Austin Hill will look to compete in six Cup races next season for Beard Motorsports, the team announced Friday.
Hill’s first Cup race next year is scheduled to be the Feb. 19 Daytona 500. The No. 62 car does not have a guaranteed spot in the race and will need to earn a spot in the field.
Hill also is scheduled to compete in the following Cup races: April 23 at Talladega, July 2 at the Chicago street course, Aug. 6 at Michigan, Aug. 26 at Daytona and Oct. 1 at Talladega. Sponsorship for each race will be announced later.
Hill made his Cup debut at Michigan this season, finishing 18th.
“From the moment I started in quarter midgets back home in Georgia, racing in the NASCAR Cup Series has always been my goal,” Hill said in a statement from the team. “I’m incredibly grateful to Richard Childress for giving me the platform to race and win in my first season in the Xfinity Series, and for the opportunity the Beard family has provided me to run more races in Cup.”
Hill competes full-time in the Xfinity Series for Richard Childress Racing. He’s vying to make the Nov. 5 Xfinity championship race at Phoenix.
“We’re a proud, family-run race team and these six races in 2023 are moments we’re really looking forward to,” said Amie Beard, executive vice president, Beard Motorsports, in a statement. “No job is too small here at Beard Motorsports, and if anyone can appreciate that, it’s Austin. He’s raced and run his own team and been successful. It’s helped make him a really good driver and an even better person and we’re thrilled to have him as part of our team.”
Smith, Allgaier, sixth-place finisher Daniel Hemric and seventh-place finisher Sam Mayer — the top four full-time Xfinity drivers — will be eligible for the $100,000 Dash 4 Cash bonus next week at Richmond Raceway.
Allmendinger won the first stage and then pitted. When a caution came out shortly, it put him 21st in the field. On the Lap 20 restart, his car suffered damage when he was hit going into Turn 1.
Allmendinger worked his way through the field and took the lead from Sheldon Creed on Lap 33 when they made contact and Creed spun. Creed fell back to 23rd and finished the 46-lap race in ninth.
Stage 1 winner: AJ Allmendinger
Stage 2 winner: Sheldon Creed
Who had a bad race: Austin Hill, who had won three of the first five races this season, had mechanical issues early and finished 37th in the 38-car field.
Next: The series races April 1 at Richmond Raceway (1 p.m. ET on FS1)
The key moment came when Parker Kligerman‘s truck came to a stop on the frontstretch at Lap 28. Smith, running second, made it to pit road before it was closed. Busch, who was leading, had already passed pit road entrance.
Smith gained the lead with the move, while Busch had to pit under the caution and restarted 16th. Smith was able to build a lead and beat Busch by 5.4 seconds.
Who had a good race: Ty Majeski’s third-place finish is his best of the season. … Tyler Ankrum’s fourth-place finish is his best of the year. … Corey Heim has finished sixth two races in a row. … Rookie Nick Sanchez finished seventh, giving him back-to-back top 10s.
Who had a bad race: Parker Kligerman was running third when electrical issues forced him to stop on track just after the end of the second stage. … After winning the first stage, Christian Eckes had mechanical issues and had to pit for repairs, costing him several laps.
Notable: Front Row Motorsports has won the Truck COTA race all three years. Todd Gilliland won the race in 2021 and Zane Smith has won it the past two years.
Next: The series races April 1 at Texas Motor Speedway (4:30 p.m. ET on FS1).
William Byron will start on the pole for Sunday’s Cup race at Circuit of the Americas.
Byron won the pole with a lap of 93.882 mph around the 3.41-mile road course Saturday. He becomes the first Cup driver to win a pole at four different road courses: Charlotte Roval (2019), Road America (2021), Indianapolis road course (2021) and COTA (2023).
Byron will be joined on the front row by Tyler Reddick, who had posted the fastest lap in Friday’s practice and fastest lap in the opening round of qualifying Saturday. Reddick qualified at 93.783 mph.
Austin Cindric (93.459 mph) qualified third. Former IMSA champion Jordan Taylor, substituting for an injured Chase Elliott in the No. 9 car for Hendrick Motorsports, qualified fourth with a lap of 93.174 mph. AJ Allmendinger (93.067) will start fifth.
Taylor’s performance is the best qualifying effort by a driver making their Cup debut since Boris Said started second in his Cup debut at Watkins Glen in 1999.
Ross Chastain, who won this event a year ago, qualified 12th. Former world champion Kimi Raikkonen qualified 22nd, former world champion Jenson Button qualified 24th, seven-time Cup champion Jimmie Johnson qualified 31st and IndyCar driver Conor Daly qualified 35th.