One multi-teammate incident wasn’t enough for Friday (Sept. 15) night’s Food City 300 at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Instead, the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ playoff opener was fraught with mayhem, and the second run-in involving multiple cars from the same stable came on lap 219. Previously, JR Motorsports had three cars caught up in one incident. Then Richard Childress Racing joined the fray when teammates Austin Hill and Sheldon Creed made contact.
Both were running in the top 10; neither was exceptionally fast or had shown the race-leading speed that competitors like Cole Custer, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and eventual winner Justin Allgaier had, but the two teammates seemed well on their way to a solid points day … until a little bit of contact as they battled for position off turn 4.
Hill went skidding down the frontstretch after he ran the corner high while Creed ran low, came up and slightly touched the No. 21’s left quarter panel. The four-time 2023 winner nosed into the inside wall before sliding back up the banking and hitting the outside wall, as well.
“I came off the bottom a little bit, but it’s not like I — I was coming up onto the straightaway,” Creed said post-race. “I should’ve been lower, but did I think I was gonna hit him? No. I thought he was gonna clear me, I just caught him evidently just enough.”
Fortunately, Hill’s car wasn’t hit by anyone else in the field on the way up or down the banking, but the damage was done. The damaged vehicle policy clock expired and Hill unlatched the window net, throwing his gloves in visible frustration before clambering out and heading to the hauler.
Team members followed him in and slid a rolling cart in front of the doors before Hill eventually exited and got a ride to the infield care center.
Hill didn’t stop for media after he was evaluated and released. He now sits 21 points above the cutline, fourth in the standings, while Creed resides in eighth. The No. 2 is safe by just four points.
Creed was asked whether the line uttered by John Hunter Nemechek this season — “who needs enemies when you have teammates” — had any bearing on this incident. He thought about it for a second.
“Nah, I like my teammates,” Creed said. “I’m not John Hunter.”
Will the conversation between Creed and Hill be awkward or contentious?
“I’m gonna reach out,” he said. “He’s gonna say what he has to say and we’re gonna move forward.”
About the author
Adam Cheek joined Frontstretch as a contributing writer in January 2019. A 2020 graduate of VCU, he works as a producer and talent for Audacy Richmond's radio stations. In addition to motorsports journalism, Adam also covered and broadcasted numerous VCU athletics for the campus newspaper and radio station during his four years there. He's been a racing fan since the age of three, inheriting the passion from his grandfather, who raced in amateur events up and down the East Coast in the 1950s.
A daily email update (Monday through Friday) providing racing news, commentary, features, and information from Frontstretch.com
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.