“It’s gotta be Picard,” Reddick declares to NBC Sports.
“He’s always smart, he’s one step ahead of the game most of the time. A lot of the captains, well, (William) Shatner set the brute force tone if you know what I mean. But Picard is different. He’s smart, he went about things differently and thought a different way. He’s a very, very good character. He’s my favorite for kind of those reasons.”
Why is Reddick – who is in the middle of a visit to Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida, as part of his championship tour – putting forth his take on Star Trek’s James T. Kirk vs Jean-Luc Picard debate, which has been waged since Star Trek: The Next Generation first aired on TV in 1987?
With his championship, they would name their son, scheduled to be born Jan. 17, Beau.
But there was a different name, which Alexa found on the Internet and was sold on.
“Alexa really wanted our son’s name to be Ryker,” says Reddick, who at first “was all for it.”
You can thank Commander William T. Riker, first officer on the U.S.S. Enterprise – D.
“Every time I hear the name, I think of that character,” says Reddick.
Reddick’s fondness for Star Trek is tied to his racing career. Before he made it to NASCAR, he raced on dirt tracks. His downtime was spent on Netflix.
“I’ve been able to pretty much watch everything,” Reddick says. “That’s how I got caught up and watched it. I would travel on the road dirt racing or whatever. I would sit on Netflix and watch all of the series, kind of in the order they’re supposed to come out. There was about a year straight … that’s all I watched when I was at the house.”
Even with his love of Trek – he has a Star Fleet insignia Pop Socket on the back of his phone – he couldn’t bring himself to pull the phaser trigger on naming his son after the jazz-loving Commander Riker.
“I don’t know, I’m worried people are going to pick on me for naming my son after a Star Trek character,” Reddick admits. “As crazy as it sounds, it was one of the reasons I didn’t like the name Ryker, because I watched Star Trek so much.”
Ryker Reddick is a strong name. It’s not too late to make the change.
“I can’t now, because I’m just so headstrong,” Reddick says. “I just like the name Beau better.”
That said, Reddick isn’t just a fan of old Star Trek. He watches the series Star Trek: Discovery that debuted in 2017.
Oh, and he’ll get his Picard fix early next year. Patrick Stewart returns in the CBS All Access series Picard to play the character he last portrayed in the 2002 movie Star Trek: Nemesis.
“(Alexa) made fun of me for being so excited about it,” Reddick says. “She said I was like, ‘fangirling.'”
The 2019 season is over and Kyle Busch is the NASCAR Cup champion. And not surprisingly, the younger Busch brother also ends the season as No. 1 in this week’s Power Rankings.
Busch received 39 of 40 possible points to take the No. 1 spot, followed by the other three Championship 4 contenders: Martin Truex Jr. (35 points), and Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick (tied for third place with 28 points each).
The biggest surprises in this week’s standings were Xfinity Series champ Tyler Reddick in fifth and Gander Outdoors Truck Series champ Matt Crafton in sixth.
Here’s this week’s Power Rankings:
1. Kyle Busch (39 points): Finally gets that second title. Last week: Second.
2. Martin Truex Jr. (35 points): Inexcusable pit mistake left him as the championship runner-up for the second year in a row. Last week: Fourth.
(tie) 3. Denny Hamlin (28 points): Came so close to his first championship, only to be fall short yet again. Could this be the closest he’ll get? Last week: First.
(tie) 3. Kevin Harvick (28 points): Needed a bit more help than he got going against the Joe Gibbs Racing juggernaut. Still, a very strong season regardless. Last week: Third.
5. Tyler Reddick (18 points): It’s hard enough to win one championship, but back-to-back championships with two different teams? Last week: Unranked.
6. Matt Crafton (14 points): Wins the championship without even winning a race (in fact, his last win was more than two years ago). Thrived on his underdog status. Last week: Unranked.
7. Ryan Blaney (12 points): Finished 11th or better, including a win at Talladega, in five of the last six playoff races. Last week: Fifth.
(tie) 8. Joey Logano (11 points): Ends year with four consecutive top 10s, but he fell short in making it to the championship round and defending last year’s title. Last week: Eighth.
(tie) 8. Erik Jones (11 points): Ends season with four top 10s in last five races. That bodes well for next season. Last week: Seventh.
10. Christopher Bell (6 points): Missed his chance to add an Xfinity title to his Truck championship. Still, with eight wins, had an outstanding season. Up next: a promotion to the Cup Series. Last week: 10th.
Smith will have veteran Kevin “Bono” Manion as his crew chief.
“When I got the offer from Mike Beam asking me to run a truck full-time for GMS Racing, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity,” Smith said in a press release. “GMS is a championship-caliber team and to be a part of an organization like theirs is a once in a lifetime opportunity. I’m looking forward to working with Manion again. He has a lot of experience and I know we will be a great team.”
Manion, who has 24 wins across all three national NASCAR series since 2003, joins GMS Racing after serving as a crew chief for DGR-Crosley in 2019, including working with Rookie of the Year Tyler Ankrum. Manion was crew chief for Smith in 2018 when he made his Truck Series debut at Gateway and finished fifth.
“I am really excited to join GMS Racing and Zane (Smith) for the 2020 season,” Manion said in a press release. “With GMS Racing’s championship caliber equipment and Chevrolet support, we have all the resources to win some races and be in the hunt for the 2020 Championship. I got the opportunity to crew chief Zane (Smith) in his first Gander Trucks start in 2018 at Gateway and we worked really well together. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish next season.”
Sponsorship and an assigned truck number for Smith will be announced at a later date.
NASCAR issued four fines and one suspension for lug nut violations during its championship weekend in Miami.
Mike Wheeler, crew crew chief on Matt DiBenedetto‘s No. 95 Toyota, was fined $10,000 for one unsecured lug nut.
Mike Shiplett, crew chief on Cole Custer‘s No. 00 Ford, was fined $5,000 for an unsecured lug nut.
Steve Lane, the owner of On Point Motorsports and crew chief on Danny Bohn‘s No. 30 Toyota, was fined $5,000 and suspended one points race for two unsecured lug nuts. The No. 30 truck competed part-time this season and made 16 starts. The team told NBC Sports it will not appeal the penalty.
Trip Bruce III, crew chief on Stewart Friesen‘s No. 52 Chevrolet, was fined $2,500 for one unsecured lug nut.
NASCAR issued an indefinite suspension to Jeffrey Schmidt for violating its substance abuse policy.