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Race report

Austin Hill nearly wrecks but still wins Atlanta Xfinity race

Austin Hill escaped a last-ditch effort to knock him from the lead and held on to win a caution-plagued NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday night at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Hill, who dominated much of the race even though it was marred by a record 12 cautions, led the way on the final restart with two of 163 laps remaining.

Hill, driving the No. 21 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, quickly cleared for the lead after the restart. Coming off Turn 4 on the final lap, however, Daniel Hemric got into the back of Parker Kligerman, who ran into Hill.

Hill’s No. 21 wobbled but he hung on to the car to take the checkered flag by 0.085 seconds over Hemric as several other cars wrecked behind them.

The win is Hill’s third in five races this season and the fifth of his career.

“It’s special, just having my while family here and growing up in Georgia, an hour down the road and growing up racing on this little ¼-mile race track,” Hill said after celebrating with his family on the frontstretch of the track. “I knew it was going to be tough today. I knew guys could get really good runs.

“Once I got to the lead I knew it was wreckers or checkers. When (Kligerman) hit me in the right-rear – I’m guessing he got hit or something – I thought I was headed to the outside wall. But I was able to gather it up and bring it on home.

“This is so special. It was a tough one to win.”

Ryan Truex ended up third, Kligerman fourth and Riley Herbst rounded out the top-five.

Completing the top-10 were Brett Moffitt, Josh Berry, John Hunter Nemechek, Sam Mayer and Justin Haley.

Race winner Austin Hill, Richard Childress Racing, Chevrolet Camaro

Race winner Austin Hill, Richard Childress Racing, Chevrolet Camaro

Photo by: Nigel Kinrade / NKP / Motorsport Images

Stage 3

Following the caution between Stages 2 and 3, all the lead-lap cars pit with Herbst the first off pit road. Sammy Smith had to restart from the rear of the field for removing equipment during his pit stop.

On the restart on Lap 87, Herbst was followed by Moffitt, Kligerman, Hemric and Mayer.

Hill returned to the lead on Lap 93 as Sheldon Creed moved into second.

Patrick Emerling wrecked in Turn 2 on Lap 117 to bring out the 10th caution of the race.

Most of the lead-lap cars elected to pit with Hemric first off pit road. Hill remained on the track and in the lead when the race returned to green on Lap 124.

With 30 laps remaining, Hill remained out front followed by Herbst and Truex.

Hill furiously worked to block both lanes as he maintained his lock on the lead with 15 laps remaining.

Parker Retzlaff hit the wall hard off Turn 4 on Lap 155 which brought out a record-setting 11th caution of the race.

 

A handful of cars pit under the caution. When the race resumed with two laps to go, Hill led the way followed by Kligerman, Hemric, Herbst and Moffitt.

Stage 2

A wreck by Justin Allgaier with one lap to go placed the race under caution and locked Kligerman into the Stage 2 win.

Herbst was second, Brandon Jones third, Creed fourth and Ryan Sieg rounded out the top-five.

Following the caution between Stages 1 and 2, most of the lead-lap cars pit but Haley remained on the track and inherited the lead. Hemric had to restart from the rear of the field for having too many crew members over the wall during his stop.

The race returned to green on Lap 48. Anthony Alfredo powered to the lead on Lap 50.

Chad Chastain spun down the backstretch on Lap 56 to bring out the sixth caution of the race.

Alfredo still led the way on the restart on Lap 61 followed by Jones, Haley and Ryan Sieg.

Retzlaff had a tire go down and hit the wall on Lap 62, which placed the race back under caution.

Several drivers elected to pit under the caution but Alfredo remained on the track and in the lead when the race went green on Lap 67.

Jones used a three-move and powered to the lead on the restart with a push from Ryan Sieg.

 

Connor Mosack got loose in Turn 4 on Lap 69 and Hemric got collected in the wreck to bring out the eighth caution of the race.

Jones remained the leader when the race resumed on Lap 76.

Stage 1

Creed edged Hill in a photo finish to claim the win in Stage 1, which was dominated by cautions.

Nemechek grabbed the lead on the start, but the race was quickly placed under caution on Lap 2 for a wreck involving Joey Gase and Caesar Bacarella.

The race returned to green on Lap 8 with Nemechek in the lead followed by Sammy Smith and Truex.

Hill powered to the lead on Lap 11.

Jeffrey Earnhardt and Kaz Grala wrecked in the middle of Turns 3 and 4 on Lap 12 and Garrett Smithley slammed into Grala to bring out the second caution of the race.

 

After an extensive clean up, Hill led the way on the restart on Lap 25 followed by Creed and Nemechek.

Kyle Weatherman wrecked on Lap 27 in an incident that also collected Josh Williams and Jeb Burton to bring out the third caution of the race.

A handful of cars elected to pit for new tires and fuel, including pole-sitter Sammy Smith. Hill remained the leader on the restart on Lap 32.

NASCAR was forced to display a caution on Lap 33 for debris off the No. 92 of Williams, which was damaged in the previous incident. NASCAR directed Williams to the garage for extending the caution while under the damaged vehicle policy.

During the caution, Williams refused to leave the track. NASCAR informed the team it was no longer scoring it and Williams finally parked his No. 92 on the track near the start/finish line and walked to pit road.

Williams, his crew chief Bryan Berry and owner Mario Gosselin were all told to report to the Xfinity Series hauler to meet with series officials after the race.

The stage resumed with four laps remaining.

Read Also:
Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Gap Interval Laps Led
1 21 United States Austin Hill Chevrolet 163 2:44'49.425     103
2 11 United States Daniel Hemric Chevrolet 163 2:44'49.510 0.085 0.085  
3 19 United States Ryan Truex Toyota 163 2:44'49.574 0.149 0.064  
4 48 United States Parker Kligerman Chevrolet 163 2:44'49.575 0.150 0.001 5
5 98 United States Riley Herbst Ford 163 2:44'49.660 0.235 0.085 11
6 25 United States Brett Moffitt Ford 163 2:44'49.677 0.252 0.017  
7 8 Josh Berry Chevrolet 163 2:44'49.721 0.296 0.044  
8 20 United States John Hunter Nemechek Toyota 163 2:44'49.856 0.431 0.135 10
9 1 Sam Mayer Chevrolet 163 2:44'49.892 0.467 0.036  
10 10 United States Justin Haley Chevrolet 163 2:44'49.893 0.468 0.001 5
11 39 United States Ryan Sieg Ford 163 2:44'50.218 0.793 0.325  
12 00 United States Cole Custer Ford 163 2:44'50.350 0.925 0.132  
13 6 United States Brennan Poole Chevrolet 163 2:44'50.373 0.948 0.023  
14 78 Anthony Alfredo Chevrolet 163 2:44'50.428 1.003 0.055 18
15 51 United States Jeremy Clements Chevrolet 163 2:44'50.456 1.031 0.028  
16 27 United States Jeb Burton Chevrolet 163 2:44'50.800 1.375 0.344  
17 18 Sammy Smith Toyota 163 2:44'50.814 1.389 0.014  
18 35 Emerlingб Patrick Ford 163 2:44'50.907 1.482 0.093  
19 9 United States Brandon Jones Chevrolet 163 2:44'51.134 1.709 0.227 10
20 08 United States Gray Gaulding Chevrolet 163 2:44'51.210 1.785 0.076 1
21 2 United States Sheldon Creed Chevrolet 163 2:44'51.706 2.281 0.496  
22 07 Blaine Perkins Chevrolet 163 2:44'51.722 2.297 0.016  
23 43 United States Ryan Ellis Chevrolet 163 2:44'51.982 2.557 0.260  
24 91 Chad Chastain Chevrolet 163 2:44'52.882 3.457 0.900  
25 38 Joe Jr. Ford 163 2:44'54.626 5.201 1.744  
26 28 Kyle Sieg Ford 161 2:45'01.358 2 Laps 2 Laps  
27 31 Parker Retzlaff Chevrolet 154 2:34'18.866 9 Laps 7 Laps  
28 16 Chandler Smith Chevrolet 127 2:20'04.285 36 Laps 27 Laps  
29 7 United States Justin Allgaier Chevrolet 77 1:38'07.800 86 Laps 50 Laps  
30 24 Connor Mosack Toyota 69 1:27'36.604 94 Laps 8 Laps  
31 45 United States Sage Karam Chevrolet 43 1:00'36.066 120 Laps 26 Laps  
32 92 United States Josh Williams Chevrolet 33 47'54.997 130 Laps 10 Laps  
33 02 United States Kyle Weatherman Chevrolet 26 38'21.698 137 Laps 7 Laps  
34 44 United States Jeffrey Earnhardt Chevrolet 11 12'40.989 152 Laps 15 Laps  
35 26 United States Kaz Grala Toyota 11 12'41.488 152 Laps 0.499  
36 4 United States Garrett Smithley Chevrolet 11 12'41.614 152 Laps 0.126  
37 53 United States Joey Gase Chevrolet 1 38.924 162 Laps 10 Laps  
38 66 Caesar Bacarella Chevrolet 1 38.931 162 Laps 0.007  

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