The NASCAR Xfinity Series race Saturday had a classic Pocono Raceway feel as strategies decided the win and favored Austin Hill.
Austin Hill held off Josh Berry, who led 51 of 92 laps but couldn’t fend off Hill’s strategic overtime move for the win.
Hill restarted behind Berry in overtime and took the lead after bumping him into turn one too fast.
Berry fought back the following lap but cut a tire and finished out of the race in 24th.
Meanwhile, Hill led just the final two laps – the fewest of any leader – and won his fourth Xfinity Series race of 2023.
TOP-10 FINISHERS: Austin Hill, Sam Mayer, Chase Elliott, Riley Herbst, Daniel Hemric, Sammy Smith, Brandon Jones, Brett Moffitt, Parker Kligerman, Daniel Suarez
Hill ran 12th before the caution in stage two brought him a penalty and strategies shuffled the running order.
Running in the back with Mayer and Herbst after a subsequent caution for a restart wreck, Hill pitted a lap after them on lap 49 and vowed with them to go to the end of the race on fuel.
A caution for Justin Allgaier spinning Joey Gase with 11 laps to go put Hill back in the mix after running far behind Herbst and Mayer.
With six to go, Herbst, Mayer and Hill were in the top three. Then, it was Josh Berry, Chase Elliott, Sheldon Creed and Ryan Sieg who pitted on laps 60, 69, 61 and 77 respectively.
Everyone else on the lead lap, eighth through 23rd, had fresher tires.
After the choose, Berry vaulted to a position where he took the lead from Herbst.
A caution for Connor Mosack hitting the wall changed that. Hill pulled the key move on Berry and fended off all challenges for the win.
STAGE ONE TOP-10: Josh Berry, Daniel Hemric, John Hunter Nemechek, Sammy Smith, Sheldon Creed, Brandon Jones, Sam Mayer, Justin Allgaier, Connor Mosack, Hill
STAGE TWO TOP-10: Berry, Allgaier, Nemechek, Jones, Cole Custer, S. Smith, Mayer, Riley Herbst, Hemric, Chandler Smith
REGULAR SEASON POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP
John Hunter Nemechek wrecked with Cole Custer right as stage three began. Nemechek and Custer finished 32nd and 33rd.
Then on the final lap, Justin Allgaier and Chandler Smith wrecked exiting turn four. Smith and Allgaier finished 20th and 23rd.
All of this solidifed second-place for Hill and 20 points gained at Pocono.
- Nemechek 751 points
- Hill -13
- Allgaier -55
- Custer -85
- Smith -164
8. Josh Berry (+107)
9. Daniel Hemric (+83)
10. Sam Mayer (+78)
11. Sheldon Creed (+49)
12. Riley Herbst (+26 points to the cutline)
13. Parker Kligerman (-26 points out of a playoff spot)
14. Brett Moffitt (-49)
15. Brandon Jones (-54)
16. Kaz Grala (-141)
The NASCAR Xfinity Series head to Road America for a 45-lap race July 29 (3 p.m. ET; Broadcast: NBC, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).
Jeremy Clements (2017) and Justin Allgaier (2018) are the only past Road America Xfinity Series winners expected to race.