• Fri. Jun 2nd, 2023

Austin Hill nabs second consecutive Xfinity Series season-opening win at Daytona

ByStaff Contributions

Feb 18, 2023
Austin Hill celebrates a Daytona win

Photo courtesy of Mike Ehrmann | Getty Images

Like Zane Smith Friday night in the Truck Series, Austin Hill is the Xfinity Series season-opening winner at Daytona International Speedway for the second year in a row.

“I have no idea. I don’t know. When I chose the outside line, I just — I didn’t feel like the inside line was that great all day for most of the day,” Hill said after the race. “I just wanted to choose the top. I knew the 78 would stay with me. He was pretty committed. When I saw the 1 and the 7 get together, I just went to go squeeze them, and the 1 came down, he started getting loose, and then you can’t lift. It’s the last lap.

Similar to last year, the race ended with a backstretch caution on the final lap as JR Motorsports driver Sam Mayer found himself upside down and sliding on his roof after battling for the win with Hill and his JRM teammate Justin Allgaier.

After what seemed to be the perfect situation for JRM with all four of their cars running second through fifth, leaving Hill as a clear sitting duck with three laps to go, their plan fell flat as Allgaier bailed out on Josh Berry and the race was on for the win. However, JRM’s night went from bad to even worse as Berry spun team debutant Brandon Jones with two laps to go.

A potentially great night became an all-time disastrous one for the Dale Jr.-owned team as Berry ran out of gas before overtime, Mayer flipped and Allgaier wasn’t in front of Hill after NASCAR reviewed the finish of the race.

“I’ve been short my whole life, so I guess it’s just fitting,” Allgaier said after the race. “But really proud of everybody at JR Motorsports. Our Chevy Camaros tonight were absolutely blazing fast. I thought I could get enough of a draft off of that 8 car and maybe they couldn’t catch me, but I just got too far out there, and that was really all it came down to.”

The silver lining for JRM after Daytona will be the Stage 2 victory for Allgaier after spinning earlier in the same Stage.

Allgaier was scored third after NASCAR’s review with John Hunter Nemechek finishing second.

Parker Retzlaff, making his full-season debut with Jordan Anderson Racing brought home the No. 31 Chevrolet in fourth place while Myatt Snider finished fifth with Joe Gibbs Racing. Riley Herbst, Joe Graf Jr. (career-high 7th-place finish), Ryan Sieg, Cole Custer and Justin Haley rounded out the top 10.

The Xfinity Series will return to action next Saturday on the West Coast at Auto Club Speedway (5 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1, MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

NOTE: Post-race inspection is complete in the Xfinity Series garage. There were no issues, confirming Austin Hill as the winner.


Xfinity Daytona results


Xfinity driver points


Owner Xfinity points