HOMESTEAD, Fla – Tyler Reddick won Saturday’s Homestead 300 and also captured his first NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship in the series season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. This was Reddick’s second win of the season and gave JR Motorsports its third championship title.
“It’s something I knew was possible all year long and, you know not everyone in the garage probably believed it, our team believed it and that’s all you need. We winning the first race of the year was a huge sigh of relief, no matter what may or horrible things could happen, we were locked into the playoffs, but at the same time I think that looking back, obviously going into the playoffs we look back and see I was too aggressive and tore up a bunch of good race cars,” Reddick said.
Cole Custer, John Hunter Nemechek, Daniel Hemric and Austin Cindric rounded out the top 5.
Custer led the field to the green. Going into the race Custer had led every lap since lap since lap 62 of the 2017 edition of the race.
For Stage 1 on Saturday race, it looked like he did not want to give up the lead. After leading all the laps in Stage 1 he easily won it. Christopher Bell who started second, spun his tires at the start of the stage and finished sixth.
As for the other playoff divers, Hemric finished second and Reddick got third.
Stage 2 felt like a repeat of Stage 1. Custer continued leading laps. He was able to lead every lap in Stage 2 and take the stage win. Bell finished third, Hemric got forth and Reddick finished eight.
Up to that point in the race, there was not a caution out yet for incident on the race track. The first two stages of the race was clean and dominated by Custer.
The pit stops during the stage caution changed the race. Custer lost the lead to Nemechek on pit road and was forced to restart third. Custer was able to take second place shortly after the restart as he headed towards Nemechek.
Stage 3 had the Championship 4 listed from second to fifth and being blocked from the race lead by Nemechek. Reddick ran up against the wall and was one of the fastest cars during the stage.
Reddick hit the wall a few times while he was up top but there was a feel that the contact made him faster. He was able to take the third position from Bell with under 75 laps left in the race.
Bell mentioned on the radio that he felt like was losing the race when he got passed by Reddick. The race ran green towards the next cycle of pit stops so it was crucial for Bell to have started making moves toward the front before that.
Green flag pits arrived with under 60 laps and all Championship 4 drivers pitted around the same laps except for one. Custer who was running second at the time stayed out for many laps after the other championship contenders pitted.
Many people critiqued Custer for waiting so long to pit. He lost a lot of track position for waiting so many laps to pit. Reddick took the lead after the pit cycle.
“I don’t know if the call we made was, you know I would of rethought things but you know we don’t want to be caught a lap down, you don’t want, there a lot of risk involved in pitting early, I mean it is what it is,” Custer said.
Bell took the lead on lap 154 from Reddick. The battle for the championship started to heat up during the last quarter of the race. It looked like Bell’s car improved after his past complaints about it earlier in the race.
Reddick retook the lead with less than 40 laps in the race as a battle with Bell really got hot. He was on his bumper for a few laps when he was able to sneak over him and take the lead.
This gave Custer an advantage after he took the third position from Nemechek and he was able to get up and close to the battle between Bell and Reddick.
Reddick was able to extend the distance of his lead thanks to him running on the top lane. There was still no caution out for incident with under 20 laps in the race. Reddick was cruising fast in the top lane.
Reddick was able to extend his lead and take the victory. This ended the season for the Xfinity Series as they now look forward to a few months off before heading to Daytona in February.
NASCAR Xfinity Series Race
Unofficial Race Results for the 24Th Annual Ford Ecoboost 300 – Saturday, November 17, 2018
Homestead-Miami Speedway – Homestead, FL – 1.5 Mile Paved
|1||4||9||Tyler Reddick (P)||BurgerFi||Chevrolet|
|2||1||00||Cole Custer (P)||Haas Automation||Ford|
|3||3||42||John Hunter||Nemechek Fire Alarm Services Inc.||Chevrolet|
|4||10||21||Daniel Hemric (P)||South Point Hotel & Casino||Chevrolet|
|5||5||22||Austin Cindric #||MoneyLion||Ford|
|7||6||7||Justin Allgaier||BRANDT Professional Agriculture||Chevrolet|
|9||14||5||Michael Annett||Pilot Flying J||Chevrolet|
|11||2||20||Christopher Bell # (P)||GameStop Transformers||Toyota|
|12||11||16||Ryan Reed||Drive Down A1C Lilly Diabetes||Ford|
|13||13||60||Chase Briscoe||Nutri Chomps||Ford|
|14||7||1||Elliott Sadler||OneMain Financial||Chevrolet|
|15||15||11||Ryan Truex||LeafFilter Gutter Protection||Chevrolet|
|16||23||4||Ross Chastain||Florida Watermelon Association||Chevrolet|
|18||18||61||Kaz Grala #||NETTTS/Hot Scream||Ford|
|19||16||51||Jeremy Clements||Fly and Form/RepairableVehicles.com||Chevrolet|
|20||21||3||Shane Lee||CMR Construction & Roofing||Chevrolet|
|21||20||36||Alex Labbe #||Alpha Prime||Chevrolet|
|22||19||38||Ryan Sieg||RSS Racing||Chevrolet|
|24||27||86||Brandon Brown||Coalition to Salute America’s Heroes||Chevrolet|
|27||29||0||Garrett Smithley||KSDT and Company||Chevrolet|
|28||34||52||David Starr||Shoun Trucking||Chevrolet|
|30||36||76||Spencer Boyd #||Grunt Style||Chevrolet|
|31||25||66||Chad Finchum #||Smithbilt Homes||Toyota|
|34||33||90||Caesar Bacarella||Alpha Prime/MAXIM||Chevrolet|
|35||31||13||Timmy Hill||OCR Gaz Bar||Toyota|
|36||28||93||JJ Yeley||RSS Racing||Chevrolet|
|37||39||39||Angela Ruch||Give A Child A Voice||Chevrolet|
|38||24||89||Landon Cassill||Visone RV||Chevrolet|
|39||40||37||Jeff Green||RSS Racing||Chevrolet|
|40||37||78||Vinnie Miller #||JAS Expedited Trucking LLC||Chevrolet|