Austin Hill claimed his second straight Xfinity Series season opener win at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, February 19, 2023. The Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner. 300 race saw Hill lead the field for a race-high 38 laps, only to find himself narrowly ahead of John Hunter Nemechek when NASCAR called a caution for Sam Mayer’s spectacular accident on lap 125. NASCAR reviewed the video of the final lap of overtime and declared Hill the winner of the race, which drew the largest crowd to witness an Xfinity Series race at Daytona since the $400-million renovation of the facility in 2016.
Hill, a consummate superspeedway racer, has now won three races at Daytona, including two in the Xfinity Series and one in the truck series. Hill, although thrilled with his victory, first thought of Mayer who spun on the roof of his Chevrolet on the backstretch at Daytona International Speedway, trailing a shower of sparks, before the infield care center treated and released him.
Rookie Parker Retzlaff finished a career-best fourth, followed by Myatt Snider. Riley Herbst, Joe Graf Jr., Ryan Sieg, Cole Custer, and Justin Haley completed the top 10. Justin Allgaier, who was credited with a third-place finish, had another close call in the race that has eluded him. Allgaier went on to win the second stage, with Mayer close behind him.
Race highlights and lowlights
The race saw Hill win the first stage through Allgaier’s benevolence. Hill blocked Allgaier’s Chevrolet, and Allgaier backed out of the throttle to give Hill room. Allgaier’s Chevrolet spun sideways onto the apron behind the initial wreck after Parker Kligerman turned Sheldon Creed’s Chevrolet while bump-drafting near the entrance to Turn 1 on lap 40.
After a tape job to the left rear of his car, Allgaier returned to the track, started at the rear of the field, and quickly charged back into the lead on lap 54. Allgaier’s Chevy Camaro was absolutely blazing fast, and it seems that his magnanimity brought him some karmic benefit.
Unfortunately, for the veteran driver, speed, maneuverability, and good karma could only carry him so far, and he had to settle for a third-place finish.
The Xfinity Series season opener at Daytona International Speedway on February 18, 2023, provided an exciting race, with Austin Hill claiming his second straight win. The race saw a spectacular accident when Sam Mayer spun on the roof of his Chevrolet on the backstretch, trailing a shower of sparks. Fortunately, Mayer was treated and released from the infield care center. The Xfinity Series will return to action at Auto Club Speedway on February 25, 2023.