Austin Hill Times Last Lap Pass Perfectly for First Career Xfinity Win – Sports Illustrated

February 20, 2022 by No Comments

Rookie Austin Hill timed his move perfectly, utilizing a last lap push to pass veteran A.J. Allmendinger and take the lead just before the caution flew for a vicious last lap wreck in Saturday’s NASCAR XFINITY Series Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300. at Daytona International Speedway.

Just as Hill took the lead, a wild wreck was triggered in the middle of the pack as Myatt Snider went airborne. Parts and pieces flew off Snider’s No. 31 Chevrolet — including the motor, which was torn from the vehicle — as it went into the catchfence, fire shooting from the car before it came to rest on the backstretch.

Thankfully, Snider was able to drop the window net quickly, exited his ride under his own power, walked to an arriving ambulance. He was treated and released from the infield care center.

Hill was the leader at the time of the caution, earning his first career Xfinity Series win in his 16th career start.

Moving up from the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (where he earned eight wins in 120 starts) this season, the 27-year-old is running his first full season in the Xfinity Series behind the wheel of the No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet.

“Man, me and (spotter) Derek Kneeland worked really well,” an elated Hill told Fox Sports 1’s Regan Smith on the Daytona front stretch. “I was learning all night. I kept telling him I’m just putting that in the bank, I’m putting that in the bank I’m just putting that in the memory bank to remember for late in the race.”

“We timed it perfectly. Obviously, that caution came out but we had a heck of a run so who knows what would have happened there. The 98 (Riley Herbst) gave me a heck of a push and we were able to get by him (Allmendinger).

“This is so crazy. I won (Daytona) back in 2019 with a new team (in the Truck Series). Now we are with RCR, first race with them and we were able to get the job done. … Man, I am, I’m speechless. It’s been a fun offseason and now we get to go race for a championship.”

Hill, who earned an automatic playoff berth with the win, becomes the fourth different driver to win both NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series races at Daytona International Speedway, joining Kyle Busch, Tyler Reddick and Mike Wallace.

Austin Hill crosses the finish line under caution to win the NASCAR Xfinity Series Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300 Saturday. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

While the Winston, Georgia native celebrated his first win and the playoff berth, Allmendinger was left wondering what might have been.

“I’d have to go see the replay, study it, I’m sure I will,” Allmendinger old Fox Sports 1. “I kept trying to block both lanes. It looked like Austin moved up there and timed it perfect, where he just got a massive shove. I probably could have …….

Source: https://www.si.com/fannation/racing/auto-racing-digest/nascar/austinhill-wins-2022-xfinity-season-opener

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