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Austin Hill holds off Sheldon Creed for Vegas win

Austin Hill
Austin Hill celebrates with a burnout after winning the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series World of Westgate 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Credit: 368657Brian Lawdermilk/Getty Images via NASCAR Media

Sheldon Creed dominated most of the World of Westgate 200 but found himself chasing Austin Hill down the stretch

Austin Hill showed why he was the regular-season champion Friday night. The 26-year old grabbed the lead on Lap 94 (of 134) and held off a determined Sheldon Creed for his second victory of the year. Creed, who dominated most of the evening, led a race-high 89 laps.

“Just frustrated, the best track I’ve ever had,” Creed said. ”We’re all racing hard; this is the playoffs. I think I showed my hand too early.”

Hill was coming off a horrible showing a week ago at Bristol Motor Speedway in the opening race of the Gander Trucks playoffs. It was his second-worst finish of the year and worst while still on the track.

“The ironic thing was that right after Bristol, right after we took the checkered flag, I said, ‘let’s keep our heads up, we’re going to go to Vegas and win it.’ Heck, we did it. We didn’t have the best truck tonight by no means. We had to fight a lot of adversity. Stage one and two, we weren’t good at all. Scott (Zipadelli, crew chief) and the guys kept working on it and got it better and better. [The] pit crew did a hell of a job on that last pit stop getting me in the position that I needed to get into. I just had to get out there and get it. That’s what we did.”

ONLY DRIVER LOCKED IN WITH ONE TO GO

For Hill, it was his second win at the Nevada venue, having won there last September. With his sixth career trip to the winner’s circle, he has locked himself into the Round of 8 that will begin in two weeks at Kansas Speedway. The remaining nine playoff drivers will have to do battle at Talladega Superspeedway next Saturday.

AP Pool Report: Minutes before the start, NASCAR said Natalie Decker was not medically cleared to compete. NASCAR gave no details on what caused Decker to be pulled from the race, but because her truck had already been through inspection and moved to the starting grid, Decker was credited with a last-place finish.

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