Austin Hill’s first career NASCAR Xfinity Series (NXS) appearance at Talladega Superspeedway ended prematurely after an accident on lap 76 of 113 and was dealt a 33rd-place finish.
Hill began his second career NXS superspeedway start from the 18th position and kept himself in contention throughout most of the afternoon. The current NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series point leader stayed in the lead draft for the entire opening segment and was scored 15th at the end of Stage 1 on lap 25.
Stage 2 unfolded similarly for Hill and the AISIN Group, ADVICS team after he took four tires and fuel during the first stage caution. He held on to the lead draft, which evolved into a single-file conga line on the top of the 2.66-mile speedway and climbed up to 15th before a one-lap dash finished Stage 2. Hill rocketed from 18th to 13th on the lap 50 restart to position himself towards the front for the final 63-lap segment.
Crew chief Scott Zipadelli and the HRE team outfitted Hill with two tires under the Stage 2 yellow and allowed him to restart 14th on lap 56. In two laps, Hill charged to seventh and once again held strong in the single-file lead draft. As the field patiently clicked off laps rim-riding Talladega’s high banks, Hill was well-positioned for the final scheduled pit stop. While attempting to pit on lap 76, Hill was tagged in the rear bumper and sent spinning into the inside wall causing severe damage to his Toyota Supra. The incident cut his seventh-career NXS start short and handed him a 33rd-place finish.
Austin Hill Quote:”That was an unfortunate was to end our day. We were just biding our time and clicking off laps waiting to make that last pit stop. Our AISIN Group, ADVICS Supra drove pretty well today. We were just lacking a little bit of raw speed to be able to suck up to the cars in front of us. We needed some good help from behind to make moves, but still found our way up inside the top-10. It’s a shame to have it end that early because I think we had a car definitely capable of finishing in the top 10 and maybe would have been able to mix it up when it got down to the end.”