badly Custer’s stellar season-long effort fell a little short.

“We're proud as an organization to win an owner's championship, but we wanted to do it with our driver winning the driver championship," Stewart said. “Cole did an awesome job all year. The whole team did an awesome job all year. That's the hard part about the last race is it's down to a one race deal, and we just fell a little short.

“We might have made a mistake on the strategy, on pitting too late. But like Cole said, he got to his bumper there, and I thought we were going to be in good shape there, and then just the balance shifted on him.

“You know, you take the lump, and at the same time, like I said, we're excited about the championship on the owner's side. But the goal was to win Cole a driver championship. We would get ours that way, as well.

“We'll just come back next year and try again and try to get him one, but excited that we were able to get Ford their first one for the weekend here and hopefully get another one for them tomorrow for sure.”

Bell, who won a series best seven races this year, was equally as disappointed. But like Custer, he’ll be back again in 2019 to try again to claim the season championship.

“Ultimately just wasn't fast enough tonight," Bell said. “It's disappointing to end our season like that, but really proud of everyone at Joe Gibbs Racing and everyone on this team 20 group. They work really hard to bring really fast race cars to the track every single week, and winning seven races is something that I'm super proud of and super thankful for and wouldn't trade the world for.

“Excited to get back and do it again in February.”

Hemric, who finished fourth in the No. 21 RCR Chevrolet, is the only one among the four championship-eligible drivers who did not lead a lap Saturday. He maintained a top-five running position for the vast majority of the race, but couldn’t legitimately challenge for the lead.

“About 20 laps into the run I thought our car would really, really come on," said Hemric, who moves up to the Cup Series in 2019, driving RCR’s No. 31 Chevrolet.

“I thought it was really going to pay off for us, but whenever we went to that next to last green flag run, and I saw the 9 car [Reddick] was the first one to pit, it was borderline like if you don't pit within a lap of that, then you're committed to run a long time.

“You know, I applaud [crew chief] Danny Stockman for at least making a gutsy call to try to stretch it as long as we could, hoping a caution would come out. It never did, and we got to a point where we had to pit, and by that point we had lost, I don't know the numbers exactly, but probably at least nine to 12 seconds to the leaders as early as they pitted.

“Just not ideal. Just cautions and stuff didn't fall the way we needed them to give ourselves a shot, but I thought we did a good job of making our race car the best we could throughout the night, and just didn't have enough.”

Tyler Reddick was the only driver of the Championship 4 who really liked it on top, and his willingness to run the wall paid off with a race win and a NASCAR Xfinity Series title.

Charging forward in the top lane, even though it meant an occasional brush with the outside wall, Reddick pulled away from pole winner Cole Custer during a long green-flag run to the finish to win Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300 by 6.902 seconds.

“I picked a really good time to get my life together and decide to win a race,” and elated Reddick said in Victory Lane.

In fact, Saturday’s win was the third in Reddick’s career and his second of the season. Reddick won the 2018 opener at Daytona International Speedway by .0004 seconds over JR Motorsports teammate Elliott Sadler, who finished 14th on Saturday in his final start as a full-time driver.

At Daytona, Reddick’s margin of victory translated to roughly three inches. At Homestead, it was a no-doubter. Once he passed fellow Championship 4 competitor Christopher Bell for the lead on Lap 164 of 200 and stayed within inches with the wall lap after lap, he quickly pulled away for the win, the championship and the Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors.

“I just knew we had to execute,” Reddick said. “I thought we had a chance if we just made it to Homestead. I like this track—it rewards my aggression. Tonight, we hit the wall a lot, but the car kept in one piece, enough for me to get to the end.”

Pit strategy also played out in Reddick’s favor. Bell came to pit road under green on Lap 141, and Reddick followed a lap later. Custer didn’t bring his No. 00 Ford to pit road from the lead until Lap 147, after losing roughly two seconds per lap, and exited 8.006 seconds behind Reddick.

Bell passed Reddick for the lead on Lap 154 but within 10 laps the seven-time winner had used up his short-run speed and surrendered the top spot back to Reddick.

“He went out and attacked, attacked, attacked all night, and it paid off for him,” Bell said of Reddick’s effort. “I was good on the bottom, and I had glimpses of hope, but we just weren’t fast enough.”

Custer took second from Bell on Lap 165 and closed to within 2.7 seconds with 30 laps left, but Custer couldn’t find speed at the top of the track and quickly lost ground.

“I think if we could have run the top better, we could have won,” said Custer, who led the first 93 laps before losing two positions on pit road during stops under caution after the second stage. “We got so far behind (after the exchange of pit stops), and once I caught him, our tires got equaled out, and then he started running the top, and I just couldn’t keep up with him.

“Congrats to Tyler. I’m happy for him, but it’s frustrating.”

Trying to run the top lane, Bell smacked the wall on Lap 181 and had to pit with a flat right-rear tire on Lap 190. He finished 11th, one lap down. Championship 4 driver Daniel Hemric ran a distant fourth behind Reddick, Custer and John Hunter Nemechek. Hemric was 17.836 seconds behind Reddick at the finish.

Austin Cindric finished fifth, followed by Ryan Preece and Justin Allgaier, the last driver on the lead lap.

Reddick is the third JR Motorsports driver in five years to win the Xfinity championship as a rookie, following Chase Elliott (2014) and William Byron (2017), both of whom now drive for Hendrick Motorsports in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series. All three rookie champions have driven the No. 9 Chevrolet for JRM.

“(Crew chief) Dave (Elenz) had a great strategy tonight that cycled Tyler into the lead,” said team co-owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. “And Tyler had the speed and the nerve to run the laps he needed to keep the lead.

“I’m telling you, to run on that fence like he did at the end of that race, that takes some precision. He did such an amazing job doing that, and he earned the victory tonight and the championship.”

Following an outstanding rookie season, Tyler Reddick is now the NASCAR Xfinity Series champion.

The driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet capped off an extraordinary season in grand fashion – by capturing the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series championship with a stirring victory in Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

To take the title, Reddick outdueled his Championship 4 competitors Cole Custer (second), Daniel Hemric (fourth) and Christopher Bell (11th).

The Corning, California native showed his talent on the racetrack throughout the entire season and won the opening race of the season at Daytona in the closest finish in NASCAR national series history, immediately securing his spot in the Playoffs.

Once the Playoffs began, Reddick upped his performance to another level, recording a top-10 finish in all but one postseason race. Reddick finished the season with two wins, seven top fives and 20 top 10s.

Reddick was also crowned the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year.

The title is the second consecutive driver championship for JR Motorsports and third in the last five years. The team also won the 2014 title with Chase Elliott and 2017 with William Byron.

The No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford won the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series Owner Championship, finishing second ahead of fellow Championship 4 owner contenders No. 20, No. 21 and No. 42. It is the first NASCAR Xfinity Series owner championship for Stewart-Haas Racing.

On the strength of 15 victories, Chevrolet won the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series Manufacturer Championship.

NASCAR PR

Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 9 BurgerFi Chevrolet Camaro SS, claimed the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) driver championship with a victory in the season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. His title, the first for Reddick and third in the past five seasons for JR Motorsport co-owners Kelley Earnhardt Miller and Dale Earnhardt, Jr., marks Chevrolet’s 20th Driver’s Championship since the inception of the series in 1982.
 
“Congratulations to Tyler Reddick and the No. 9 Camaro SS on earning his first NASCAR Xfinity Series championship,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. Vice President of Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “Tyler and his team made a big statement winning the season-opening race at Daytona. They made the most of their spot in the Playoffs and were able to capitalize when it counted most to earn a title in one of NASCAR’s most competitive divisions.”
 
On the way to the title he piloted his Chevy Camaro SS to two wins, 7 top-five and 20 top-10 finishes, a career best for the 22-year old Corning, California native. 
 
Reddick becomes the 29th different competitor to win a Xfinity Series title. He also becomes the third driver, joining former JR Motorsports and Chevrolet drivers Chase Elliott and William Byron, to earn the Xfinity Series title and Rookie of the Year honors all in the same season. 
 
Hendrick Motorsports continues its legacy of propelling drivers to their first championships as Reddick becomes the seventh different driver to earn his first title for JR Motorsports co-owner Rick Hendrick. 
 
“The year wasn’t the smoothest for us, but I knew coming in here if we just made it to Homestead, this is a great track for me, it rewards my aggression” Reddick said as he exited his No. 9 Camaro SS after earning his first Xfinity Series championship. “Tonight, we hit the wall a lot, but the car kept in one piece long enough for me to get to the end. These guys worked so hard all year on the BurgerFi Chevrolet. We had to overcome a lot. This year was all about learning. It was an up and down year and with everything we had to do, we had to do it in the Playoffs and it rewarded us with a championship. We can hang our hat on that. I know people will say we weren’t consistent, but we got it done when it counted most.
 
“I knew this team could make it to Miami. All of our guys at JR Motorsports on this team could make it to Miami, Justin Allgaier, Elliott Sadler, and Michael Annett had good speed all year long. It was just a matter of executing. We had plenty of opportunities to win races earlier in the year and I just didn’t execute. I picked a really good time to decide to win a race.
 
“This is just a great moment. This isn’t going to be the year the best car all year won. We had to fight really, really hard. I made a lot of mistakes, a lot of growing pains, but my guys just never gave up on me, this whole No. 9 group. We dug down deep when it mattered most and when the Playoffs came around, we dug down and got it done. We had to run well and we were consistent and got to Homestead. I knew if we got here, we had a good shot at getting this championship done.”
 
Reddick joins 16 other Team Chevy drivers to record this achievement. Others include: William Byron (2017), Chase Elliott (2014), Austin Dillon (2013), Clint Bowyer (2008), Martin Truex, Jr. (2004-05), Brian Vickers (2003), Kevin Harvick (2001 & ‘06), Jeff Green (2000), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (1998-99), Randy LaJoie (1996-97), Johnny Benson (1995), David Green (1994), Steve Grissom (1993), Joe Nemechek (1992) and Larry Pearson (1987).
 
“Also, congratulations to Dale Earnhardt, Jr., Kelley Earnhardt Miller and Rick Hendrick on earning yet another championship for JR Motorsports,” Campbell continued. “JR Motorsports has positioned themselves as one of the premier organizations in the NASCAR Xfinity Series and Chevrolet is proud to race with them.” 
 
Chevrolet returns to competition in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Daytona International Speedway for the season opening event on February 17, 2018 as the newly updated Camaro SS makes its on-track competition debut.
 
Team Chevy PR

Brett Moffitt, a kid with a moustache reminiscent of Leo DiCaprio—yet already a journeyman driver at age 26—is the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion after a decisive victory in Friday night’s Ford EcoBoost 200 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

In a race that featured a minimum two cautions, both for planned stage breaks, Moffitt drove away from the rest of the field after taking the lead from fellow Championship 4 contender Noah Gragson on Lap 99 of 134.

Moffitt finished 2.000 seconds ahead of pole winner Grant Enfinger, who passed Gragson for the runner-up spot during a cycle of green-flag pit stops at the 103-lap mark. Gragson ran third, 5.006 seconds back.

GMS Racing teammates Justin Haley and Johnny Sauter didn’t factor into the title battle. Haley ran eighth, and Sauter, trying for a second series championship, battled a loose handling condition all race long and finished 12th, the last driver on the lead lap.

Driving for underfunded Hattori Racing Enterprises, owned by former driver Shigeaki Hattori of Japan, Moffitt picked up his sixth victory of the season (and second straight) and the seventh of his career. More than 20 years ago, Hattori won the first of his two Indy Lights races at Homestead after leading 64 of 67 laps in a Lola/Buick.

“That was the longest 20-30 laps of my life," Moffitt said of the final run to the checkered flag. "Man, I was just glad we could get to the white flag without a caution and clean sailing. We had a great truck all day.

"It's unreal. We all know the story by now. We didn't know if we were going to race this whole year. I didn't if I would have the opportunity to run for a championship, even after we got our first win. Everyone pulled together hard here.

"We've had so many partners who came in at clutch moments and got us to the race track.”

Hattori fought sponsorship issues throughout the season, and Moffitt has yet to announce a deal for next season, but that didn’t deter the driver of the No. 16 Toyota from battling Gragson from a restart on Lap 68 until he finally prevailed on Lap 99—after two concerted runs at his rival for the title.

"I just got my tires a little too hot the first time I got next to him, and I probably didn't commit enough to the move,” said Moffitt, who competed in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series before landing the ride with HRE. “I kind of let them cool down and ran the top trying to get some momentum.

"He was kind of backing up, and we could still run the bottom really well, which is kind of unusual for Homestead.”

Moffitt lost the lead briefly but gained three seconds on Gragson in the championship battle when the drivers came to pit road for their final stops, Gragson on Lap 101 and Moffitt one circuit later. After returning to the point on Lap 106, Moffitt wasn’t challenged the rest of the way.

Sauter’s performance was surprising, too, in that his team never hit a workable setup.

“It was awful,” admitted Sauter, who couldn’t find the form that carried him to Victory Lane six times this year. “Just no grip. We laid an egg tonight. When you suck that bad, you just go home and ask yourself, ‘What the hell happened?’”

Stewart Friesen finished fourth and Sheldon Creed fifth. Matt Crafton, John Hunter Nemechek, Haley, Jesse Little and Ben Rhodes completed the top 10.

Myatt Snider, who finished 14th, claimed Sunoco Rookie of the Year honors for the series.