Legos, Xfinity Results from Atlanta and More

Jackson Wheeler
9 Min Read

Austin Hill claimed his third career victory at Atlanta Motor Speedway Saturday night in the Raptor King of Tough 250, making him the first driver since Tony Stewart in 2008 to win the season’s first two NASCAR Xfinity Series races.

Other drivers who have accomplished that feat are Dale Earnhardt in 1986 and Chad Little in 1995.

Hill, who now has eight career Xfinity Series victories, assumed the lead on the overtime restart when Richard Childress Racing teammate Jesse Love’s Chevrolet ran out of fuel. Love was leading with two laps remaining when Ryan Sieg’s Ford ran out of fuel and stalled on the track. That brought out the race’s fourth and final yellow flag, sending the race into overtime.

When the race restarted in overtime Hill was fourth. He said his Chevrolet sputtered at the start-finish line when he shifted.

“Then the 81 (Chandler Smith) hit me,” Hill said. “Something about when the 81 hit me it gained fuel in the pickup. Then we ran the rest of the laps with fuel.”

Love, who replaced Sheldon Creed at RCR at the end of last season, was the race’s top lap leader. He led six times for 157 laps in the 169-lap race.

“He did a hell of a job all night,” Hill said about his rookie teammate. “After seeing what Jesse did today … he has his head on straight. It’s not like he’s making dumb decisions, dumb moves. For him to be his age, he’s very mature when it comes to strapping in a race car. I think him and I are going to work very well together.”

nascar xfinity series king of tough 250

Todd Kirkland//Getty Images

Shane van Gisbergen says nothing beats the real thing when it comes to learning cars and tracks.

Simulator Doesn’t Cover Everything

Today NASCAR drivers continuously talk about the time they spend in the simulator, but Shane Van Gisbergen, who finished third in Saturday’s Xfinity Series race, says there are racing conditions the SIM can’t replicate.

One of those is feeling how the air affects the cars.

“Unfortunately, I spun a guy out,” Van Gisbergen said about his superspeedway debut at Daytona. “He was passing me at speed, and I went to slide in line, and I didn’t realize how much the side draft would slow him up. He was passing me pretty quick and as soon as I got beside him it was like he lifted off the throttle and I just got his rear bumper.

“That kind of stuff you don’t learn until you feel it so, unfortunately, it was at his expense. It’s crazy at this speed how much the air affects the car. You’re going like three seconds a lap faster when you’re in the pack. When you’re the fourth or fifth car, there’s just no air and you’re sliding around like crazy. It’s a crazy feeling and until you feel it, you don’t really know.”

Van Gisbergen’s third-place finish in Saturday’s Raptor King of Tough 250 at Atlanta Motor Speedway came in his second NASCAR Xfinity Series race. He placed 12th in his Xfinity debut at Daytona. ARCA wasn’t as kind. He finished 29th in his inaugural ARCA race, 26 laps behind winner Gus Dean, and admitted he hoped he doesn’t have to race in that series again.

“I got my (NASCAR) license now,” Van Gisbergen said.

Van Gisbergen noted he was involved in seven crashes at Daytona and after studying replays of them, there were six that he couldn’t figure out anything he could have done differently.

“It’s just the style of that racing and something I have to accept,” Van Gisbergen says. “You’ve got to run the risk of getting a good result, but you’re probably gonna get into a crash. It’s an amazing mindset. I’ve never had to go into a race knowing it’s 50-50 whether you’ll crash or you’ll win. It’s pretty different.”

fox's lego masters season three

Fox//Getty Images

Lego fan William Byron, right, guest stars on Lego Masters.

No More eBay LEGOs for Byron

William Byron’s affinity for LEGOs became well known in Netflix’s “NASCAR: Full Speed” series, and now that he’s a Daytona 500 champion he probably won’t have to purchase them off eBay anymore.

“They’re gonna send me quite a few sets so that will be nice,” Byron says about LEGO. “No more eBay. I usually go to eBay and get the LEGO sets because they’re so back ordered.”

Byron admitted he would “love to have a LEGO car” on the race track.

“I think they could do so many unique things with that design,” Byron says.

NASCAR Xfinity Series Race

RAPTOR King of Tough 250

Atlanta Motor Speedway

1. (2) Austin Hill, Chevrolet, 169.

2. (12) Chandler Smith, Toyota, 169.

3. (13) Shane Van Gisbergen #, Chevrolet, 169.

4. (10) Sheldon Creed, Toyota, 169.

5. (24) Parker Retzlaff, Chevrolet, 169.

6. (23) Jeremy Clements, Chevrolet, 169.

7. (15) Anthony Alfredo, Chevrolet, 169.

8. (22) Jeffrey Earnhardt, Toyota, 169.

9. (8) Ryan Truex, Toyota, 169.

10. (14) Sammy Smith, Chevrolet, 169.

11. (6) Sam Mayer, Chevrolet, 169.

12. (1) Jesse Love #, Chevrolet, 169.

13. (7) AJ Allmendinger, Chevrolet, 169.

14. (18) Brandon Jones, Chevrolet, 169.

15. (4) Riley Herbst, Ford, 168.

16. (11) Cole Custer, Ford, 168.

17. (17) Kyle Weatherman, Chevrolet, 168.

18. (21) BJ McLeod, Chevrolet, 168.

19. (5) Parker Kligerman, Chevrolet, 168.

20. (30) Brennan Poole, Chevrolet, 167.

21. (35) Leland Honeyman #, Chevrolet, 167.

22. (20) Ryan Sieg, Ford, 167.

23. (25) Jeb Burton, Chevrolet, 167.

24. (36) JJ Yeley, Chevrolet, 167.

25. (34) Ryan Ellis, Chevrolet, 167.

26. (31) Nick Leitz(i), Chevrolet, 167.

27. (19) Hailie Deegan #, Ford, 167.

28. (9) Justin Allgaier, Chevrolet, 167.

29. (33) Joey Gase, Chevrolet, 166.

30. (28) Blaine Perkins, Ford, 166.

31. (29) Dawson Cram #, Chevrolet, 166.

32. (3) John Hunter Nemechek(i), Toyota, 165.

33. (37) Patrick Emerling, Chevrolet, 165.

34. (32) Garrett Smithley, Chevrolet, 165.

35. (27) CJ McLaughlin, Ford, 164.

36. (26) Kyle Sieg, Ford, 164.

37. (16) Josh Williams, Chevrolet, 159.

38. (38) Jordan Anderson, Chevrolet, Steering, 98.

Average Speed of Race Winner: 135.474 mph.

Time of Race: 1 Hrs, 55 Mins, 16 Secs. Margin of Victory: 0.106 Seconds.

Caution Flags: 4 for 23 laps.

Lead Changes: 11 among 5 drivers.

Lap Leaders: J. Love # 1-42;K. Sieg 43;J. Love # 44-47;P. Kligerman 48;J. Love # 49-83;A. Allmendinger 84-89;J. Love # 90;A. Allmendinger 91;J. Love # 92;A. Allmendinger 93;J. Love # 94-167;A. Hill 168-169.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led): Jesse Love # 6 times for 157 laps; AJ Allmendinger 3 times for 8 laps; Austin Hill 1 time for 2 laps; Kyle Sieg 1 time for 1 lap; Parker Kligerman 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 2,98,1,19,48,16,7,18,39,8

Stage #2 Top Ten: 2,7,98,19,8,81,00,21,16,18

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Jackson Wheeler is a skilled editor at, specializing in automotive content. With a background in Journalism and Automotive Engineering, he combines his passion for cars with his writing expertise to deliver captivating articles. Jackson's deep knowledge of automotive technology and his racing experience make him a valuable asset to the team, providing readers with informative and engaging content.
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