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Tyler Reddick joins JR Motorsports in Xfinity Series for 2018 season

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Tyler Reddick will drive full-time for JR Motorsports next season in the Xfinity Series, replacing William Byron with a multi-year agreement the team announced Thursday.

The announcement means the team owned by Dale Earnhardt Jr. will remain a four-car operation. The team will also field a fifth part-time car.

Details on Reddick’s sponsorship, crew chief and car number will be announced later.

Reddick, 21, will join Elliott Sadler, Justin Allgaier and Michael Annett at JRM.

This year has seen him drive part-time in the Xfinity Series in Chip Ganassi Racing’s No. 42 Chevrolet, splitting time with Kyle Larson.

MORE: Xfinity Series Spotlight: Tyler Reddick

A three-time winner in the Camping World Truck Series, Reddick’s part-time Xfinity effort has seen him earn one top five (Iowa I) and three tops 10s in 14 starts.

“This is an amazing opportunity for me,” Reddick said in a press release. “Having the chance to race full-time with an organization like JR Motorsports is something I’ve worked toward my entire life. It’s a thrill to be joining such an accomplished group of teammates in going after a championship next year.”

Before joining Ganassi this season, Reddick competed for Brad Keselowski Racing in the Truck Series for three years in 63 starts. His three wins came at Daytona, Dover and Las Vegas.

“Tyler is a very talented racecar driver and someone we’ve enjoyed watching over the years,” said Kelley Earnhardt Miller, general manager of JR Motorsports in a press release. “We’ve seen him make a lot of strides in the short time he’s been in the Xfinity Series. He’s a strong complement to our driver lineup next season, and we’re confident that with consistent seat time he’ll find additional success at this level.”

Reddick follows Byron, who has three wins through 25 races this season.

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Truck practice report at Atlanta

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Justin Haley was the fastest in the first of two practices Friday for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He had a top lap of 178.029 mph.

Daytona winner Johnny Sauter was second with a lap of 177.040 mph. He was followed by Myatt Snider (177.040 mph), Stewart Friesen (176.995) and Noah Gragson (176.589).

There were no incidents in the session.

Final Truck practice will be from 4:05 – 4:50 p.m. ET.

Click here for Truck 1 practice

Police investigating vandalism, theft at North Wilkesboro Speedway

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The Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a report of vandalism and theft at North Wilkesboro Speedway.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the track, which last hosted a NASCAR Cup race in 1996, suffered damage of about $10,000 when several trespassers were on the grounds last weekend. No arrests have been made.

The report states that several windows were broken and other damage was done to the structures. Also, large amounts of electrical wire and circuit breakers were reported missing.

The investigation continues.

North Wilkesboro Speedway hosted NASCAR Cup races from 1949-96. Winners included Fireball Roberts, Buck Baker, Junior Johnson, Lee Petty, Richard Petty, David Pearson, Cale Yarborough, Darrell Waltrip, Bobby Allison, Dale Earnhardt, Terry Labonte, Rusty Wallace and Jeff Gordon, who won the final race there.

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Others’ predictions motivating Austin Dillon after Daytona 500 win: ‘I guess they don’t believe it yet’

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HAMPTON, Ga. – Fresh off the greatest victory of his NASCAR career, Austin Dillon already has motivation to win the next.

The Richard Childress Racing driver heard others predict this week that the Daytona 500 would be his only victory this season.

“I think on Race Hub, Brad (Keselowski) and Chad (Knaus, crew chief for Jimmie Johnson) saying that we weren’t going to win again,” Dillon said Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway. “So, that was good to hear. That was something to get me fired up a little bit more and our team, get those competitive juices flowing again. So, we will just keep rocking it however we can. We still have a lot to work on.”

Prior to Daytona, Dillon’s lone win in four seasons as a full-time Cup driver came in the 2017 Coca-Cola 600. His No. 3 Chevrolet qualified for the playoffs the past two seasons, but his top 10s (13 to four) and average finish (15.9 to 18.6) slipped demonstrably from 2016 to ’17.

“So yesterday in my group text with my buddies they watched Chad Knaus and Brad Keselowski, and it was like, ‘All right, it’s time to keep knocking them down, I guess they don’t believe it yet,’” Dillon said. “We’ve got to step up though at RCR. We’ve still got a lot to prove. It’s a speedway race, even though it’s the biggest race in our deal, it’s a speedway race.  We’ve got a lot more to prove.

“(Competition executive) Andy Petree and all the guys are RCR are working hard. I think coming down to a two-car team move is big for us. We’ve got to take advantage of that. I’m not going to lie, I’m tired right now, but we are going to kick butt this weekend and get back regrouped and get in the groove and try and gain as many bonus points as we can.”

But qualifying for the playoffs by winning the season opener should be a morale booster that avoids any letdown.

“The one thing they don’t have right now that we have is a win,” Dillon said. “So, we are on top right now, and no matter what they can’t take that away, and we are going to keep working.  I don’t expect us to lay down at all. I feel like now more than ever we need to go head on and go after it.”

Xfinity practice report from Atlanta

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Christopher Bell posted the fastest lap in the first of two Xfinity practice sessions Friday at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Bell posted a lap of 178.447 mph. He was followed by Joey Logano (177.323 mph), Cole Custer (175.933), Ryan Reed (175.688) and Kevin Harvick (175.487). Daytona winner Tyler Reddick (175.388) was sixth on the speed chart.

There were no incidents in the session.

Final Xfinity practice will be from 3:05 – 3:55 p.m. ET

Click here for practice 1 report