Cole Custer wins Xfinity race in Texas with last-lap pass

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Cole Custer won Saturday’s Xfinity race at Texas Motor Speedway with a last-lap pass of Tyler Reddick.

Custer, who snapped a 30-race winless streak, passed Reddick on the backstretch after their cars banged doors.

It is Custer’s second Xfinity Series win. Custer had to rebound from a penalty for a crew member going over the pit wall too soon on Lap 127.

“I can’t believe it,” Custer told NBCSN at the start-finish line. “We just did all we could. I drove it in deeper than I have all weekend into (Turn) 1 trying to get on (Reddick’s) bumper. It worked out.”

Reddick, who placed second, admitted to making a “mistake” on the last lap as they exited Turn 2, which allowed Custer to get a run on him.

“I’m not mad at all with what happened there,” Reddick told NBCSN. “I think a lot of him. He’s a great driver.”

The win locks Custer into the championship four at Homestead-Miami Speedway, the site of his first series win.

“We haven’t won all year and we’ve been so close,” Custer said. “We kept going and this is the perfect time to (win).”

The top five was completed by Austin Cindric, John Hunter Nemechek and Justin Allgaier.

STAGE 1 WINNER: Daniel Hemric

STAGE 2 WINNER: Cole Custer

MORE: Points, race results

WHO HAD A GOOD DAY: Austin Cindric earned his fifth career top five after he started from the rear in a backup car and suffered damage to his right-front bumper on the first lap … John Hunter Nemechek bounced back from a Lap 1 spin to finish fourth … Justin Allgaier earned his first top five at Texas in 17 starts.

WHO HAD A BAD DAY: Christopher Bell, who started from the pole, earned his second consecutive DNF after he was spun by Austin Cindric and wrecked on Lap 134 … Ryan Truex wrecked on Lap 126 and finished 33rd … Brandon Jones managed to place sixth and Michael Annett finished 16th after they made contact and spun on a Lap 97 restart. Jones later got loose and wrecked teammate Ryan Preece on Lap 139. Preece placed 31st.

NOTABLE: The race saw a track record 13 cautions … Cole Custer has finished in the top five in all four of his Xfinity starts at Texas.

QUOTE OF THE RACE No. 1: “The 2 (Matt Tifft) drove into the back of me off of (Turn 2) and that put me in the middle and put the 3 (Shane Lee) underneath me. He just lost it underneath me and took me out. Nothing the 3 could do. The 2 is the one that put me in that situation. It’s all good. We work really good together. It’s just a frustrating day. You’re bound to have days where we run into each but never happy about it when it happens.” – Daniel Hemric to NBC Sports and NASCAR.com on the incident with his two teammates on Lap 194.

QUOTE OF THE RACE No. 2: “The good thing is we ran together the whole race and both of our cars had speed. I think both we’re both frustrated at the end because we felt like it played out to where we got to the back of the pack and we were both trying to make our way back up. Honestly, I don’t think I ever touched (Hemric). I think the air got him free. I had momentum behind, so once he got sideways, I just tried to duck out to make sure he didn’t get turned and I had a clear path too. He was frustrated that he got put in that situation but he understood that I had to go. If I would have gave, somebody would have done the same to me and put me in the same spot. It’s so narrow coming off of (Turn) 2. We’ll be find. We’ll talk it out.” – Matt Tifft to NBC Sports

WHAT’S NEXT: Whelen Trusted to Perform 200 at ISM Raceway at 3:30 p.m. ET on Nov. 10 on NBCSN.

Christopher Bell wins Xfinity pole at Texas Motor Speedway

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Christopher Bell qualified first for today’s Xfinity Series playoff race at Texas Motor Speedway (4:46 p.m. ET on NBCSN) with a speed of 189.321 mph.

It is Bell’s fifth pole of the year and the sixth of his career.

“(With) the repave, the way the tires don’t fall off here, I think qualifying means quite a bit about how fast your race car is,” Bell told NBC Sports. “Yesterday in practice I didn’t feel like we were hands down the favorite. This thing’s really fast right now.”

The top five is completed by Shane Lee, Cole Custer, Tyler Reddick and Justin Allgaier.

Matt Tifft made contact with the wall on his first run in Round 2. He jumped into the top 12 on his second run with one minute left in the round, knocking Elliott Sadler to 13th. Sadler was the only playoff driver to not make the final round.

Ross Chastain also made contact with the wall exiting Turn 2. He qualified 23rd.

Ty Majeski got loose, spun and backed into the Turn 2 outside wall five minutes into Round 1. 

Click here for the starting lineup.

Xfinity practice report at Texas

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Ryan Truex swept Friday with the fastest lap (187.780 mph) in final practice on the heels of his fastest lap in the first session.

He beat Brandon Jones (187.689) by .014 seconds.

Shane Lee (187.676), Cole Custer (187.474) and Christopher Bell (187.454) rounded out the top five.

Josh Bilicki, Joey Gase and David Starr hit the wall in separate incidents. Bilicki does not have a backup available, but reported that he was looking for a car to borrow.

Elliott Sadler had the quickest 10-lap average at 186.190 mph.

Fellow playoff contenders Justin Allgaier (185.862) and Daniel Hemric (185.622) lined up behind him.

Click here for the practice report.

First Practice

Ryan Truex posted the fastest single lap in the first practice session for the Xfinity race at Texas with a speed of 187.162 mph.

He beat Daniel Hemric (186.832 mph) by .051 seconds.

Elliott Sadler (186.580), Cole Custer (186.387) and Matt Tifft (186.130) rounded out the top five.

Ryan Reed, Morgan Shepherd and Austin Cindric all hit the wall in separate incidents during the session. Reed and Cindric will go to backup cars. Shepherd does not have a backup available.

Brandon Brown (177.024) and Quin Houff (171.124) were the only drivers who made at least 10 consecutive laps.

Click here for the practice report.

Tyler Reddick to join Richard Childress Racing in Xfinity in 2019

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Tyler Reddick will move from JR Motorsports to Richard Childress Racing for the 2019 Xfinity Series season, RCR announced Wednesday.

Reddick’s car number, sponsor and crew chief will be announced at a later date.

Reddick, 22, drives the No. 9 Chevrolet for JR Motorsports in his first full-time Xfinity season and is part of the Round of 8 in the playoffs. He won the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

He has 48 Xfinity starts since last year when he made 18 starts with Chip Ganassi Racing in the No. 42 Chevrolet.

Reddick has one win, five top fives and 17 top 10s this season.

“I’m really looking forward to joining RCR in 2019,” Reddick said in a press release. “RCR has had a stout Xfinity program throughout the years with a lot of talented team members and resources available to its drivers. I want to thank JR Motorsports for what they’ve done this past year to help me advance my career and skills behind the wheel. Ultimately, my goal is to race on Sundays and I feel that by joining RCR, I can continue to race up front in the Xfinity Series while also learning from one of the top Cup programs in the garage.”

“Tyler has had a lot of success so far in his racing career, and we intend on continuing that success with him in 2019,” said Richard Childress in a press release. “I’m confident that he will do a great job representing RCR on and off the track. Tyler is a talented driver who’s not afraid to go after wins, and I look forward to seeing that drive to win on the track with us next season.”

RCR’s current full-time Xfinity driver lineup is Daniel Hemric (No. 21 Chevrolet) and Matt Tifft (No. 2 Chevrolet). Shane Lee has shared the No. 3 Chevrolet with Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Brendan Gaughan and Jeb Burton.

Hemric will drive for RCR in Cup full-time next season.

Results, point standings after Kansas Xfinity race

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John Hunter Nemechek led the final 30 laps to win Saturday’s Xfinity Series race at Kansas Speedway for his first Xfinity win.

Nemechek beat Daniel Hemric, Elliott Sadler, Shane Lee and Tyler Reddick.

Nemechek is the third first-time winner this season.

Hemric finished second after leading 128 laps. He is winless this year and has finished in the top three 11 times.

Click here for the results.

Points

After earning his best finish since the July race at Daytona, Elliott Sadler trails Daniel Hemric by nine points.

The top four – which will advance to the championship round – is rounded out by Tyler Reddick (-12) and Christopher Bell (-22).

The eight driver playoff field is completed by Matt Tifft (one point back from Bell), Justin Allgaier (five points from Bell), Cole Custer (23 points back from Bell) and Austin Cindric (43 points back from Bell).

Hemric’s car was found to be too low in post-race inspection, which is a L1 penalty. L1 penalties can include the loss of 10-40 points (in the past has been a 10 point penalty) and can include the suspension of crew chief and/or other team members and a fine between $10,000- $40,000.

Click here for the point standings.