Daytona Beach, Fla.
NASCAR’s Xfinity Series at Daytona was tonight on FS1. The race was 120 laps (300 miles) with stage breaks on laps 30, 60 and 120.
Austin Hill pulled up along side A.J. Allmendinger down the back stretch when behind them, Anthony Alfredo nudged Myatt Snider, who turned sideways and then went airborne into the fence.
That caution froze the field. Hill had just passed Allmendinger, and won the race.
|Pos.||Car||Driver||Time behind||Best time||Best speed|
|1||21||Austin Hill #||—||47.662||188.83|
|6||2||Sheldon Creed #||2.692||47.889||187.935|
|24||44||Tommy Joe Martins||0.972||47.539||189.318|
|27||34||Jesse Iwuji #||-2||47.614||189.02|
|29||7||Joe Graf Jr.||-10||47.625||188.976|
# – Rookie
7:37 p.m., Lap 120: Austin Hill wins on the final lap, surging to the front of the pack with a massive shove from the inside lane. “We timed it perfectly,” Hill says on FS1. A massive wreck behind the leaders ensued on the last lap as Myatt Snider gets turned. His car is brutally damaged after flipping, hitting the fence and nearly splitting in half. The engine is completely torn out, but Snider was able to get out of his car by his own power. He was standing and talking to the safety crew on site.
7:30 p.m., Lap 117: With three laps to go, Noah Gragson drops down and the second lane quickly fills in. AJ Allmendinger blocks. Austin Hill is on the outside, then falls in behind Allmendinger.
7:26 p.m., Lap 114: With six laps to go, Justin Allgaier drops low. He’s forming a second lane, and is able to pick up pace briefly. But they’re still about eight rows back.
7:24 p.m., Lap 110: There are 10 laps to go as AJ Allmendinger continues to lead as he rockets towards traffic. Allmendinger clears the slower cars without issue, but the intensity is high as the line runs nose-to-tail. A move is inevitably coming, but how long will they wait.
“Just stay sharp here for me, buddy,” Allmendinger is told.
7:21 p.m., Lap 106: AJ Allmendinger re-takes the lead after the bottom lane picks up pace. Allmendinger slides back up to first and the bottom lane dissipates. Allmendinger is told to focus on not losing ground. Austin Hill, Noah Gragson, Riley Herbst and Sheldon Creed follow in order.
7:18 p.m., Lap 103: Austin Hill now securely has the lead with the outside lane he’s leading picking up speed. AJ Allmendinger’s lane has lost the advantage and he drops to fourth.
7:13 p.m., Lap 97: The restart comes with 23 laps to go. AJ Allmendinger leads the inside line and the pack as the aggressiveness picks up and the leaders approach lapped traffic. Allmendinger rounds the lapped car, but Austin Hill moves to the outside will Noah Gragson behind Hill. Allmendinger loses some pace and is told not to let Gragson in.
7:03 p.m., Lap 92: Big wreck on the frontstretch! At least 10 cars go spinning as CJ McLaughlin appears to get loose behind the leaders and cause the pileup on the apron off Turn 4. Shane Lee, Jeffrey Earnhardt, Tommy Joe Martins, Kyle Weatherman and Brett Moffitt were among the drivers involved in the wreck. So is the Stage 1 and Stage 2 winner Daniel Hemric, who had the long stop and speeding penalty that kept him mid-pack. He heads back to pit road for repairs with the caution out and cleanup underway.
6:58 p.m., Lap 88: More trouble for Daniel Hemric. He gets a speeding penalty on pit road and will have to restart at the rear after the long stop for the tire changes and repairs. Austin Hill, Noah Gragson, AJ Allmendinger, Landon Cassill and Ty Gibbs is the order for the restart.
6:48 p.m., Lap 84: The caution comes out for debris in Turn 4, presumably from Sam Mayer’s car, and Daniel Hemric’s radio calls the late call “bulls***” as he’s told to save fuel. Hemric says he has a vibration. Josh Bilicki, Ryan Vargas and Baley Currey are in the lead. Hemric, in 10th, is planning to make a longer stop and his team will change all four tires.
6:41 p.m., Lap 75: Kaulig cars pit for fuel, starting green flag pit stops. As the pit rounds get underway, Sam Mayer goes for a big spin coming onto pit road. There’s no caution flag, although there’s talk of Mayer’s car leaving debris.
6:38 p.m., Lap 70: This is the longest stage of the race, but the pit window will soon be opening. Daniel Hemric continues to lead, and a long line of cars has formed behind him. He’s told to “just cruise here.” The second line starts seven cars back, but Hemric is ready for that line to break up and drop down.
6:30 p.m., Lap 63: Daniel Hemric keeps the top spot after the stage break, while AJ Allmendinger picks up two spots after pitting. The Kaulig cars will like up in the front row, with Brandon Jones and Ty Gibbs following.
6:22 p.m., Lap 60: Daniel Hemric wins the second stage with a move around Noah Gragson on the final lap of the stage. “I wasn’t expecting him to pull out,” Gragson later radios to his team. There was contact between the two cars, and it looked like Gragson could’ve spun out. He saved it, but dropped to 14th. Ryan Sieg finishes the stage in second, followed by Sam Mayer, AJ Allmendinger and Justin Allgaier in the top five.
“I needed to be just a little bit more aggressive. It’s hard to tell,” Gragson says at the break. “You did good there, bud,” he’s told.
6:13 p.m., Lap 49: Noah Gragson pulls ahead of Brandon Brown for the top spot, as Brown drops back on the outside lane. Gragson then moves to the outside, drops down and settles comfortably into the lead. Brown drops into fourth on the outside line behind Gragson, Daniel Hemric and AJ Allmenginger.
6:12 p.m., Lap 46: Brandon Brown, who picked up his first Xfinity win at Talladega last season, is running out front. Brown is running an American flag paint scheme on his No. 68 car. He’s been the central figure in a controversial culture clash playing out in NASCAR, and became further been embroiled in drama after NASCAR denied a request for Brown to run a sponsorship scheme that leaned into a viral, and highly politicized “Let’s Go Brandon” chant.
5:59 p.m., Lap 33: Brandon Brown picks up seven spots on pit road, taking no tires and he’ll restart out front. Noah Gragson picked up two positions per lap after the earlier uncontrolled penalty. Gragson is runs second after the restart.
5:51 p.m., Lap 30: Justin Allgaier breaks up the line at the front of the pack, dropping down before AJ Allmendinger is able to block. Austin Hill moves in front of Allgaier, but that second line is too slow. Daniel Hemric is able to win the first stage ahead of A.J. Allmendinger, Riley Herbst, Hill, Noah Gragson and Ty Gibbs and Allgaier. “I tried to drag, but he must’ve gotten stuck back there,” Hill’s radio says.
5:47 p.m., Lap 26: Austin Hill makes a move to break out of his line, dropping low and moving in behind leader Daniel Hemric. AJ Allmendinger peeks out of his line, seconds later, then takes the position from Hill. The stage is winding down. A big move from Hill might be coming…
5:40 p.m., Lap 19: Noah Gragson’s team has an uncontrolled tire penalty, so he’ll restart at the rear, dropping to 27th. Daniel Hemric leads the field after the restart. Jeremy Clements and Drew Dollar exit the race.
5:31 p.m., Lap 14: Drew Dollar’s car hits the outside wall hard, with Dollar saying that he has a right front tire off. He collects Jeremy Clements as his careens into the wall, bringing out the first caution of the race. Jeffrey Earnhardt’s No. 24 is stopped on pit road as his team tried to replace a left rear tire.
5:20 p.m. Lap 11: Daniel Hemric and Austin Hill race side-by-side, but Hill surges to the front for a few laps until Hemric re-takes the lead. Daniel Hemric’s radio is not happy about how Riley Herbst is drafting further back in the pack. Herbst is running fourth. Leader Hemric has more cars trailing him in his line.
5:22 p.m., Lap 1: The race goes green and cars run three-wide mid-pack. “Top’s gonna haul a** down this backstretch,” Daniel Hemric’s radio says. Hemric is leading Austin Hill, Sheldon Creed and Jade Buford.
5:10 p.m.: Engines are FIRED for the “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300” and cars are rolling off behind the pace car. Last night’s Truck Series race saw 18 trucks collected in a single wreck. When will The Big One hit tonight? “Let’s have some fun,” pole sitter Daniel Hemric radio’s to his team.
4:45 p.m.: Skies are bright over the track and the grid is busy as teams get ready for pre-race ceremonies ahead of tonight’s race. Daniel Hemric, who won the 2021 Xfinity Series championship, is starting on the pole for the season opener. Austin Hill will line up in the front row.
This story was originally published February 19, 2022 4:45 PM.