Daytona race winner Austin Hill earns Talladega Xfinity pole

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Hill, who turned 29 on Friday, gave himself an excellent birthday present by winning the pole for Saturday’s race at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway. 

Hill, who drives the No. 21 Chevrolet for Richard Childress Racing, opened the 2023 season by winning the pole and the season-opening race at Daytona International Speedway. 

He followed that up with a victory at Las Vegas and Atlanta, which is another drafting track. All three of Hill’s poles in the Xfinity Series have come at Daytona or Talladega.

“It’s superspeedway racing, so as long as you kind of do your job leaving pit road, getting through the gearbox and holding the pretty wheel and not do anything crazy out there, the work’s done before we get to the race track,” said Hill, who will share the front row with RCR teammate Sheldon Creed. 

“So, everybody at RCR and ECR engines were really, really good today. It’s awesome to have an RCR front row. Can’t wait to do that with Sheldon.”

Talladega remains the only drafting track on which Hill doesn’t yet own a win in the Xfinity Series. He hopes to change that Saturday.

“I went to throw a block on Noah (Gragson) in the last race here and I kind of got caught up in the moment trying to keep him from getting to my outside,” Hill said. “He went to fo up to put me in the middle and when he did that, I didn’t realize he got shuffled out. I should have just went back to the bottom.

“There’s definitely things I learned in that race that I think I can apply tomorrow. I think Talladega is tougher because it’s such a wide race track and it’s very hard to block all lanes.”

John Hunter Nemechek will start third, Parker Retzlaff fourth and Jade Buford rounded out the top-five.

Completing the top-10 lineup are Anthony Alfredo, Justin Allagier, Jeb Burton, Daniel Hemric and Brett Moffitt.


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