Tyler Reddick takes Xfinity title with surprise win at Homestead

Reddick began the year with a victory in the season-opener at Daytona and didn’t win again until Saturday night’s season finale Ford 300 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The impressive victory over fellow title contender Cole Custer, however, handed Reddick the series championship in his rookie season. It’s the second consecutive title for JR Motorsports and third in the last five years.

Reddick, 22, came into the championship race as an underdog, with Christopher Bell – who led the series with seven wins this year – as the heavy favorite.

John Hunter Nemechek finished third in the race, title contender Daniel Hemric was fourth and Austin Cindric finished fifth. The final title contender, Bell, ended up 11th.

On Lap 142 of 200, Bell headed down pit road to start a final round of green-flag pit stops. Reddick followed soon after. Hemric was the third title contender to pit, on Lap 147. Custer was the last to pit on Lap 147.

Once the cycle of stops were completed on Lap 149, Reddick took over the race lead. Bell ran second, Custer fifth and Hemric seventh.

Bell got around Reddick on Lap 155 to take the race lead for the first time. Nemechek ran third and Custer fourth.

Custer passed Nemechek for third with 40 laps to go as Bell maintained a small lead over Reddick.

With 36 to go, Reddick moved to the outside of Bell to retake the lead as Custer moved into second and Bell dropped to third.

Reddick held a more than 2.5-second lead over Custer with 30 laps left in the race.

With 10 laps to go, Bell was forced to pit under green with a flat right-rear tire.

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