Austin Hill continues his championship pursuit on Sunday afternoon north of the border in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series’ lone road course race. Hill will pilot the No. 16 Don Valley North Toyota Toyota Tundra in his second start at Canadian Tire Motorsports Park (CTMP) for round two of the 2019 playoffs. The Winston, GA native kicked off his inaugural playoff run with a 10th-place finish last week at Bristol Motor Speedway, which was his career best at the half-mile bullring. He and the No. 16 team will look to punch their ticket to Round 2 on Sunday afternoon and earn their third trip to victory lane.
The Right Way … While many in the Gander Trucks garage view Sunday’s road course race as the biggest “wild card” race in Round 1 of the playoffs, Hill sees it as a prime opportunity to perform. Hill’s one and only start on a road course resulted in a top-10 finish in 2018 at CTMP and has given him the confidence to build on HRE’s third-place finish north of the border last season.
Road Racing Record … Sunday’s 250-kilometer contest on the 2.459-mile road course will be Hill’s second road course start in the Gander Trucks, but he is 1-for-1 in the category of top-10 finishes. He notched an eighth-place finish in 2018 with Young’s Motorsports and has a combined five road course starts in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East from 2014-2018. In those five starts, Hill has a best finish of third at Virginia International Raceway in 2014 and earned three top-10 finishes.
Season to Date … Race one in Round 1 of the Gander Trucks playoffs has Hill seventh in the driver championship standings, three points below the provisional cut line. In 17 total events this season, Hill has delivered two victories, four top-five, and nine top-10 finishes. He has excelled in qualifying as well, earning two pole positions with track-record speed, and has led a career-high 121 laps.
Chassis Selection … Chassis No. 004 will make its only appearance of the season at CTMP on Sunday afternoon. Crew chief Scott Zipadelli and the No. 16 team most recently competed with this chassis in the two previous contests at CTMP the last two seasons, and earned top-five finishes in both races.
Tune In … Coverage from Bowmanville, ON begins on Sunday morning with qualifying at 9:30 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 2. FOX Sports 1 will have race coverage beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET followed by the green flag at 2:30 p.m. ET. Stay updated with Hill and the No. 16 team by following @Hattori_Racing on Twitter, @hattoriracing on Instagram, and Hattori Racing Enterprises on Facebook.
Austin Hill Quote:On running at the only road course race on the Gander Trucks schedule:“I think we have a great shot to punch our ticket to the next round. A lot of people look at the road course as a wild card, but I’m really looking forward to it. Road course racing is something I’ve always enjoyed, even going back to the days in the K&N Pro Series. I was never able to win, but we came close. It’s something different and a real fun style of racing. Scott (Zipadelli) and these guys ran great last year at Canadian Tire (Motorsports Park) and I think we’ll be right there in position fighting for a win on Sunday with our Don Valley North Toyota Tundra.”