Race Winner: Chris Buescher of RFK Racing (Ford)
Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)
Stage 2 Winner: Brad Keselowski. of RFK Racing (Ford)
Austin Hill, driver of the No. 62 United Rentals Chevrolet Camaro for Beard Motorsports, finished 14th in the Coke Zero Sugar 400 NASCAR Cup Series race Saturday night at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. Hill ran at the back of the pack in 30th for a majority of the first stage to get the feel of his Chevrolet. But in the final five laps, he worked his way up from 30th to 23rd to complete the stage. The No. 62 United Rentals team pitted during the stage break for four tires and fuel, but a mishap on the pit stop forced them to stop twice. Hill restarted the second stage in 33rd and wasted no time in working the draft to climb to 11th by lap 48. He entered the top-10 on lap 53 while riding the high line. Eventually, the field went single-file and Hill found himself back in 20th as green flag pit stops began. Hill pitted on lap 81 for fuel only and rejoined the race in 32nd. As the stage came to an end, he opted to lay back to avoid the pending chaos, avoiding an incident on the last lap of second stage to finish 30th. After a short red flag, the race resumed and Hill restarted the final stage in 19th. He ran among the top-20 during the final 65 laps and stayed there through multiple incidents and an overtime finish to secure his best Cup Series result in just his fifth career start.
Austin Hill, driver of the No. 62 United Rentals Chevrolet Camaro for Beard Motorsports:
“I learned a lot today. The Cup cars in general just drive a lot different than the Xfinity cars. They’re a lot more packed up and there’s a lot more pushing and shoving going on than what you do in the Xfinity cars. Early in the race, I was just trying to feel it out. The car was really on the tight side most of the day, especially off the exit of turn four, so we kind of fought that all day. As long as we could keep some air on the nose, we were alright. It’s really tough out there when you don’t have a lot of help. I felt like the Kaulig cars and I worked pretty well together, which is nice to have some teammates in a sense. There at the end I was expecting that front group to get racing a little more. I knew I had the No. 13 car behind me, but I was scared to go top of three. I figured we would do that and end up losing a ton of track position from it. I ended up playing the safe card, which probably bit me a little bit on gaining a few more spots. We probably could’ve gotten into the top-10. Overall, a solid effort today for everyone at Beard Motorsports. Our No. 62 United Rentals Chevrolet had a lot of speed and could suck up really well and we could draft really well. There’s still some areas that we need to work on for next time, but it’s still a solid effort for this small, part-time team.”
The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Cook Out Southern 500 on Sunday, Sept. 3 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. The race begins at 6 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by USA and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The next race for Hill and the No. 62 Chevrolet from Beard Motorsports will be the YellaWood 500 on Sunday, Oct. 1 at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway.
Beard Motorsports PR