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Austin Hill victorious in Daytona opener

Photo by Justin Melillo/TRE

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — In his first race for Richard Childress Racing, Austin Hill came away victorious Saturday in the Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300 at Daytona International Speedway, holding off a charge from A.J. Allmendinger.

Hill won the season-opening race in his 16th career NASCAR Xfinity Series start, all-but securing a playoff spot for him and his No. 21 Chevrolet team. In total, he led on four occasions for 23 laps.

“We timed it perfectly,” Hill said of his late-race pass for the lead. “I was able to drag back, 98 (Riley Herbst) gave me a heck of a push, and we were able to get by him (Allmendinger). This is so crazy.

Allmendinger’s runner-up finish saw the Kaulig Racing driver lead three times for 18 laps.

Noah Gragson, Riley Herbst and Justin Allgaier rounded out the Top-5 finishers.

Sheldon Creed, Anthony Alfredo, Ryan Sieg, Josh Bilicki and Brandon Brown rounded out the Top-10.

On the last lap of the race, an eight-car crash on the backstretch saw the No. 31 of Myatt Snider go airborne, clip the catchfence of the outside retaining wall, and come to a rest with the engine and fuel cell displaced.

Snider climbed from the carnage under his own power and was driven to the track’s infield care center via ambulance

A NASCAR official announced Snider was ultimately “treated and released” from the infield care center. There were no further details to what Snider was treated for at the time of publication. He was credited with a 22nd-place finish.

Defending series champion Daniel Hemric, who sat on the pole, won the first two stages, and led a race-high 39 laps, finished 28th, four laps down after a pit road speeding penalty and damage from a late-race crash.

The next scheduled race for the series is scheduled for next Saturday, Feb. 26, at Auto Club Speedway.


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