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November 28, 2018

Even ‘The Grinch’ can’t steal Xfinity Champion Tyler Reddick’s trophy or great time at Universal

Tyler Reddick rides a coaster at Universal Studios Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. — Adrenaline pumping, 90-degree angles, a drop of 25 stories and reaching 70 mph. No, we’re not talking about racing — at least not in a stock car.

Welcome to Universal Studios Florida, where 2018 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Tyler Reddick was living it up Tuesday on the Hollywood Rip Ride Rockit Roller Coaster. Reddick celebrated his championship with coasters, a taste of the Butterbeer at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and a virtual Jimmy Fallon and the Roots on a race through New York.

PHOTOS: Behind the scenes of Reddick’s day

Reddick, who won the title driving the No. 9 JR Motorsports Chevrolet, spent the day reminiscing on the special victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway that won him the trophy.

The backdrop of palm trees and sunny Universal Orlando resort put the champ in a much-deserved vacation mood. If his childhood dreams weren’t already fulfilled by winning a NASCAR championship, being the grand marshal in the Universal parade surely did the trick. So, too, did the long line of NASCAR enthusiasts who lined the streets of the park’s main plaza for an autograph session and photos with Reddick.

The day wouldn’t be complete without hitting all of the rides the park had to offer. Reddick, a thrill seeker, attacked the biggest coasters first and closed the day with characters from “The Grinch,” “Harry Potter” and “The Simpsons.”

So, how was his day? Reddick answered that with a bold prediction for 2019.

“Amazing — and I’ll see you guys again for the same Champ’s tour, this time, next year,” he said.

RELATED: Silly Season roundup — where will Reddick drive in 2019?