Column By: REID SPENCER / NASCAR – MIAMI. FL – Winning back-to-back NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series championships is a rare feat indeed—only Matt Crafton has accomplished it, in 2013 and 2014.
Winning consecutive NASCAR Xfinity Series titles, on the other hand, is relatively commonplace. Sam Ard, Larry Pearson, Randy Lajoie, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Martin Truex Jr. and Ricky Stenhouse Jr. all have accomplished it.
No one, however, has won back-to-back titles in either series driving for two different owners, and both Tyler Reddick and Brett Moffitt have the opportunity to do so this year.
Reddick was last year’s upset Xfinity championship winner in a JR Motorsports Chevrolet. Moffitt was released from his ride after winning the Truck Series title with Hattori Racing Enterprises.
To Reddick, a second title would have added significance. His current team, Richard Childress Racing is celebrating its golden anniversary in NASCAR this season and already has announced that Reddick will drive a Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series car for the organization next year.
“It would mean a lot,” Reddick said on Thursday during Championship 4 Media Day at The Edition. “The second one—I kind of said it a few times today—for me it’s more about winning it for RCR in the 50th year. Granted, Cup racing next year, but I want to do everything I can to win what I can for them. That’s an Xfinity Series championship.
“All the guys at the chassis shop, on that compound, have put a lot of effort into these cars all year long. We have the five wins, got the most top fives (23), regular season championship. Those are all good things. We want to add one more thing to that and be a champion on Saturday after the race is over.
Reddick has to beat Christopher Bell, Cole Custer and Justin Allgaier in Saturday’s Ford EcoBoost 300 to secure his second Xfinity title (3:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Moffitt will face off against Crafton, Ross Chastain and Stewart Friesen in Friday’s Ford EcoBoost 200 Truck Series race (8 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Moffitt doesn’t consider himself particularly statistics-oriented, but, clearly, he would relish a second championship. That it would be a second straight with a different team isn’t the foremost consideration.
“Well yeah, obviously winning the championship is the first goal,” Moffitt said on Thursday. “I was fortunate to be with a good team last year and get the job done, and I’m fortunate to be with a good team again this year and be in position to do the same.
“So, I mean, obviously, winning it with two different teams is a little more difficult than staying with the same team two years in a row, but we have gained traction as a team and we get more competitive week in and week out. So I feel really good about it.”
Moffitt took no particular delight when Austin Hill, his successor in the Hattori ride, fell out of the Playoffs in the Round of 6.
“Yeah, I mean, you try not to think about it that way, but it’s… obviously I was not happy about how the year ended last year, winning a championship and getting released from my job. And I guess it’s karma—I’ll say that.”
Note: Only once in NASCAR’s top three touring series has a driver won back-to-back championships driving for two different owners. In 1956, NASCAR Hall of Famer Buck Baker won the title with Carl Kiekhaefer as his primary owner. The following year, Baker drove his own car to the title.