Austin Hill took the lead with one lap to go and won Saturday’s 300-mile Xfinity Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Hill passed Chandler Smith for the lead as they approached the start-finish line to take the white flag. Smith had dominated most of the race prior to the closing laps, leading 118 laps.

Hill and Justin Allgaier gained steadily on Smith over the final 10 laps and eliminated Smith’s 2.5-second lead.

Allgaier also passed Smith to finish second. Smith was third, Kyle Busch fourth and Josh Berry fifth.

“I just knew I had to not abuse the tires and try to methodically work our way through traffic,” Hill told Fox Sports. “Traffic was really tough. you had to really paint the line between 3 and 4.”

Smith, who was after his first Xfinity win, said his car got tight at the end of the race.

Smith, 20, has five Craftsman Truck Series victories. Driving full-time in the Xfinity Series for the first time, he was fourth in last week’s Xfinity race at Auto Club Speedway.

Hill, driving for Richard Childress Racing, also won the season opener at Daytona International Speedway.

Hill, 28, took the race’s second stage, leading Brandon Jones, Kyle Busch, Sam Mayer and Sammy Smith to the finish line.

Allgaier, who challenged for the win, was hit with a pass-through penalty on a restart during the second stage but rallied to return to the top five. The runner-up finish was his fourth at Las Vegas, a track where he remains winless.

John Hunter Nemechek won the first stage, leading 24 of the 45 laps. Following in the top five were Allgaier, Austin Hill, Chandler Smith and Riley Herbst.

Stage 1 winner: John Hunter Nemechek

Stage 2 winner: Austin Hill

Who had a good race: Hill, who has been strong on superspeedways, showed he also can succeed on mid-range tracks. … Chandler Smith appears to be set for a standout season with Kaulig Racing. … Cup Series invader Kyle Busch, winner of Friday’s Truck race, lost a shot at the Las Vegas “triple” but had a strong top-five run.

Who had a bad race: A fuel pump problem parked Joey Gase on lap 156. He finished 38th. … Jeffrey Earnhardt finished three laps down in 29th.

Next: The Xfinity Series rolls on to Phoenix Raceway for a March 11 race.


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