Austin Hill nearly wrecks but still wins Atlanta Xfinity race

by Sports Staff

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.

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