Race Weekend Central

Austin Hill Wins Xfinity Opener for 3rd Daytona Win

Despite a damaged No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet, Austin Hill willed his way to the front of the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ delayed season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

He took the lead in the closing laps and stayed in the gas as a wreck occurred behind him on the white flag lap en route to winning the 2024 United Rentals 300.

Hill notched his third Xfinity win at Daytona and the seventh in the series. He now has won three straight NXS season openers.

“RC, how about that?!” Hill said over the radio post race, referring to team owner Richard Childress. “Three-peat at Daytona, woohoo!”

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“It tops it off, I mean three-peat,” Hill told FOX Sports 1 post-race. “You know how hard it is to win at Daytona? God almighty! I don’t know what was going on with me on pit road today. My guys just kept telling me, ‘Look man, dig deep. You’re really good at these superspeedways.’ I tried to screw it up on pit road. Sped on pit road, slipped through the box, about slid through the box on the first stop. Man, this Bennett [Transportation] Chevrolet was fast as Xfinity 10G, that’s for sure.

“Thank you for all these fans who stuck it out. I know it’s late. I don’t even know what time it is. I know it’s past my bedtime. We’re about to party tonight, I can tell you that. I am so stoked. This is incredible to win. At with the United Rentals 300, a longtime sponsor of mine, it can’t get any better.”

Hill’s former teammate Sheldon Creed, now driving for Joe Gibbs Racing, finished second. Jordan Anderson Racing swept the second row with team owner Jordan Anderson in third and Parker Retzlaff in fourth.

Chandler Smith, Riley Herbst, John Hunter Nemechek, Justin Allgaier, Brandon Jones and AJ Allmendinger rounded out the top 10.

Hill won stage two and accrued 19 stage points, narrowly losing the stage one win to his teammate Jesse Love. However, for as fast as his racecar was on Monday (Feb. 19) night, he continually had to charge to the front after several miscues.

After Love, who won the pole in his series debut, and Hill went 1-2 in stage one, early in stage two misfortune struck the duo. As the lead pack raced three wide, Love received too hard of a bump and multiple cars, including Hill, were involved.

Hill drove back to the front to capture the stage two win. However, on the ensuing pit stop, he sped on pit road and then slid through his pit stall. As a result, he had to restart at the back of the field again.

With a long green flag run during the final stage, Hill reentered the fray of the large pack. Eventually, as the laps remaining reached single digits, he was in the second row of the pack running three wide when the final caution of the race occurred, collecting several drivers who had strong runs going up to that point.

On the final restart, Hill maneuvered his way into the lead, ultimately claiming the victory, thereby likely locking himself into the playoffs for the third straight year.

Xfinity Daytona Results

The series returns to the track this weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway. The Raptor King of Tough 250 is set for Saturday, Feb. 24, at 5 p.m. ET via FOX Sports 1.

About the author

Mark Kristl joined Frontstretch at the beginning of the 2019 NASCAR season. He is the site's ARCA Menards Series editor. Kristl is also an Eagle Scout and a proud University of Dayton alum.

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