Even though Tyler Reddick won the NASCAR Xfinity Series Championship on the strength of his final-race performance at Homestead-Miami Speedway last year, he concedes that Christopher Bell, driving the No. 20 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, was the class of the Xfinity field.
“Last year, I thought he was just in another zip code whenever we were racing together,” Reddick said on Friday at Dover International Speedway, site of Saturday’s Allied Steel Buildings 200 (1:30 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
After a switch from JR Motorsports to Richard Childress Racing and a new pairing with crew chief Randall Burnett, Reddick feels more competitive with the top cars in the series this year. And well, he should.
With last Saturday’s victory at Talladega, Reddick leads the series standings by 32 points over Bell. In the first nine races of the season, he has seven top fives and has finished no worse than fourth in the six events since Las Vegas in March. That translates to a series-best average result of 4.9.
“We enjoy being in the points lead right now,” Reddick said of the No. 1 ranking. “I know the 18 and the 20 (Joe Gibbs Racing Toyotas) really like having that spot. It’s cool to be in their spot, and we’re trying to make the case that it’s our spot.
“We want to keep that points lead going. We want to keep scoring stage points. But we want to try and learn some things that are going to help us over the summer stretch—and definitely in the Playoffs.”