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NASCAR Xfinity: Tyler Reddick takes second-straight title with second-consecutive Homestead win

HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA – NOVEMBER 16: Tyler Reddick, driver of the #2 Tame the Beast Chevrolet, celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Xfinity Series Ford EcoBoost 300 and the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 16, 2019 in Homestead, Florida. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

With a second-consecutive win in the Ford EcoBoost 300 NASCAR Xfinity Series season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway on Saturday, Tyler Reddick claimed a second-consecutive series championship with two different teams. His latest championship also resulted in an owners’ championship for Richard Childress Racing.

“It was just an incredible effort by all of the guys at Richard Childress Racing,” Reddick said. 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 (Cole Custer) and the No. 20 (Christopher Bell) 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 drivers’ championship in the NASCAR Xfinity Series to cap off their 50th anniversary celebration.”

With Reddick’s win, Chevrolet claimed the 2019 Xfinity Series manufacturers’ title.

“Chevrolet is honored to win the 2019 Bill France Performance Cup in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for the 20th time,” Chevrolet US Vice President of Performance and Motorsports Jim Campbell said. “Every point matters during the season, and this achievement is the result of a lot of dedication, hard work and persistence exhibited by all of the Chevy team owners, drivers, crew chiefs, engineers and team members.”

Three of the four championship contenders finished the race inside the top-10. Cole Custer took runner-up honors in the race, despite going a lap down because of an unscheduled pit stop for a loose right-rear wheel on lap 61. After his car fell off its jack on the pit stop, Custer went a lap down. He raced back onto the lead lap on the final lap of the second stage that ended on lap 90.

“I could kind of match his (Reddick’s) 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. What can you say? Tyler can just rip the top here. That is all you can really say about it. I can’t thank my guys enough this year. We have had an unbelievable year. It sucks to come home second two years in a row. We will take it. We were a lot closer this year. I don’t know. I have to thank Gene Haas. I wouldn’t be here without him. His support means everything. Tony (Stewart, team co-owner), he was a huge help today keeping me calm and everything. I am looking forward to next year and seeing what we’ve got.”

Christopher Bell was fifth, and Justin Allgaier finished 14th, one lap down, after an unscheduled pit stop for a flat right-rear tire with just over 10 laps remaining.

Chase Briscoe finished the race in the third position, despite bringing out the seventh and final caution of the race on lap 123. He had just taken the third position from Custer when he hit the wall. After his top-five finish, Briscoe was named the 2019 Xfinity Series Rookie-of-the-Year.

Noah Gragson finished fourth.

Reddick led a race-high 84 laps of the 200-lap race. He traded the lead back-and-forth with Custer with about 20 laps remaining before taking his race-winning lead on lap 182. Although he lead nearly half the race, Reddick wasn’t up front at the end of either of the 45-lap stages. Briscoe won the opening stage, and Austin Cindric the second.

Reddick led the first 33 laps after starting on the pole, but after Bell, Gragson, Allgaier and others stayed out to restart up front after a lap-33 debris caution, Reddick and Custer restarted mid-pack after pitting. Briscoe, who also pitted during the caution, got back up to the lead on lap 40.

Briscoe led the early laps of the second stage, but Cindric took the lead on lap 54. After pitting during the lap-33 caution, Briscoe was only somewhat older tires than Cindric, because Briscoe stayed out at the end of the opening stage. Cindric, though, pitted and took on new tires between the two stages.

Bell got out of the pits after the second stage to restart with the lead, but on that restart, Gragson took the lead. Reddick took the lead on lap 105, and by lap 120, title contenders Reddick, Bell and Custer were running one-two-three with Allgaier in seventh.

Bell, again, got off pit road first during the final caution of the race to retake the lead. Reddick and Custer, though, both got by Bell for the top-two positions in the running order on lap 153. Bell was back up front a few laps later, after the race’s only green-flag cycle of pit stops, despite missing pit road on his first attempt to make his green-flag stop. Custer and Reddick passed Bell for the first two positions, again, on lap 167.

After losing the lead the final time, Bell lost ground to the two title contenders.

Other top-10 finishers included John Hunter Nemechek in sixth, Cindric in seventh, Brandon Jones eighth, Jeb Burton ninth and Harrison Burton in 10th.

Below, is the complete finishing order of the Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway:

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Posted by on November 17, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Xfinity. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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