It was the second career NXS victory for Hill, having also won earlier this season at Daytona.
“What a car,” Hill said after the race. “RCR worked tirelessly to bring in some really fast Chevrolet Camaros. We were a rocket ship all day.
“We had a problem just as we left pit road. The team couldn’t hear me. We changed helmets thinking it was, but they still couldn’t hear me. hear. We had to make hand gestures.”
The Georgia native was thrilled to capture the checkered flag on his home track. “We just won in Atlanta, it’s really special. I’ve been trying to win here for a long time. I’ve finished second here three times in a row, twice in truck and then earlier in the spring (NXS race). He owes me one. Finally, we got one in Georgia, where I grew up and grew up, about an hour away. It’s going to be so special, I can’t wait to party.
Josh Berry finished just 0.111 seconds behind, while Ryan Truex, Tyler Reddick and Daniel Hemric rounded out the top five.
Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier, Landon Cassill, Riley Herbst and AJ Allmendinger filled out the rest of the top ten.
The race was slowed by six warnings.
Berry got ahead of Gibbs and it didn’t take long for the yellow flag to fly.
Jesse Iwuji spun, forcing the race’s first warning.
On the restart, Allmendinger took the lead. He, Berry and Gibbs were then able to break away from the rest of the field. They enjoyed the advantage for a while until a spin from Creed brought out the second warning of the race.
In the ensuing race, around seven cars were able to escape to the front with Hill and Allmendinger battling for the lead.
A group of slower lapping cars created some tense moments for the race leaders as they fought their way through.
With help from Gibbs, Berry was able to take the lead from Allmendinger and take the stage win.
He was followed across the line by Gibbs, Allmendinger, Brown, Gragson, Hemric, Hill, Allgaier, Jones and Snider.
Several drivers opted to take just two new tyres, and Jones led the way off pit road. Several drivers ran into trouble during the pit cycle, including Berry, who had an extended stop for a loose wheel. Allmendinger had to back up out of his box while Gibbs’ crew was slow on the LR tire change.
Also, Hemric and Sieg were caught speeding.
Reddick led Creed and Hill after the restart, all of whom stayed on the outside at the end of Stage 1. More trouble found Allmendinger as he slowed and even hit the outside wall with a loose wheel.
There was a five-car breakaway at the front of the field with Creed rounding Reddick as they faced late traffic.
As the stage drew to a close, Allmendinger battled with the leaders as he tried to claw back a lap after his unscheduled pitstop. He did not succeed.
Hill took the stage victory with a final lap assist, beating Creed, Brown, Reddick, Allgaier, Jones, Gibbs, Truex, Cassill and Earnhardt.
Reddick won the race out of the pits, but was sent to the back due to a speeding penalty.
It was Gibbs who was in control of the restart, which was rather brief as Brandon Jones turned around on the pitch. Surprisingly, no one hit Jones as he raced down the track.
It all went wrong on the next restart for the Monster Energy cars as Herbst rode into Gibbs, putting the race leader into the wall.
The race’s sixth and final warning flew when Sam Mayer found himself in the outside wall on the backstretch.
The rest of the race went without warning, but not entirely without incident. Brandon Brown found the outside wall and was forced into an unscheduled pit stop.
As the rounds went by, everyone waited for someone to make a move as the pitch lined up in single file against the outside wall. Hill was in charge.
Eventually it was Hemric who shot inside and charged up to second place. Hill stalled the race and no one was able to join him before the checkered flag.
Hill led a record 73 of 163 laps.