DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.
Austin Hill loves Daytona, and Daytona appears to love him back.
The Richard Childress Racing driver won the first race of the 2023 Xfinity Series season — dominating early, hanging on during a crazy finish and notching his second win at Daytona International Speedway in as many seasons.
It wasn’t without a bunch of drama, though: A caution prompted a late-race restart and forced overtime. The top of the pack was super tight — among Hill, John Hunter Nemechek and Justin Allgaier — and then, after the white flag (marking the race’s last lap), a car flipped and a caution came out.
When a caution emerges after the white flag, whoever is leading when the caution comes out is deemed the winner. After a few moments of reviewing tape, NASCAR made it official — Hill had won at Daytona again.
Hill knew he had a fast car — and he proved that early.
Hill qualified to start in P1, but he took a trip down pit road before the start of the race to replace a broken radio. That pushed him to the rear to start the race. The driver of the 21 car didn’t seem to care, though: The driver rose through the field quickly, passing cars one by one and fending off a late run from Justin Allgaier to win Stage 1.
In Stage 2, Hill finished third. But most importantly, he stayed in the race. Saturday night was relatively tame for a Daytona race, but there was still carnage: Eight cars saw their days end early — most notably Daniel Hemric and Sheldon Creed, both of whom ran promising runs before getting collected in wrecks they didn’t cause.
Other results from Daytona on Saturday
▪ Before the Xfinity race, the ARCA Menards Series featured a bunch of laps under caution and a Greg Van Alst win at Daytona International Speedway. The race’s most well-known competitor — former “Malcolm In The Middle” star Frankie Muniz — finished 11th.
Unofficial results from Xfinity race
|POS||CAR||DRIVER||DELTA||BEST TIME||BEST LAP|
John Hunter Nemechek
Parker Retzlaff #
|6||39||Joe Graf Jr||0.758||47.357||52|
Chandler Smith #
Sammy Smith #
Blaine Perkins #