Reddick Hits the Royal Flush of Fuel Mileage to Win at Vegas

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA — Tyler Reddick takes the fuel mileage gamble at Las Vegas Motor Speedway to edge out the dominant Christopher Bell and wins the Rhino Pro Truck Outfitters 300 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.

“That was nerve-wracking to say the least,” Reddick told NBCSN. “Those last three laps, I was losing fuel pressure.”

The bold call took place during the final caution when C.J. McLaughlin crashed into the Turn 4 wall. Most of the leaders stayed out, but Reddick came to pit road to begin what would be the race-winning fuel mileage strategy. The Richard Childress Racing team recognized they didn’t have the speed to catch or pass Bell, so they played the long game and had the dice roll in their favor over the next 105 miles.

“We came in for fuel and tires and had to save a lot,” Reddick said after a sigh of relief crossing the line under power. ”It allowed us to run some really, really fast laps there before we had on tires at the end to keep us out front. Our car was fast on the long run and that’s what we needed to get a buffer at the end.

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“We’ve had a really, really fast car here in the past. Today we didn’t have it but we got them on strategy again.”

Reddick clinched the regular season championship part way through Stage 2 as other cars retired from the race. However with the postseason reset, Bell will take over the points lead by 11 points, leaving Reddick and pole sitter Cole Custer tied for second.

“We ain’t done yet. We got to go to Homestead and get another trophy,” said Reddick who seemed unphased about losing the points lead after dominating the regular season.

Bell led a race high 154 laps, but fell short by just 0.738 seconds. The gap was over 20 seconds after the final pit stops, but Reddick was able to outsmart and out-luck Bell with his strategy.

“It’s the second time this year that we got beat by circumstances,” Bell told NBCSN. “At Iowa we put on our tires when we needed to and some guys banked on a yellow coming out later and they got it and they beat us. Today those guys did the opposite of us and they won the race. Very, very disappointing.”

Brandon Jones, Custer and Justin Allgaier completed the top five. Las Vegas native Noah Gragson finished sixth. Gray Gaulding also gambled with his fuel and had it pay off to finish in seventh, becoming the first non-Playoff driver in the finishing order. John Hunter Nemecheck, Riley Herbst and Elliott Sadler finished in the top 10 respectively. It was Sadler’s final NASCAR race. Ryan Sieg finished in the 14th position, but was disqualified after post-race inspection found his No. 39 Lombar Bros. Gaming Chevrolet Camaro too low in both the right front and left front. He still has enough points to carry him into the postseason.

Bell Shows Strength Early in Stage One

As the series’ final regular season race, the points gap was larger than the other two national touring series. For those outside of the top 12, they were all too far back to point their way in, so only a win could sneak their way into the Playoffs.

Custer started on pole, but was beat on the first lap by Bell. Custer quickly fell back to third as Justin Allgaier made his way around for the second position. Las Vegas native Gragson spun earlier in qualifying and was forced to start at the rear of the field. He quickly climbed through the field and cracked the top 15 halfway through the stage. Sadler, who was making his final NASCAR start, began the day from the eighth position and ran in the top 10 most of the stage before fading back to the 15th position.

Bell went on the lead all the laps and win the first stage. Sadler was the first car one lap down. Landon Cassell, after a fantastic qualifying run for the ninth starting position, fell out of the race early after overheating issues.

The field came down pit road for service, but Austin Cindric’s crew was penalized for an uncontrolled tire. He came off pit road fourth and was forced to the rear of the field.

Dominance by Bell Was Outplayed by Reddick’s Gamble

Bell took the restart and had a strong challenge by Allgaier before reclaiming the lead. A few cars were declared out of the race due to part failures and mechanical issues, which clinched Reddick as the regular season series champion. He looks to make a run at back-to-back championships in the Xfinity series.

By the end of the stage, Bell led all but two laps up to this point and wins his 15th stage of the regular season.

Drivers began to get more aggressive as they took the green flag for the final stage. Bell continued to dominate, but Allgaier and Custer stayed closer to him. On Lap 110, Tommy Joe Martins spun to bring out the caution. That brought all the leaders to pit road. Cindric had fought his way up to fourth, but with too many crew members over the pit wall and NASCAR penalized him to put him at the tail end of the field.

The field restarted on Lap 115, and Allgaier stayed aggressive. He was able to complete the pass by the exit of Turn 2 and claim the lead, putting Bell into a fight for the second position. Bell stayed patient and was able to reclaim the lead by Lap 123. The caution flew just one lap later as McLaughlin crashed into the outside wall of Turn 4. Most lead lap cars elected to stay on the track, as they could not make it to the end on fuel without coming to pit road again, but Reddick came down pit road for fresh tires and fuel.

When the green flag came out again for what would be the final restart of the race, Bell took over the lead but Briscoe began his late race charge. Halfway through the run, he was able to get by Custer and Allgaier and find himself in the second position. As everyone came down pit road for green flag pit stops, Briscoe speeds on the entrance of pit road, and gets a pass-through penalty.

As the final pit stop cycle completes itself, Reddick elects to stay out to extend his fuel run to the end of the race. He was able to stretch his fuel for 70 laps (105 miles) to the end for his fifth win of the season.

The Playoff field was also set as the regular season concludes. Bell will inherit the points lead, 51 points above the cutoff line. Custer and Reddick will tie for second with a 40 point margin. The rest of the drivers above the cutoff line include Cindric, Briscoe, Allgaier, Michael Annett and Gragson. Jones is the first car in the elimination spot, just one point out of the next round. Justin Haley, Sieg and Nemecheck sit out by two, four and five points respectively.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series compete next at Richmond Raceway on Friday, September 20.


Source: Racing Reference

FinSt#DriverSponsor / OwnerCarLapsStatusLedPtsPPts
142   Tyler ReddickTame the Beast   (Richard Childress)Chevrolet200running30545
2220   Christopher BellRheem / Smurfit Kappa   (Joe Gibbs)Toyota200running154552
3619   Brandon JonesJuniper Networks   (Joe Gibbs)Toyota200running0440
4100   Cole CusterHaas Automation   (Stewart Haas Racing)Ford200running0470
537   Justin AllgaierBrandt   (JR Motorsports)Chevrolet200running15500
6369   Noah GragsonSwitch   (JR Motorsports)Chevrolet200running0310
71608   Gray GauldingJT Marine   (Bobby Dotter)Chevrolet199running0300
81323   John Hunter NemechekBerry’s Manufacturing   (Maury Gallagher)Chevrolet199running0350
91518   Riley HerbstMonster Energy   (Joe Gibbs)Toyota199running000
10810   Elliott SadlerNutrien Ag Solutions   (Matthew Kaulig)Chevrolet199running0270
11798   Chase BriscoeFord Performance   (Fred Biagi)Ford199running1360
12522   Austin CindricMoney Lion   (Roger Penske)Ford199running0360
13111   Michael AnnettPilot / Flying J   (JR Motorsports)Chevrolet199running0270
14228   Ryan TruexBar Harbor   (JR Motorsports)Chevrolet199running0260
151011   Justin HaleyLeaf Filter Gutter Protection   (Matthew Kaulig)Chevrolet199running0230
161786   Brandon BrownVero True Social   (Jerry Brown)Chevrolet198running0210
173790   Alex LabbeMartin & Cain Warehousing   (Mario Gosselin)Chevrolet198running0200
182936   Josh WilliamsStar Brite / Star Tron / Simcraft   (Mario Gosselin)Chevrolet198running0190
192007   Ray Black, Jr.Isokern Fireplaces & Chimneys / Scuba Life   (Bobby Dotter)Chevrolet197running0180
201251   Jeremy ClementsRepairableVehicles.com   (Jeremy Clements)Chevrolet197running0170
212301   Stephen LeichtJD Motorsports   (Johnny Davis)Chevrolet197running0160
22214   B.J. McLeodJD Motorsports   (Johnny Davis)Chevrolet196running0150
23260   Garrett SmithleyJD Motorsports   (Johnny Davis)Chevrolet196running0140
24245   Matt MillsJ.F. Electric   (B.J. McLeod)Chevrolet195running0130
251861   Tommy Joe MartinsDiamond Gusset Jeans   (Carl Long)Toyota194running0120
263052   David StarrCircle Track / Franklin’s Signs   (Jimmy Means)Chevrolet194running0110
273899   Jairo Avila, Jr.ART General Contractor   (B.J. McLeod)Toyota193running0100
282815   Tyler MatthewsLineTec Services   (Johnny Davis)Chevrolet191running090
293235   Joey GaseNevada Donor Network   (Carl Long)Toyota187vibration080
303478   Vinnie MillerPit Viper Sunglasses   (B.J. McLeod)Chevrolet186running070
313193   C.J. McLaughlinSci Aps   (Rod Sieg)Chevrolet121crash060
322574   Kyle Weatherman  (Mike Harmon)Chevrolet66suspension050
332717   Joe NemechekRWR   (Rick Ware)Chevrolet56steering000
343366   Chad FinchumLasVegas.net   (Carl Long)Toyota52suspension030
353513   Stan MullisLasVegas.net   (Carl Long)Toyota22carburetor020
36989   Landon CassillVisone RV   (Morgan Shepherd)Chevrolet20overheating010
371438   J.J. YeleyRSS Racing   (Rod Sieg)Chevrolet2fuel pump010
381939   Ryan SiegLombar Bros. Gaming   (Rod Sieg)Chevrolet199disqualified010


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