Race Weekend Central

Austin Hill Pleads the 5th After Late Dust-Up with Shane van Gisbergen

SONOMA, Calif. — Austin Hill and Shane van Gisbergen have had a history ever since the final restart at Circuit of the Americas in March.

That history was renewed in Saturday’s (June 8) NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Sonoma Raceway.

The pair made up the front row for the final restart with 11 laps to go and things quickly got tight as they rounded turn 2. Hill took a low entry into the turn, but van Gisbergen went even lower. The two cars body-slammed each other in the corner, with van Gisbergen emerging as the victor and cruising out to a lengthy advantage.

That proved to be the race-winning move, as van Gisbergen held off second-place Sheldon Creed to score a dominant win from the pole just one week after taking the checkered flag for his first Xfinity win at Portland International Raceway. Hill lost his momentum and dropped to fifth after the contact and he was unable to make up any additional ground in the final 10 laps.

See also
Shane van Gisbergen Wins 2nd Straight Xfinity Race

On the cooldown lap, van Gisbergen did some celebratory drifting right next to Hill’s No. 21 car.

What did Hill have to say about the contact with van Gisbergen?

Well, let’s just say he exercised his right to remain silent.

“I watched the replay briefly, but I’ll let everybody else figure out what happened,” Hill said. “It seems like any comment or opinion that I have is always wrong. So, I’ll let them figure it out.

“At the end of the day, it was a good points day, it was racing hard for the win, and we’ll just go on to the next one.”

During his post-race press conference, van Gisbergen said the last restart against Hill was “100%” fair game after the way the finish at COTA went down between the two.

“I hate racing and thinking like that, but to me, we’ve both taken a race win off each other now.”

About the author

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Stephen Stumpf is the NASCAR Content Director for Frontstretch and is a three-year veteran of the site. His weekly columns include “Stat Sheet” and “4 Burning Questions.” He also writes commentary, contributes to podcasts, edits articles and is frequently at the track for on-site coverage.

Can find on Twitter @stephen_stumpf.

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Bob

That was one of the tamest late race passes on a road course I’ve seen, Austin tried to move to the inside Shane was committed, happens all the time.

sb

Hill was finally smart enough to ‘no comment’ after the race. He always blames everyone else for issues.

Shayne

I think Hill should have started on the outside. Hill had SVG cleared off of Turn 1, but didn’t drop down in front of him going into Turn 2. I’m sure a few pieces of Hill’s ass are still baking in the hot sun off of Turn 2. Used and abused. Extra bonus for SVG drifting the track. A man among the entitled rich kids and their followers.

This site is getting choked to death from the abundant ads.

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