Austin Hill scored the win in the season-opening NASCAR Xfinity Series Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. 300 at Daytona International Speedway, but following one of the scariest looking crashes we’ve seen in recent memory, the top story of Saturday night is Myatt Snider climbing from his car under his own power.
Snider, who drives the No. 31 Jordan Anderson Racing entry, was sent spinning on the final lap of the race on the backstretch. Snider’s car lifted into the air and slammed violently into the catchfence, which ripped and shredded the body work off of his race car and even ripped the engine from the car.
As Snider came to a rest on the backstretch, the caution flag was displayed, which froze the field. By being in front at the time of caution, Hill captured the victory.
This is Hill’s first NASCAR Xfinity Series win, which comes in his 16th-career start. Saturday night’s race was Hill’s first start as a driver for Richard Childress Racing. Hill is competing for the 2022 NASCAR Xfinity Series Rookie of the Year Award, and he is also locked into the 2022 Playoffs by virtue of his victory.
“Man, I’m speechless. Andy Street, Richard Childress, just all these guys back at RCR for believing in me. It’s been a fun off-season, and now we get to go race for a championship,” Hill stated with excitement.
Hill narrowly edged AJ Allmendinger for the race win. Noah Gragson finished third, Riley Herbst was fourth and Justin Allgaier came home in fifth.
For Hill, the eventual move for the win was set up by his experiences earlier in the race, and he credits his spotter — Derek Kneeland — for helping him know what to do.
“Yeah, me and Derek Kneeland worked really well, my spotter,” Hill said. “I was learning all night. I kept telling him, I’m just putting that in the bank, I’m putting that in the bank, I’m putting that in the memory bank to remember for late in the race.
“We timed it perfectly. Obviously that caution came out but we had a heck of a run, so who knows what would have happened there.”
“I thought we were really close there,” Gragson said of his third-place run. “I wasn’t really happy with how the bottom line got together there at the end. Side-drafting felt like it stalled out. But you know we put ourselves in position and ran well all day. Came up a little short, but we’ll take it.”
Sheldon Creed, Anthony Alfredo, Ryan Sieg, Josh Bilicki and JJ Yeley rounded out the top-10 finishers in the race.
For Alfredo, he rallied from three laps down earlier in the race, when he was black flagged for the passenger window flying out of his No. 23 Our Motorsports car.
Regardless of who finished where, Snider climbing from the car and being released, after treatment in the infield care center, is the perfect ending to what turned into a scary finish to Saturday night’s finish.
“It was violent. I saw sparks kind of going everywhere. It’s, you know, you don’t really know what’s going on. You just kind of know you’re going some direction and it’s not the right one,” Snider explained after exiting the infield care center. “I was just holding on hunched over keeping everything together as much as I could. I can’t profess enough how glad I am that I’m all good.”
Snider, who conducted the post-care center interview from a golf cart, had soreness in his leg and will get it checked out before next weekend’s race at Auto Club Speedway.