Tyler Reddick stuck to his game plan of driving inches from the outside wall at Homestead-Miami Speedway, and rode his daring approach to victory in both the Ford EcoBoost 300 and the 2018 Xfinity Series championship on Saturday.
Reddick, the 22-year-old driver of the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, held off a dominant No. 00 car of Cole Custer and passed the No. 20 of Christopher Bell with 37 laps remaining to take the lead and capture his second win of the season — and his first series championship.
Custer finished second, about 6.9 seconds behind the champion. John Hunter Nemechek, fellow Championship 4 driver Daniel Hemric and Austin Cindric rounded out the top five.
Bell, the fourth championship contender, finished 11th after a late-race flat tire.
After starting on the pole, Custer led from the green flag until the end of Stage 2, dominating the field as he pulled ahead by nearly 2 seconds at times. He led every lap of the first 95 circuits.
But a slight bobble by the rear tire changer on a pit stop after the end of Stage 2 dropped Custer to third on the ensuing restart, as Nemechek and Bell surged ahead.
Custer edged past Bell to claim second soon after the restart, however.
Championship contenders Reddick, Custer and Bell were all running among the leaders until cars came in for their final pit stop. Bell was the first to stop on Lap 141, and Reddick came one lap later.
Custer did not pit until six laps after Bell, though, and by the time he rejoined the field, he was in fourth – and Reddick had seized the lead.
Bell recaptured the lead by Lap 154, but Reddick’s move to remain in the outside groove that other drivers shied away from helped him to pass Bell for the final time nine laps later.
In all, Reddick led 44 laps. Not counting stage breaks, the race was caution-free.
This story will be updated.