Richard Childress Racing’s Austin Hill picked up his third NASCAR Xfinity Series victory of the season during the RAPTOR King of Tough 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday night.
Hill led 103 of 163 laps in his No. 21 Chevrolet, collecting a stage one win on lap 40 enroute to the checkered flag.
“I have no idea how I saved it coming to the line,” Hill said. “What a start to the season. Everybody at Richard Childress Racing, ECR engines — we’ve just had such a fast start with Chevrolet. This has been special, for sure.”
The 251-mile race saw 13 lead changes and 12 cautions.
Big Machine Racing’s Parker Kligerman was hot on the heels of Hill as the two approached the finish line, but after making contact with two cars, Kligerman spun and triggered a multi-car crash. The No. 48 driver eventually finished fourth, crossing the finish line backward. However, Kligerman experienced a small victory earlier in the day when he brought BMR it’s first-ever stage victory during the second stage of the race.
Kaulig Racing’s Daniel Hemric came across the line in second place, 0.085 seconds behind Hill.
Ryan Truex, wheeling the No. 19 for Joe Gibbs Racing, finished third, while Stewart-Haas Racing’s Riley Herbst finished fifth in the No. 98 Ford.
John Hunter Nemechek, who entered the race second in points, finished eighth.
Notably, Josh Williams was parked by NASCAR officials during the race.
Williams sustained damage to his No. 92 Chevrolet on lap 28 when he was involved in a three-car crash. His DGM Racing team taped up the damage, but debris dropped from the car when he returned to the track, bringing out the caution on lap 32.
Once ordered off the track, Williams abandoned the car on the frontstretch, exited the vehicle and walked to pit road, rather than driving his vehicle to the garage. NASCAR officials cited Section 8.9.A of the Xfinity Series Rule Book when announcing their decision, which grants the series power to “direct a competitor to cease competition.”
In response to Williams’ behavior, NASCAR summoned Williams, team owner Mario Gosselin and crew chief Bryan Berry to the hauler for a discussion once the driver was released from the in-field care center.