DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — It wasn’t the Daytona 500, but Austin Hill gladly took the win.
Hill won the Xfinity Series season-opening race Saturday night for the second consecutive year to diminish some of the sting the Richard Childress Racing driver felt two days earlier when he failed to qualify for the Daytona 500.
Hill rebounded and drove from last to first at Daytona International Speedway. The Chevrolet driver was declared the winner after a long NASCAR review of the finishing order. The race went into overtime and Justin Allgaier was the leader until Allgaier’s teammate, Sam Mayer, went high in an attempt to make the race-winning pass.
Contact between Hill and Mayer caused Mayer to spin and his Chevrolet to flip onto its roof, bringing out the race-ending caution. NASCAR then had to review timing and scoring to determine who was the leader when the yellow was thrown.
NASCAR needed nearly 10 minutes to determine Hill was ahead of Allgaier when the race ended. Allgaier settled for second.
“You can’t lift, it’s last lap,” Hill said. “I hope Sam’s OK, man. That was a heck of a flip.”
Mayer was cleared from NASCAR’s infield medical center.
Hill on Thursday night attempted to qualify for his first Daytona 500 and was in control of his fate until he was caught in a late crash. He blamed himself because he was in such good shape to make Sunday’s main event and should not have been racing so aggressively.
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