Austin Hill Goes Back-To-Back In NASCAR Xfinity Series With Atlanta Win

Austin Hill Goes Back-To-Back In NASCAR Xfinity Series With Atlanta Win

by February 24, 2024 1 comment

HAMPTON, Ga. – Jesse Love was just a lap away from potentially winning his first-ever NASCAR Xfinity Series race, and then the caution came out at Atlanta Motor Speedway , and he ran out of fuel. Austin Hill took advantage of the NASCAR Overtime restart and went back-to-back in the series.

Fuel mileage was the name of the game as the laps ticked away in Saturday’s RAPTOR King of Tough 250. With a commanding lead over the field, Love, who had dominated race, appeared to be in position to win; however, Ryan Sieg ran out of fuel in Turn 4, and the caution came out just prior to Love taking the white flag.

On the final restart of the night, Love couldn’t shift to fourth gear before his Richard Childress Racing No. 2 Whelen Chevrolet ran out of fuel. The hiccup slowed Ryan Truex who was pushing Love, and Hill was able to take advantage as he went on to win for the second consecutive event. Hill, who is a Georgia native, has now won at Atlanta Motor Speedway in three of the five series races he has competed in at the track.

“We came in the Restart Zone, and I’m sloshing it (fuel) around,” Hill said. “We go through the gears, and when I went to shift from, I think it was from third to fourth, I actually stumbled, and the 81 (Chandler Smith) hit me really hard and that like, woke it back up, and I had enough fuel to complete the lap. I do have to take this moment to congratulate Jesse Love, my teammate. He ran an awesome race. To be a rookie, and to lead that many laps, he should be sitting here in Victory Lane right now.”

Chandler Smith, who is also a native from Georgia, finished second following the NASCAR Overtime finish. The driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing. No. 81 Toyota started the race in 12th. He finished out Stage 2 in sixth and had an opportunity to win. The runner-up finished marked his second consecutive top-five finish as he crossed the finish line in fifth at Daytona.

“I wasn’t really frustrated in the moment there,” Smith said about pit strategy. “I did second guess it for a minute there as I thought I had saved a lot of fuel and didn’t think a lot of guys were going to take the gamble and come down. But I don’t know if we just ran more caution laps than what everyone was anticipating at first. My crew chief, Jeff Meendering, did an amazing job making the last-minute pit call there. Looks like we dragged everyone else down pit road with us when we went. So, no, I’m really happy with how our results were coming out of here with the No. 81 QuickTie Products Toyota GR Supra, which was as fast as Xfinity 10G internet today. So, looking forward to going to Las Vegas with two top-fives on superspeedways.”

In only his second NASCAR Xfinity Series start, New Zealand native, Shane Van Gisbergen, finished third at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday night. He kicked off the season with a 12th-place finish at Daytona and this weekend, he played his cards right and was in position at the end of the race.

Sheldon Creed and Parker Retzlaff finished fourth and fifth respectively. South Carolina’s Jeremy Clements finished sixth, followed by Anthony Alfredo, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Ryan Truex and Sammy Smith.

Love swept Stages 1 and 2, and he led a race high of 157 laps. He finished a disappointing 12th.

There were four cautions for 23 laps. Only one caution was for an accident, and it occurred on Lap 59 and involved JJ Yeley and Kyle Weatherman.

The NASCAR Xfinity Series will visit Las Vegas Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 2 for The LiUNA!. Live coverage will broadcast on FS1 at 5 p.m. ET.

Photo Credit: Mitchell White/

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