Tyler Reddick Repeats as Xfinity Series Champion with Another Homestead Win
After another season-ending win at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Tyler Reddick is the Xfinity Series champion. In a year that defined his career even more than his 2018 title, Reddick repeats as the champ. While Reddick is not the first to repeat as Xfinity Series champ, he joins an exclusive club. The 23-year-old California native will now make the jump into the Cup Series as a 2-time champion.
“The first one was special, but this one means more and it’s special in different ways on top of it,” Reddick said. “From the moment me and Richard sat down last year talking about doing something this current year and how much excitement and faith he had in my driving ability, and he thought we could — well before I won the championship with JR Motorsports, he thought I could be a champion.”
As part of his repeat, Reddick dominated Homestead for a second-straight year. After starting on pole, the RCR #2 led 84 circuits en route to the win. Despite the strongest car though, Reddick had to beat Cole Custer late with a daring slide job then crossover move with under 20 laps to go. After that incredible exchange, it was all over for the competition, as Reddick would go on to the repeat.
Reddick Joins Rare Company with Repeat
Reddick’s 2019 crown is the fifth Xfinity Series title for Richard Childress Racing. Kevin Harvick (2001, 2006), Clint Bowyer (2008), and Austin Dillon (2013) all won second-tier titles for the Welcome, North Carolina-based team.
With his back-to-back titles, Reddick is just the latest of another elite list. The driver of the RCR #2 is the seventh to repeat as the Xfinity champ. Sam Ard (1983-1984), Larry Pearson (1986-1987), Randy Lajoie (1996-1997), Dale Earnhardt, Jr. (1998-1999), Martin Truex, Jr. (2004-2005), and Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. (2011-2012) all join Reddick as repeat champs.
Tyler Reddick also joins a list of just one name-his own. Reddick won his 2018 title with JR Motorsports, and the 2019 crown with RCR. He is the only man in Xfinity Series history to go back-to-back with two different teams.
Reddick is Best of the Big 3
The 2019 Xfinity Series season was defined by the Big 3: Tyler Reddick, Cole Custer, and Christopher Bell. The trio of young drivers won 21 of the 33 races, and were three of the Championship 4. At multiple times throughout the Homestead finale, these three drivers were running in the top three. Each of them had a great shot at the title, they all led laps on Saturday night, and their time racing each other is far from over.
What’s Next for Reddick and the Big 3?
The Xfinity Series Big 3 will live on for 2020 in the Cup Series, as they will be racing each other for Rookie of the Year Honors. Tyler Reddick will take over the RCR #8 Chevrolet, Bell will be in the Leavine Family #95 Toyota, and Custer will be in the Stewart-Haas #41 Ford. The Big 3 is far from done competing against themselves for wins and championships, as this youth movement moves to the top level.
Reddick’s stats for his second championship season are the following: 6 wins, 24 top 5s, 27 top 10s, 5 poles, 568 laps led, and an average finish of 6.3. Reddick also won the 2019 Regular Season championship leading into the Playoffs.
With the three top drivers all leaving the Xfinity Series, 2020 will be an interesting year. The top three drivers are gone, so who will take over as the top dog? The new season is just a few short months away from kicking off in February at Daytona International Speedway.
Written by Peter Stratta
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Photo credit to TSJ101Sports.