Austin Hill went from the front to the rear, and back to the front in winning the NASCAR Xfinity series race at Daytona International Saturday night for the second consecutive year.
In a wild overtime finish that mirrored last years, there was a car on its roof trialing sparks on the backstretch and a finish that had to be decided by video review.
Hill won the pole for the race earlier Saturday but during the parade laps was forced to pit with a radio issue and had to start the race from the rear of the field. By lap 27 the Richard Childress Racing driver had charged back to the lead and held the top spot to win Stage 1.
Justin Allgaier who started the day fifth, and spun on lap 40, took control of the race in Stage 2 winning that stage as Hill was third behind Sam Mayer. Allgaier’s JR Motorsports teammate Josh Berry would cycle to the lead after a round of green flag stops on lap 79 and held it until the race’s sixth of eight cautions for a spin by CJ McLaughlin. Hill reassumed the lead after pit stops and from that point it became fuel mileage race to the end of the scheduled 120 laps.
The seventh caution of the night came out when Brandon Jones was spun by Berry on lap 120. That caution setup an overtime finish with the leaders all in need of fuel. Under the caution, Berry’s Chevy sputtered and needed a push back to the pits where he was able to refuel, get refired and exit the pits just as the field took the green.
Allgaier and Hill were side by side at the front as the white flag flew, but Sam Mayer, who led 14 laps earlier in the race tried to charge on the outside as the field headed towards Turn 3. He came down in front of Hill and was turned with his Chevy flipping over in a shower of sparks. NASCAR threw the caution and after a short delay while they reviewed the video, declared Hill the winner with John Hunter Nemechek second.
“When I chose the outside line, I just — I didn’t feel like the inside line was that great all day for most of the day,” Hill said. “I just wanted to choose the top. I knew the 78 would stay with me. He was pretty committed. When I saw the 1 and the 7 get together, I just went to go squeeze them, and the 1 came down, he started getting loose, and then you can’t lift. It’s last lap.
“I hope Sam is okay, man. That was a heck of a flip there.”
Allgaier was third followed by Parker Retzlaff and Myatt Snider fifth.
“I’ve been short my whole life, so I guess it’s just fitting,” Allgaier said. “But really proud of everybody at JR Motorsports. Our Chevy Camaros tonight were absolutely blazing fast.”
Ironically it was Snider whose race ended near the same spot last season with a flip. In that instance however, his car ended up in the fence and Hill was declared the winner after a review.
Saturday night, Mayer’s car came to rest upright, and he was able to climb from the car, and soon checked and released from the care center.
Riley Herbst, Joe Graf Jr., Ryan Sieg, Cole Custer, and Justin Haley rounded out the top 10.
NASCAR Xfinity Series Race – Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300
Daytona International Speedway
Daytona Beach, Florida
Saturday, February 18, 2023
- (1) Austin Hill, Chevrolet, 125.
- (7) John Hunter Nemechek, Toyota, 125.
- (5) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 125.
- (16) Parker Retzlaff #, Chevrolet, 125.
- (13) Myatt Snider, Toyota, 125.
- (9) Riley Herbst, Ford, 125.
- (29) Joe Graf Jr, Ford, 125.
- (22) Ryan Sieg, Ford, 125.
- (3) Cole Custer, Ford, 125.
- (19) Justin Haley(i), Chevrolet, 125.
- (20) Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, 125.
- (8) Chandler Smith #, Chevrolet, 125.
- (17) Stefan Parsons, Chevrolet, 125.
- (11) Brandon Jones, Chevrolet, 125.
- (25) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 125.
- (34) Parker Chase, Toyota, 125.
- (38) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 125.
- (36) Joey Gase, Ford, 125.
- (15) Sammy Smith #, Toyota, 125.
- (23) Gray Gaulding, Chevrolet, 125.
- (26) Kyle Sieg, Ford, 125.
- (28) David Starr, Chevrolet, 125.
- (2) Parker Kligerman, Chevrolet, 125.
- (10) Anthony Alfredo, Chevrolet, 125.
- (12) Jade Buford, Chevrolet, 125.
- (18) Josh Berry, Chevrolet, 125.
- (14) Sam Mayer, Chevrolet, Accident, 124.
- (24) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Chevrolet, 124.
- (32) Brett Moffitt, Ford, 124.
- (37) Jesse Iwuji, Chevrolet, Electrical, 110.
- (31) CJ McLaughlin, Ford, Accident, 87.
- (33) Kaz Grala, Toyota, Engine, 82.
- (21) Brennan Poole, Chevrolet, Engine, 81.
- (4) Sheldon Creed, Chevrolet, Accident, 41.
- (35) Ryan Ellis, Chevrolet, Accident, 41.
- (6) Daniel Hemric, Chevrolet, Accident, 20.
- (27) Blaine Perkins #, Chevrolet, Accident, 19.
- (30) Bayley Currey, Chevrolet, Engine, 8.
Average Speed of Race Winner: 132.524 mph.
Time of Race: 2 Hrs, 21 Mins, 30 Secs. Margin of Victory: Caution Seconds.
Caution Flags: 8 for 32 laps.
Lead Changes: 25 among 11 drivers.
Lap Leaders: C. Custer 1;J. Allgaier 2-5;J. Nemechek 6;J. Allgaier 7;J. Nemechek 8-12;J. Allgaier 13-14;J. Nemechek 15;J. Allgaier 16-25;J. Haley(i) 26;A. Hill 27-32;S. Creed 33-37;S. Mayer 38-45;P. Kligerman 46;S. Mayer 47-49;A. Hill 50-53;J. Allgaier 54-55;S. Mayer 56-58;J. Allgaier 59-74;J. Nemechek 75;G. Gaulding 76;D. Starr 77-78;J. Berry 79-95;A. Hill 96-123;J. Allgaier 124;A. Hill 125.
Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Austin Hill 4 times for 39 laps; Justin Allgaier 7 times for 36 laps; Josh Berry 1 time for 17 laps; Sam Mayer 3 times for 14 laps; John Hunter Nemechek 4 times for 8 laps; Sheldon Creed 1 time for 5 laps; David Starr 1 time for 2 laps; Gray Gaulding 1 time for 1 lap; Justin Haley(i) 1 time for 1 lap; Cole Custer 1 time for 1 lap; Parker Kligerman 1 time for 1 lap.
Stage #1 Top Ten: 21,16,7,10,27,2,8,48,20,19
Stage #2 Top Ten: 7,1,21,9,25,8,98,20,00,27
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