Austin Hill wins the NASCAR Xfinity race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Austin Hill took the lead with one lap to go and won Saturday’s 300-mile Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Hill passed Chandler Smith for the lead as they approached the finish line to take the white flag. Smith had dominated most of the race before the closing laps, leading 115 laps.
Hill and Justin Allgaier steadily gained on Smith over the final 10 laps and chipped away at Smith’s 2.5-second lead.
Allgaier also passed Smith to finish second. Smith was third, Kyle Busch fourth and Josh Berry fifth.
“I knew I didn’t have to abuse the tires and try to make our way through traffic,” Hill told Fox Sports. “Traffic was very difficult. You had to paint the line between 3 and 4.”
Smith, who was after his first Xfinity win, said his car got tight at the end of the race.
Smith, 20, has five Craftsman Truck Series victories. Driving full-time in the Xfinity Series for the first time, he was fourth in last week’s Xfinity race at Auto Club Speedway.
Hill, driving for Richard Childress Racing, won the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.
Hill took the second stage of the race, leading Brandon Jones, Kyle Busch, Sam Mayer and Sammy Smith to the finish line.
Allgaier, who challenged for the win, was hit with a pass-through penalty on the second stage restart but rallied to return to the top five.
John Hunter Nemechek won the first stage, leading 24 of the 45 laps. Following in the top five were Allgaier, Austin Hill, Chandler Smith and Riley Herbst.
Stage 1 Winner: John Hunter Nemechek
Level 2 winner: River Hill
Who had a good race: Hill, who has been strong on superspeedways, showed that he can also thrive on mid-range tracks. … Chandler Smith looks set for a special season with Kaulig Racing. … Cup Series contender Kyle Busch, who won Friday’s Truck race, missed a shot at the Las Vegas “triple” but had a strong run in the top five.
Next: The Xfinity Series heads to Phoenix Raceway for a race on March 11.
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