MIAMI— Rookie Tyler Reddick started and ended the season on a high note, as he reached Victory Lane at Daytona International Speedway in the first race of the year and then capped it off by winning the Ford EcoBoost 300 on Saturday at Homestead-Miami Speedway to capture the 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) Championship. Reddick is the only driver in NXS history to win the first and last race of the season.
“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. “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.”
Reddick beat out the remaining Championship 4 contenders – Christopher Bell, Cole Custer and Daniel Hemric – by leading 44 laps, including the final 37. Custer led the most laps in the race (95) and won both Stage 1 and 2.
The championship makes Reddick the 29th different driver to win the Xfinity Series title. The driver of the No. 9 car for JR Motorsports won the championship in his rookie season, joining former JR Motorsports drivers Chase Elliott (2014) and William Byron (2017) as the only drivers in series history to accomplish this feat.
Tony Stewart and Gene Haas claimed the owner championship in their second season in the series. The win marks Stewart-Haas Racing’s first Xfinity Series owner championship. Custer won one race for Stewart-Haas this season and scored a series-high 26 top-10s.
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series will cap its 2018 season Sunday from Homestead-Miami Speedway with the Ford EcoBoost 400 championship race, which will be broadcast on NBC at 2:30 p.m.
About Homestead-Miami Speedway
Homestead-Miami Speedway has been open since 1995 following an initiative to spur economic recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. The Speedway, which was founded by Miami businessman, racing enthusiast and philanthropist Ralph Sanchez, is a 650-acre facility that features a 1.5-mile oval and 2.21-mile road course. The Speedway hosts on-track events nearly 300 days per year and generates more than $301 million annually for the region. In 2017, NASCAR crowned champions in all three of its national series at Homestead-Miami Speedway during Ford Championship Weekend for the 16th consecutive year (2002-17). Champions crowned at Homestead-Miami Speedway in 2017 were Martin Truex Jr. (Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series), William Byron (NASCAR XFINITY Series) and Christopher Bell (NASCAR Camping World Truck Series). 2018 Ford Championship Weekend will be held November 16-18.