Austin Hill wins third consecutive Xfinity Season opener at Daytona

Austin Hill wins third consecutive Xfinity Season opener at Daytona

Austin Hill won the rain-postponed NASCAR Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway on Monday marking his third consecutive victory.

Xfinity teams wrapped up a NASCAR doubleheader with Austin Hill winning his fifth superspeedway race in his career at Daytona International Speedway on Monday.

Originally set for Saturday afternoon, the Xfinity Series race was rescheduled for early Monday and then rescheduled for Monday night as rain was still pouring at the beginning of the day.

The Richard Childress Racing driver overcame several challenges to win stage 2, and on the penultimate lap, he managed to hold off former classmate Sheldon Creed to record his seventh career Xfinity victory as well as his third straight season opener win.

Hill overcame a flat tire, a self-destructive bent on pit road, and an early collision on Lap 37 of 120 and although his car had a lot of tape on the right front when he crossed the finish line, he was still able to prove his dominance on superspeedways.

“I don’t know what was going on with me on pit road today,” Hill said. “But my guys just kept telling me, ‘Look, man, dig deep; you’re really good at these superspeedways.’ I tried to screw it up on pit road—sped on pit road, slid through the box.

“I don’t even know what time it is. I know it’s past my bedtime, but we’re about to party tonight, I can tell you that.”

Hill restarted the race in 22nd place after pitting with a flat tyre on the 97th lap, however, he quickly made his way up the field. He took advantage of two more cautions after he lined up third for the final restart on lap 118 and swiftly edged Chandler Smith and Jordan Anderson.

On the final lap, Hill was leading by over a car length when Ryan Sieg spun out in front of him exiting Turn 2. From then on, Hill’s only task was to drive his car to the finish line, which he did with ease.

Jordan Anderson and Parker Retzlaff placed third and fourth, respectively, giving Chevrolet three drivers in the top four.

Chandler Smith came home fifth, followed by Riley Herbst, John Hunter Nemechek, Justin Allgaier, Brandon Jones and AJ Allmendinger.

Nine cautions were issued all through 44 of the 120 laps in the race. 14 different drivers exchanged the lead 19 times, with Sunoco rookie Jesse Love taking the lead after the first green flag and leading a race-high 32 laps.

However, Love suffered severe damage in the Lap 37 collision and came in twenty-first in a Chevrolet with aerodynamic issues.

New Zealander Shane van Gisbergen—winner of the NASCAR Cup Series Chicago Street Race the previous year—nursed his damaged Kaulig Racing Chevrolet to a 12th-place finish in his Xfinity debut.

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