Austin Hill led for 103 of the 163 laps during the Xfinity Series RAPTOR King of Tough 250, but it was his efforts during the race’s final seconds which earned the Georgia native his second straight win at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Hill, who grew up an hour from the 1.54-mile track and raced at the venue as a junior, held off a charging pack down the homestretch. Runner-up Daniel Hemric crossed 0.085 seconds behind Hill and Ryan Truex placed third. Parker Kligerman slid into fourth with Riley Herbst holding on for fifth.
“I knew it was going to be tough today,” Hill said. “We were on it all night. Once I got the lead, I knew that it was wreck-it-or-check-it.”
Hill joined Mark Martin and Kyle Busch as the only drivers to win three of the season’s first five Xfinity Series races.
Hemric made a valiant charge into the mix on the final lap and made contact with Kligerman moments before the finish.
“Obviously, mayhem happened on the (last) corner,” Hill added. “I have no idea how I saved it.”
Filling out the top-10 were Brett Moffitt, Josh Berry, John Hunter Nemechek, Sam Mayer and Justin Haley.
A track-record 12 caution periods extended the race well into the evening hours, but the action-packed finish undoubtedly made it well worth the wait.
Racing weekend at Atlanta Motor Speedway culminates Sunday with the Ambetter Health 400 (3 p.m. ET, FOX, PRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio). Tickets remain available at AtlantaMotorSpeedway.com or by calling 877-9-AMS-TIX.
About the Ambetter Health 400:
Atlanta’s spring NASCAR weekend is headlined by the Ambetter Health 400 on Sunday, March 19, with intense, door-to-door racing around the historic high banks of Atlanta Motor Speedway.
More information on the Ambetter Health 400 weekend and ticket availability can be found online at AtlantaMotorSpeedway.com.