Lady Luck Smiles on Reddick in Vegas
7:50 pm - Saturday Good Night - The Xfinity Series Race is in the books with Redding taking the checkered flag for the first time in four starts at LVMS. Join us tomorrow for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series South Point 400.
7:31 pm - Lady Luck Smiles on Reddick in Vegas - Tyler Reddick clinched the 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series Regular Season Championship in style as he won the Rhino Pro 300 at LVMS. Reddick had the title in the bag with just over 70 laps in the books but the race-winning move came with 70 laps to go when Reddick's crew chief, Randall Burnett, called him to pit road under caution. At the time, the other leaders stayed on the track, putting the No. 2 Chevrolet deep in the field for the restart. From there, Reddick managed to save enough fuel to outlast the rest of the field and win by a little less than a second over Christopher Bell.
"What I wanted to do was get the title locked up and make sure that we had that taken care of first before we tried to win this race," Reddick explained. "I'm not going to lie to you. I didn't think we were going to win it that way, but a great call by Randall and all the guys."
Reddick cycled into the lead on Lap 171 and hung on to lead the final 30 laps of the race. This was his 8th victory in 77 series starts and his fifth of the season.
"We saw an opportunity there," said Burnett about the gutsy gamble on pit road. "We knew we were going to be really, really close. We really didn't have anything to lose at that point. It just worked out. It was just one of those things where it all came together for us."
Car owner Richard Childress was on hand to celebrate with his team in Victory Lane and he had high praise for all, especially his young driver.
"They called a perfect race," Childress said. "(Crew chief) Randall made a perfect call. Tyler did a great job saving when he had to. And he ran a 32.08 (second lap) on old tires at the end, so I knew we had something.
I'll tell you who he reminds me a lot of-- and I've been watching him-- I raced against him myself-- is Cale Yarborough."
All Christoper Bell did was lead 154 of 200 laps, but he came up short at the end despite the dominating performance. Rounding out the top five were Brandon Jones, pole winner Cole Custer, who failed to lead a lap, and Justin Allgaier, who led five times for 15 laps.
7:00 pm - Reddick Wins the Rhino Pro 300 - Tyler Reddick's team had nothing to lose when he gambled on an out-of-sequence pit stop. From there, all Reddick did was stretch a single tank of fuel 70 laps to win the race. Christopher Bell led the most laps but had to settle for 2nd. Rounding out the top 5 were Jones, pole winner Cole Custer and Justin Allgaier.
"That was nerve-wracking to say the least, said Reddick, who scored his 5th victory of the season. "We got 'em on strategy."
6:55 pm - 10 Laps to Go - Reddick is trying to stretch this tank of fuel 70 laps. He is still 9 seconds ahead of Bell in 2nd. Bell is making up approximately a half a second a lap. Bell may be running out of time but there's still a question about whether Reddick will make it to the end with the fuel he has.
6:45 pm - Reddick Cyles to the Lead - After the leaders pit, Reddick has cycled into the lead and he's going to try to go the distance. He made an unscheduled stop earlier. We'll see if he can hang on. After making his way up to the top 5, Briscoe is penalized for speeding on entry to pit road.
Lap 175: Reddick is running about 16 seconds ahead of Bell in 2nd.
6:40 pm - Green Flag Pit Stops Start - Custer gives up 5th place on Lap 166 to make his final pit stop for fuel and tires. Annett makes a stop of Lap 188. Allgaier and Nemechek are on pit road. Bell gives up the lead on Lap 169 to make his stop.
6:25 pm - Unscheduled Stop for Cindric - Cindric's troubles continue as he comes to pit road for a stop under green. He had a flat tire. He'll get fresh tires and fuel and rejoin the field, one lap behind the leaders, in 23rd place.
6:22 pm - Back to Green - Most of the leaders decided to stay on the track but Reddick's team bucked the trend and called their driver in for four tires. We'll see if that was the right move.
For the restart, it's Bell, Allgaier, Briscoe, Custer.
We're back to racing on Lap 133.
6:13 pm - Under Caution, Lap 127 - CJ McLaughlin made contract with wall and we're under caution. CJ blew a tire going into Turn 3 and rode the outside wall all the way to Turn 4. One lap before that incident, Bell was able to run Allgaier back down and retake the lead in Turn 4.
6:10 pm - Back to Green on Lap 116 - We're back to racing. Allgaier is challenging Bell for the lead and for the first time today, Bell loses the lead on the track.
Lap 121: It's Allgaier, Bell, Custer, Nemechek and Briscoe.
6:05 pm - Under Caution, Lap 112 - We just had our first on-track incident. Tommy Joe Martins loses control of the No. 61 and slides off the backstretch in the lazy, semi-spin. The leaders will take this opportunity to make pit stops.
Bell's team rips off a great stop and gets their driver off pit road first. Behind him it's Allgaier, Custer, Nemechek, Briscoe, Annett.
Cindric's team is penalized for having too many men over the pit wall. He'll restart at the tail end of the field instead of 3rd.
That was a fortunately timed caution for Reddick who scraped the wall a few laps ago and was planning to pit under green. After a longer than usual pit stop to make repairs, Reddick restarts 13th.
5:55 pm - Stage #3, Green Flag - Bell retains the lead after that round of pit stops.
Top 10 for the restart: Bell, Custer, Allgaier, Cindric, Briscoe, Reddick, Jones, Annett, John Hunter Nemechek, Truex
Back to green on Lap 98
5:45 pm - Bell Still The Man, Wins Segment #2 - Bell has been untouchable through 90 laps. Finishing 2nd through 5th in that segment were Allgaier (4.7 seconds behind), Custer, Briscoe, and Reddick.
Bell is the only driver to sweep all three stages in a race in 2019. He's done it twice and he'll be going for three.
Pit stops are coming up.
5:30 pm - Reddick Clinches Regular Season Championship - We are only 71 laps into this 200-lap event, but Reddick's performance to this point has clinched him the regular season championship. He is currently running 5th on the track.
5:21 pm - Back to Green - Christopher Bell held onto the lead through that pit stop. Lining up behind him it's Allgaier, Custer, Reddick and Jones
Elliott Sadler got the free pass on that caution
A tire gets away from Cindric's crew. That will be a penalty. He'll restart in the rear after running in the top 5 for the whole first segment. He'll restart 13th.
Garrett Smithley was popped for speeding on pit road.
Noah Gragson restarts 9th.
Back to green on Lap 52.
5:13 pm - Christopher Bell Wins Stage #1 - Bell jumped out to the lead on the first lap and just drove away from the field. He led all 45 laps and crossed the start/finish line to finish the segment 5.063 seconds ahead of Allgaier. This is Bell's 14th stage win of the season.
Reddick, Cindric and Custer rounded out the top 5.
We were clean and green through that first segment. Pit stops coming up.
5:00 pm - Lap 25 Update - We are just a bit past the halfway point of this first segment. Bell continues to show the way. Allgaier is 3.3 seconds behind Bell in 2nd. Custer, Cindric and Reddick round out the top 5. Las Vegas driver Noah Gragson has charged up through the field from 36th on the starting grid and is currently running 13th.
4:45 pm: Rhino Pro 300 Going Green - We are getting ready to set the field loose for 300 miles. The first stage will end on Lap 45, the second on Lap 90 and the third on Lap 200, depending on circumstances, of course. Cole Custer will set the pace for the start of the race. Christopher Bell is lined up to Custer's outside. Justin Allgaier and Tyler Reddick make up the second row.
And Green Flag!
Custer and Bell race side by side down the backstretch and through Turns 3 and 4. Give the lead to Bell on the first lap.
Top 4 on Lap 1: Bell, Allgaier, Custer, Reddick, Jones.
3:00 pm - Wrapping up the NXS Regular Season - Coming into this race Tyler Reddick (ranked 1st) and Christopher Bell (ranked 2nd) are the only two drivers with a chance to clinch the regular season championship. As it stands, Reddick has the decided advantage, needing just 11 points to clinch. Bell is 50 points behind and if the two should end up in a tie, Bell would win by virtue of recording six wins to Reddick's four. Bell starts the race from the second position, while Reddick will line up fourth, right on Bell's back bumper.
Tonight's results will decide the 12-driver playoff field
2:45 pm - Rhino Pro 300 Preview - When the checkers fall after this evening's event, it will mark the end of the 2019 Xfinity Series regular season and put a period on the professional racing career of Elliott Sadler. Sadler cut his racing teeth on the shorts track of Richmond and North Carolina and raced against some of the best drivers in the sport's history.
His first Cup Series victory came in spectacular fashion in Thunder Valley on the high banks of Bristol. Driving a backup car, Sadler battled back from a 38th place starting position and a backstretch pit stall to win the race. In doing so he broke a record set by the late, great Dale Earnhardt for winning at Bristol from the lowest starting position.
Sadler qualified a respectable 14th for the race in a car sporting a red and yellow paint scheme that harkens back to the early days of Sadler's career.
"I'm a little nervous," Sadler admitted, prior to qualifying. "I wokd up this morning a little bit nervous. I haven't been in a car in a while. Bur really, I'm excited. People want me to be sad. I've had a great career. I've met a lot of great people."
Two drivers had trouble during qualifying but in both their cases, things could have turned out much worse.
Las Vegas' own Noah Gragson lost the rear end of his racecar going through Turns 3 and 4 and did a masterful job of steering through the slide, just barely kissing the outside wall with the left, rear. The car continued down pit road and came to a stop just a couple feet from the infield wall.
Gragson made no apologies for his overexuberance.
"This is Vegas," he said. "This is my hometown. I'm going balls out, balls to the wall. I tried to carry it. I was running loose, but overall, just super thankful. Barely, barely nicked the tail on the right, rear. I was nuttin' up for sure and going for the pole."
Three qualifying efforts after Gragson's incident, Alex Labbe had a similar experience when the back end of his No. 90 Chevrolet stepped out in Turn 3. He, too, failed to post a qualifying speed.
Gragson and Labbe will have to start from the rear of the field but at least they get race their primary cars.
1:50 pm - Bowyer Starting 1st in South Point 400 - Stewart-Haas Racing flat out dominated Cup qualifying for the South Point 400 and it was Clint Bowyer who led the charge with a 178.926 mph lap. Daniel Suarez will start alongside Bowyer on the front row with Kevin Harvick and Aric Almirola locking up the second row.
1:10 pm - Cup Qualifying On Track - We're early into qualifying for tomorrow's South Point 40. Joey Case is currently on track and William Byron is currently fastest at 176.661 mph.
12:25 pm - Cole Custer wins Rhino Pro 300 Pole - On a track that was hot and slick, Cole Custer hung on to win the pole for this evening's Rhino Pro 300 with a 181.372 mph lap. Christopher Bell was the final driver to take a qualifying lap and he just missed knocking Custer off the pole with a 181.056 mph effort. Starting 3rd through 5th are Justin Allgaier, Tyler Reddick, and Austin Cindric.
11:35 am - Rhino Pro 300 Qualifying Underway - Both of today's qualifying sessions will be single-lap, single-vehicle format. In other words, NASCAR qualifying old-style! Stan Mullis, in the #13 Toyota is the first driver on the track.
11:00 am - Saturday Good Morning - Hello from Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where the word of the day is "heat." It's gonna be a scorcher folks. Should get around 100 degrees, so if you're coming out to the track, slather on the sunscreen and drink plenty of water.
First up, we've got qualifying for the Xfinity and Cup Series. This evening the Xfinity drivers will contest their final race of the regular season in the Rhino Pro 300.
Keep it tuned here for all the action!