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Austin Hill to make 100th Xfinity career start at Pocono

In his third full-time season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, Austin Hill is primed to achieve a milestone start. By competing in this weekend’s event at Pocono Raceway, the driver of the No. 21 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro will make his 100th career start in the Xfinity circuit.

A native of Winston, Georgia, Hill made his inaugural presence in the Xfinity Series at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in September 2019. By then, he was campaigning in his second full-time season in the Craftsman Truck Series and first with Hattori Racing Enterprises, where he had achieved his first two series’ victories and was contending for the 2019 Truck Series title. Driving the No. 61 Toyota Supra for Hattori Racing Enterprises, Hill started 17th and finished ninth in his Xfinity debut.

The following two seasons, Hill, who continued to compete on a full-time basis for HRE in the Truck Series, made a total of 14 Xfinity starts in HRE’s No. 61 entry. During the stretch, the Georgian achieved his first top-five result in the series at Kansas Speedway in October 2020 after finishing fifth. He would also record a total of three top-10 results.

In late October 2021, Hill, who was announced to not be returning to Hattori Racing Enterprises for the 2022 season in early October, was announced as a full-time competitor of the No. 21 Chevrolet Camaro for Richard Childress Racing for the upcoming Xfinity season, where he would contend for the Rookie-of-the-Year title. In his first event with RCR, Hill overtook AJ Allmendinger on the final lap and prior to a multi-car wreck to score his first Xfinity career win in the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway. He would achieve two runner-up results, an additional six top-five results and a total of eight top-10 results during his next 16 starts before achieving his second career victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway, his home track, in an event where he led a race-high 73 laps. Hill and the No. 21 RCR team would finish in the top five two additional times and in the top 10 and six additional times during the final nine regular-season events before the 2022 Xfinity Series Playoffs commenced.

During the 2022 Playoffs, Hill managed to transfer into the Round of 8 following respective finishes of second, 14th and 29th during the Round of 12. Despite finishing no lower than ninth throughout the Round of 8, he did not transfer into the Championship 4 round. With a ninth-place finish during the season-finale event at Phoenix Raceway, Hill concluded his first full-time Xfinity season in sixth place in the final standings. With a total of two victories, a pole at Talladega Superspeedway in October, 11 top-five results, 21 top-10 results, 329 laps led and an average-finishing result of 11.0, Hill claimed the 2022 Xfinity rookie title.

Like the previous season, Hill commenced the 2023 Xfinity season on a high note by winning the season-opening at Daytona for a second consecutive time after emerging ahead of John Hunter Nemechek and Justin Allgaier amid a final lap wreck. He would claim a late victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway two races later before notching another home track win at Atlanta amid an overtime shootout another two races later. After recording seven additional top-five results and nine additional top-10 results during his next 13-scheduled starts, Hill capitalized on another overtime shootout during the following event to nab his fourth win of the season at Pocono Raceway. Managing four top-five finishes during the final seven regular-season events, the Georgian managed to claim the 2023 Xfinity Series’ regular-season championship over Nemechek and entering the Playoffs with momentum.

Despite finishing 33rd during the 2023 Playoff opener at Bristol Motor Speedway amid a late on-track incident involving teammate Sheldon Creed, Hill rallied with two consecutive top-10 results to transfer from the Round of 12 to 8. Following two consecutive top-10 finishes during the first two events in the Round of 8, he entered the Round of 8 finale at Martinsville Speedway three points above the cutline to transfer into the Championship 4 round.

At Martinsville, however, Hill, who led 22 laps and was leading amid an overtime shootout, had another on-track altercation with Creed, where he got bumped twice by Creed before rubbing fenders with him and ramming into the rear bumper of Creed on the final lap, which resulted in Hill wrecking as he was approaching the finish line. He ended up in 21st place on the track and outside of the finale cutline.

Although his championship hopes evaporated for a second consecutive season, Hill finished seventh at Phoenix before ending up in fifth place in the final standings. By then, Hill had doubled his wins total from the previous season at four, earned two extra poles for three total, five additional top-five results (16), three additional top-10 results (24), led a career-high 346 laps and notched a new average-finishing result of 9.0.

Re-signing with RCR for another Xfinity campaign this season, Hill commenced the season by winning the opening event at Daytona and becoming the first competitor to win three consecutive Daytona openers in the Xfinity circuit in 14 years. He would then go two-for-two after winning at Atlanta the following weekend before posting three consecutive top-four runs. With six additional top-10 runs posted in his previous 13 starts, Hill is currently ranked in fourth place in this year’s driver’s standings. He trails the regular-season lead by 60 points as he continues his pursuit of his first Xfinity Series championship.

Through 99 previous starts in the Xfinity Series, Hill has achieved eight victories, five poles, 36 top-five results, 60 top-10 results, 813 laps led and an average-finishing result of 11.9.

Austin Hill is scheduled to make his 100th Xfinity Series career start at Pocono Raceway on Saturday, July 13, for the Explore the Pocono Mountains 225. The event’s broadcast time is scheduled to commence at 3 p.m. ET on USA Network.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of


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