Red­dick stretches gas tank to win

Antelope Valley Press (Sunday) - - Sports - By JENNA FRYER

LAS VE­GAS — Tyler Red­dick stretched his fi­nal tank of fuel Satur­day to win the NASCAR Xfin­ity Series race at Las Ve­gas Mo­tor Speed­way and wrap up the reg­u­lar-sea­son cham­pi­onship.

Christo­pher Bell had the most dom­i­nant car but Red­dick’s Richard Chil­dress Rac­ing team gam­bled on fuel strat­egy to beat Bell for the win. The reign­ing series cham­pion has five wins this sea­son.

Red­dick had to save as much gas as pos­si­ble over the fi­nal stretch and the con­ser­va­tion mode al­lowed Bell to close the gap. Bell and his Joe Gibbs Rac­ing team were likely hop­ing Red­dick ran out of gas, but he picked up his pace over the fi­nal four laps as Bell closed in.

Red­dick made it 70 laps on his fi­nal tank of gas.

“It was stum­bling,” he said of the fi­nal few mo­ments of the race.

Bell wound up sec­ond and won­dered if he could have won his sev­enth race of the sea­son if he had pushed harder at the start of the fi­nal run, when he had a full tank of gas. He led a race-high 154 laps.

“It’s the sec­ond time this year we got beat by cir­cum­stances,” Bell said. “Very, very dis­ap­point­ing.

The race was the fi­nal event be­fore the play­offs be­gin for NASCAR’s sec­ond-tier series, but the 12-driver cham­pi­onship field had es­sen­tially been set on points prior to the green flag. Red­dick needed just 11 points to claim the reg­u­lar-sea­son ti­tle, with Bell the only driver math­e­mat­i­cally el­i­gi­ble to catch him.

“What I wanted to do was get that locked up be­fore we went and tried to win the race,” Red­dick said of the reg­u­lar-sea­son ti­tle. He was pre­sented with the tro­phy, then stood by and lis­tened team owner Richard Chil­dress said Red­dick’s driv­ing style re­minds him of Hall of Famer Cale Yar­bor­ough.

“We ain’t done yet. We got to go to Homestead and get an­other tro­phy,” said Red­dick, who won last year’s ti­tle driv­ing for JR Mo­tor­sports.

Bran­don Jones was third, fol­lowed by Cole Custer, Justin All­gaier, Noah Grag­son and Gray Gauld­ing.

The Xfin­ity Series eight-race post­sea­son be­gins next week at Rich­mond Race­way in Vir­ginia.

As­so­ci­ated Press

TRO­PHY Tyler Red­dick cel­e­brates af­ter win­ning the NASCAR Xfin­ity Series auto race at Las Ve­gas Mo­tor Speed­way on Satur­day in Las Ve­gas. At left is Richard Chil­dress.

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