Reddick Takes Xfinity Series Title for JR Motorsports

JR Motorsports | 11/18/2018

BurgerFi Championship 4 Homestead News Tyler Reddick XFINITY Series

Rookie driver Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 9 BurgerFi Chevrolet for JR Motorsports, won the 2018 NXS championship Saturday night at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

Race 33 of 33: Ford EcoBoost 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway
Track Specs: 1.5-mile oval / 200 laps
Weather: Cloudy; 75 degrees

Reddick's Finish: 1st

Tyler Reddick, driver of the No. 9 BurgerFi Chevrolet Camaro, earned the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship after taking home the victory in Saturday afternoon’s season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Reddick, who scored his second victory of the season, becomes the third driver to win a championship for JR Motorsports and just the third driver to win both the Rookie of the Year honors and the championship in the same season. Former JRM drivers Chase Elliott and William Byron previously accomplished that feat in 2014 and 2017, respectively.

Reddick took the green flag for the final race of the 2018 season from the fourth position after advancing to the final round of knockout qualifying on Saturday morning. After quickly moving up to the second position on the opening lap of the event, Reddick reported to crew chief Dave Elenz that his BurgerFi Chevrolet was struggling to find rear security rolling through the corner. Despite not handling to his liking, Reddick continued to fight for position inside the top three, taking the green-and-white checkered flag to end the caution-free opening stage in the third position.

Elenz made the decision to bring Reddick to pit road during the stage-ending caution for four tires and a chassis adjustment in the hopes of alleviating the ill-handling condition. Although returning to the track in second following the stop, the handling of the BurgerFi Chevrolet continued to worsen as Reddick reported that he had gotten tight rolling through the center of the corner. This tight condition ultimately shuffled Reddick back to the eighth position by the completion of the caution-free second stage on lap 90.

Prior to the beginning of the final stage, Reddick returned to pit road for four tires and another chassis adjustment, sending the Corning, Calif. native back out for the ensuing restart in the seventh position. Once back underway, Reddick began to methodically work his way forward, taking advantage of the treacherous outside line to click off lap times that were consistently faster than the leaders and drive up to the third position by lap 125.

Then, while closing in on Championship 4 contender Cole Custer, Elenz made the strategy call to short-pit Reddick under green on lap 143, several laps earlier than then championship leader Custer. After pitting for four tires and fuel, the 22-year old driver returned to the track in the fourth position before assuming the race lead on lap 147 after the cycle of green-flag pit stops came to an end. Reddick held on to the race lead for eight laps before another Championship 4 contender, Christopher Bell, got by on the inside line.

However, Reddick refused to let Bell get too far out in front and after just eight laps was able to run down the No. 20 and retake the race lead on lap 163 with a power move on the outside off of the fourth corner. Once back out front, the BurgerFi Chevrolet came alive as Reddick consistently ran the fastest laps on the track and continued to stretch his lead out over the Championship 4 contenders lap after lap.

In the closing laps of the caution-free final stage, it was Reddick’s long-run speed that prevailed as the JRM driver took home the checkered flag and the 2018 NXS Championship by 6.902 seconds to second-place.

With the championship, Reddick becomes the first native Californian since Jimmie Johnson in 2016 to win a NASCAR national touring series title and the third driver to win an NXS title for JRM.

The victory also makes Elenz the all-time winningest crew chief in JRM history with 10 wins, breaking a tie with fellow JRM crew chief Jason Burdett.

Reddick scored the victory and the championship with Custer, John Hunter Nemechek, Daniel Hemric and Austin Cindric rounding out the top five.

Tyler Reddick, driver No. 9 BurgerFi team

“This doesn’t feel real, it’s unbelievable. We had been saying all along that if we could just get to Homestead we would have a shot and here we are. I can’t say enough about my guys on this BurgerFi team. Dave (Elenz, crew chief) made some great adjustments throughout the race today and we were able to take advantage of the position we were in at the end. These guys believed in me all season long and to be able to bring home a championship for them and everyone at JR Motorsports is very, very special.”

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XFINITY Series Schedule

XFINITY Series Standings

After Ford EcoBoost 300*

Homestead-Miami Speedway | 11/17/2018
RankDriverPointsBehind
1Tyler Reddick (P)40400
2Cole Custer (P)4035-5
3Daniel Hemric (P)4033-7
4Christopher Bell # (P)4026-14
5Elliott Sadler2255-1785
6Matt Tifft2254-1786
7Justin Allgaier2251-1789
14Michael Annett632-3408