Matt Tifft

Richard Childress Racing

Social Roundup: The day after the Daytona 500

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Just over 15 hours have elapsed since Austin Dillon won the 60th Daytona 500 for Richard Childress Racing.

Dillon’s No. 3 Chevrolet is now on display at Daytona International Speedway’s museum.

It will stay there until next February, when it’s dethroned by the winning car of the 61st Daytona 500.

The winning team posed with the car Monday morning.

And the whirlwind media tour for the new Daytona 500 winner had gotten underway.

While Dillon, owner Richard Childress and crew chief Justin Alexander are still in Daytona, other members of RCR are trickling back to the team’s headquarters in Welcome, North Carolina.

Employees arriving there Monday morning were greeted with a sign congratulating RCR and ECR engines on the victory, which is the third Daytona 500 win for RCR.

William O’Dea, a spotter for Matt Tifft in the Xfinity Series and Ty Dillon in the Cup Series, shared a picture of the sign.

And the town of Welcome shared in greeting the winners back home.

Aric Almirola, who was leading the race at the white flag before wrecking on the backstretch from contact with Dillon, wouldn’t change a thing about how he raced.

And there’s no hard feelings between Kurt Busch and Ryan Blaney after aggressive racing between them resulted in a crash with two laps left in the original distance of the race.

Check back for more.

 

Tyler Reddick wins Xfinity Series opener at Daytona in overtime finish

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Tyler Reddick won the Xfinity Series opener at Daytona after a track record 12 cautions, a record five restarts in overtime and one red flag period.

Driving the No. 9 Chevrolet, Reddick beat his JR Motorsports teammate Elliott Sadler in the closest finish in national NASCAR series history, earning his second Xfinity win.

The margin of victory was 0.0004.

“That was insane. I just saw a picture of it like 10 minutes ago. It’s not much,” Reddick said in the winner’s press conference. “I guess it was just enough, just soon enough.”

The previous closest finish was .001 in the 1995 Truck Series race at Colorado National Speedway, won by Butch Miller over Mike Skinner.

The top five was completed by Ryan Reed, rookie Kaz Grala and Garrett Smithley.

“Feels amazing,” Reddick told Fox Sports 1. “This was a hell of a way to start off the year with JR Motorsports. … This is a hell of way to get my second win, my first win with JR Motorsports.”

Reddick is now qualified for the Xfinity playoffs.

“I think it’s an amazing opportunity,” Reddick said. “It’s just going to take a little bit of time to het honed in. I guess we’re getting along good right off the bat. We were having some problems all day long. We were having some issues with the motor. I don’t know exactly what it was, but it held on all race long. It was getting worse at the end.”

Reddick, 22, led 11 laps in the race. None of them were in regulation.

Overtime was setup by a spin by Sadler with three laps to go in the scheduled distance on the backstretch. Sadler had previously been black flagged along with Chase Elliott for locking their bumpers together for too long with 26 to go.

Sadler was able to mount a comeback thanks to a crash with 22 to go.

It resulted in his third runner-up finish in the last three restrictor-plate races.

“I was trying to figure out how close to get to (Reddick),” Sadler told Fox Sports 1. “My spotter was telling me the 16 (Reed) was coming too, so I didn’t want to leave him the outside. Man, I really want to win this race. Most eventful race I’ve ever been a part of. Spun there twice. Got black flagged for absolutely no reason in my opinion but that’s the way it goes. … I’m proud that a JR Motorsports car went to victory lane, but I wish it was us today.”

Originally scheduled for 120 laps, the race ended after 143 laps. That’s a series record at Daytona.

The first overtime attempt was marred by a massive wreck on the backstretch that involved 18 cars.

The race marked the 100th for Xfinity as the series sponsor.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Kyle Larson

STAGE 2 WINNER: Chase Elliott

MORE: Race results and point standings

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Garrett Smithley bounced back from a late-race accident to earn his first top five in his 67th start. His previous best result was eighth in this race last year … Ryan Reed earned his sixth top five. Four have come at Daytona … Spencer Gallagher finished a career-best sixth in his 41st start. Gallagher had been involved in a one-car accident on the second overtime restart … Jeff Green finished 11th for his best finish since placing 10th at Talladega last year.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: In his first start on an oval in Xfinity, Austin Cindric started a eight-car wreck in the tri-oval as the field began Lap 11. The wreck eliminated Cindric and Christopher Bell … With 14 to go in the original distance, the caution waived for separate spins by Garrett Smithley and Michael Annett in the tri-oval. Smithley was turned by Ryan Truex and Annett was turned by Brandon Jones … Drivers included in the massive crash on first overtime restart: Kyle Larson, Joey Logano, Chase Elliot, Joey Gase, Aric Almirola, Justin Allgaier, Austin Dillon, Matt Tifft, Jeremy Clements, Joe Nemechek, Brandon Brown, Cole Custer, Daniel Suarez, Brandon Jones, David Starr, Jeff Green, Dylan Lupton and Caesar Bacarella.

NOTABLE: Reddick’s win is his second at Daytona. He won the 2015 Truck Series opener at the track. The average age of the field was 28 years, 10 months and 11 days, the youngest ever at Daytona … The 357.5 miles in the race is the second longest race in series history in terms of miles.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “When I have enough fuel, yes.” – David Elenz, crew chief for Tyler Reddick when asked if he likes unlimited restarts in overtime.

QUOTE OF THE DAY 2: “Either way, fine with me.” – JR Motorsports owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. after being told the margin of victory was the closest in history.

WHAT’S NEXT: Rinnai 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway at 2 p.m. ET on Feb. 24 on Fox Sports 1.

Two drivers sent to rear of Xfinity race for postqualifying failures

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DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — Matt Tifft and Josh Williams will start from the rear of Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway after failing the post qualifying height sticks.

Tifft had qualified third in his No. 2 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, and Williams’ No. 90 Chevy had been slated to start 27th.

NASCAR already had penalized another RCR team Saturday morning for prequalifying inspection problems on Austin Dillon‘s Chevy, resulting in the ejection of crew chief Nick Harrison and car chief Michael Scearce.

The Xfinity season opener will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Daniel Hemric wins pole for today’s Xfinity race at Daytona

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DAYTONA BEACH, Florida — Richard Childress Racing’s Daniel Hemric won the pole for Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity race at Daytona International Speedway with a lap of 189.310 mph.

He will be joined on the front row by Kyle Larson (188.980 mph).

MORE: Daniel Hemric’s journey aided by loyal mechanic

Matt Tifft, who also drives for RCR, will start third after a lap of 188.917 mph and is followed by Joey Logano (188.253) and Spencer Gallagher (188.131).

All five JR Motorsports drivers advanced to the final round of qualifying. JR Motorsports’ top qualifier was Justin Allgaier. He starts sixth after a lap of 188.115 mph.

Today’s race is scheduled to take the green flag at 2:49 p.m. ET.

Click here for the lineup.

Richard Childress Racing extends partnership with Nexteer

Photo: Richard Childress Racing
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Richard Childress Racing announced that it has extended its partnership with Nexteer Automative for the 2018 Xfinity season.

Nexteer, entering its third year with RCR, will serve as a multi-race primary partner for Matt Tifft and the No. 2 team. Nexteer will be Tifft’s sponsor for the season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Nexteer will be an associate sponsor for all additional Xfinity races and be a full-time associate sponsor on teammate Daniel Hemric‘s team.

“We’re happy to be able to continue to grow our partnership with Nexteer Automotive in 2018,” said Torrey Galida, President of Richard Childress Racing. “Both RCR and Nexteer realize the value in investing in R&D and product development, and that alignment benefits both of our organizations in performance. We’re all looking forward to seeing Matt in the Nexteer Camaro during the 2018 season.”