Tyler Reddick gambles and wins at Las Vegas

Tyler Reddick celebrates his fifth win of the season
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Tyler Reddick and his Richard Childress Racing Team gambled and hit the jackpot at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Saturday evening – taking a chance on fuel mileage; racing just hard enough and simultaneously saving just enough fuel to hold off Christopher Bell by .738-seconds in the NASCAR Xfinity Series Rhino Pro Truck Outfitters 300.

Reddick, who hoisted his fifth trophy, also officially earned the regular season championship based on points, on lap 71 of the 200-lap race. He was running fifth place at the time.

"Christopher Bell had a really fast race car today, but we were just able to come in and get fuel and tires and run really fast laps to keep us in front of him," said Reddick, whose 30 laps led to close out the win were the sum of his laps out front.

"Hat's off to [crew chief] Randall [Burnett] and all the guys, we've had a really fast car in the past, unfortunately today we didn't have it but we got them with strategy."

Brandon Jones was third, polesitter Cole Custer was fourth and Justin Allgaier rounded out the top five. Veteran Elliott Sadler, 44, a four-time Xfinity Series championship runner-up and 13-race winner, finished 10th in his last NASCAR national series race.

Tyler Reddick (2) stretched his fuel for the final 70 laps to beat out Christopher Bell for the victory
Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

It was a strong statement for Reddick, 23, who earned his fifth victory to close out the regular season and now begins the Playoff run on a high note – the regular season champion and the most recent winner heading into the title run. The Californian has a series-best 20 top-five and 22 top-10 finishes in 26 races and is the defending Xfinity Series champion.

A six-race winner this season, Bell led a race-high 154 laps on the night and was understandably disappointed in the outcome after an especially strong showing Saturday. He pit for tires and fuel with 30 laps remaining and returned to the track to try to make up Reddick's nearly 20-second advantage at the time. He slowly gained but ultimately came up short.

Although Bell's impressive effort on the night didn't earn him the race trophy, he does go into the Playoffs with the points lead. He is the top-ranked driver with 2,055 points as they are reset. Custer and Reddick are tied for second as the points re-set, 11 points behind Bell.

The rest of the Xfinity Series Playoff qualifiers in their re-seeded order include Austin Cindric, rookie Chase Briscoe, veterans Justin Allgaier and Michael Annett, rookie Noah Gragson, Brandon Jones, Justin Haley, Ryan Sieg and rookie John Hunter Nemechek. The seven-race Championship Playoffs begin next week at Richmond Raceway.

Sieg failed post-race technical inspection, but fortunately for him, it didn't cost him a Playoff berth.

Custer, who bested Bell for the pole position Saturday afternoon, earned his fourth consecutive top-10 at the track and although disappointed not to win, seemed optimistic about his Playoff potential.

"We were just tight," Custer said of his No. 00 Stewart-Haas Racing Ford. "We tried to make adjustments to fix it. Just a tough weekend.‘'

But, he added. "We had a great regular season and looking forward to the Playoffs. I'm pumped for it. I think all the tracks in the playoffs we'll be strong and everybody should look out for us."

Reddick's crew chief Randall Burnett conceded it was a risky move to get the victory, but said he was feeling the Vegas vibe and that a strategic gamble was their only hope in besting the faster Bell.

"We felt like we weren't going to be able to get up there and compete with the 20 (Bell) he was the class of the field all day," Burnett said. "We saw an opportunity there. We knew we would be really close. None of the other guys came down (pit road). We really didn't have anything to lose at this point.

"We got back out there, he [Reddick] did a great job managing and holding pace. We just managed our pace based on how fast the 20 was catching us. We had to pick it back up at the end. It just worked out."

RACE RESULTS

Finish Start # Driver Sponsor/Make Laps Led Points Status
1 4 2 Tyler Reddick TAME the BEAST Chevrolet 200 30 54 Running
2 2 20 Christopher Bell Rheem/Smurfit Kappa Toyota 200 154 55 Running
3 6 19 Brandon Jones Juniper Toyota 200 0 44 Running
4 1 0 Cole Custer Haas Automation Ford 200 0 47 Running
5 3 7 Justin Allgaier BRANDT Professional Agriculture Chevrolet 200 15 50 Running
6 36 9 Noah Gragson # Switch Chevrolet 200 0 31 Running
7 16 8 Gray Gaulding JT Marine Chevrolet 199 0 30 Running
8 13 23 John Hunter Nemechek # Berry's Manufacturing Chevrolet 199 0 35 Running
9 15 18 Riley Herbst(i) Monster Energy Toyota 199 0 0 Running
10 8 10 Elliott Sadler Nutrien Ag Solutions Chevrolet 199 0 27 Running
11 7 98 Chase Briscoe # Ford Performance Ford 199 1 36 Running
12 5 22 Austin Cindric MoneyLion Ford 199 0 36 Running
13 11 1 Michael Annett Pilot/Flying J Chevrolet 199 0 27 Running
14 19 39 Ryan Sieg Lombard Bros Gaming Chevrolet 199 0 23 Running
15 22 8 Ryan Truex Bar Harbor Chevrolet 199 0 25 Running
16 10 11 Justin Haley # LeafFilter Gutter Protection Chevrolet 199 0 22 Running
17 17 86 Brandon Brown # Vero True Social Chevrolet 198 0 20 Running
18 37 90 Alex Labbe Martin and Cain Warehousing Chevrolet 198 0 19 Running
19 29 36 Josh Williams Starbrite Star Tron/Simcraft Chevrolet 198 0 18 Running
20 20 7 Ray Black II ISOKERNFrplcs&Chmnys/ScbLf Chev 197 0 17 Running
21 12 51 Jeremy Clements RepairableVehicles.com Chevrolet 197 0 16 Running
22 23 1 Stephen Leicht teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 197 0 15 Running
23 21 4 BJ McLeod teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 196 0 14 Running
24 26 0 Garrett Smithley teamjdmotorsports.com Chevrolet 196 0 13 Running
25 24 5 Matt Mills J.F. Electric Chevrolet 195 0 12 Running
26 18 61 Tommy Joe Martins Diamond Gusset Jean Co. Toyota 194 0 11 Running
27 30 52 David Starr Circle Track/Franklins Signs Chevrolet 194 0 10 Running
28 38 99 Ja Junior Avila Art General Contractors Toyota 193 0 9 Running
29 28 15 Tyler Matthews LineTec Services Chevrolet 191 0 8 Running
30 32 35 Joey Gase Nevada Donor Network Toyota 187 0 7 Vibration
31 34 78 Vinnie Miller Pit Viper Sunglasses Chevrolet 186 0 6 Running
32 31 93 CJ McLaughlin SciAps Chevrolet 121 0 5 Accident
33 25 74 Kyle Weatherman Chevrolet 66 0 4 Suspension
34 27 17 Joe Nemechek(i) RWR Chevrolet 56 0 0 Steering
35 33 66 Chad Finchum LasVegas.net Toyota 52 0 2 Suspension
36 35 13 Stan Mullis LasVegas.net Toyota 22 0 1 Carburetor
37 9 89 Landon Cassill Visone RV Chevrolet 20 0 1 Overheating
38 14 38 JJ Yeley RSS Racing Chevrolet 2 0 1 Fuel Pump

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