Austin Hill returns to his home state of Georgia as the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series points leader for the second year in a row. Hill grew up just west of Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) in Winston, GA and cut his teeth at tracks around the area in the early stages of his career. This season, Hill returns to his home track in hopes of locking himself into the playoffs with his first win of 2020 and extending his advantage in the Gander Trucks championship standings.
Making a Point … Hill and the No. 16 United Rentals team wanted to get out to a fast start this season, and after two races, they’ve done just that. After Hill’s first top-five finish of ’20 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) one race ago, he assumed control of the Gander Trucks championship point standings thanks to an average finish of 4.5 in the first two races. This marks the second time in Hill’s career that he has led the standings, due in large part to collecting points in three of the four stages thus far.
ATL History … Saturday’s 200-miler marks Hill’s fifth start at his home track and is searching for his first top-five finish at AMS. Hill’s best finish in four prior starts came last season in his first appearance at AMS behind the wheel of the No. 16 United Rentals Tundra when he finished seventh. Mile-and-a-half tracks have been a strong suit for Hill since joining HRE and brings a streak of three straight top-three finishes on 1.5-mile venues to AMS, dating back to last September at LVMS. He also has top-five finishes in four of the last five races at 1.5-mile tracks dating back to last June at Chicagoland Speedway.
Chassis Selection … Crew chief Scott Zipadelli and the HRE team outfitted chassis No. 007 with an updated front clip and body for 2020, and will bring it back to the track this weekend. Hill drove this Toyota Tundra to a seventh-place finish last season at AMS and will climb behind the wheel for the first time since last November at Phoenix Raceway. This chassis sat on the pole in its last three appearances of 2019 at Chicagoland Speedway, Pocono Raceway, and Phoenix.
Tune In … FOX Sports has live coverage from Hill’s home track beginning on Friday afternoon with final practice at 4:30 p.m. ET on FS1. Saturday’s coverage on FS1 gets underway with pole qualifying at 10:00 a.m. ET followed by the green flag at 1:30 p.m. ET. Stay updated with Hill and the No. 16 United Rentals team by following @Hattori_Racing on Twitter, Hattori Racing Enterprises on Facebook, and @hattoriracing on Instagram.
Austin Hill Quote:On returning to his home track:“It’s always great to come back and race at Atlanta. It’s a special place for sure. I ran plenty of races on the front stretch quarter mile back in the early days and it’d mean a lot to win here with the United Rentals Tundra. We have a ton of family and friends coming out, plus this is a home race for United Rentals as well. So we’ll have plenty of support on Saturday, that’s for sure. We’ve had a good start to the year, leading the points, and have done a good job at scoring stage points. That’s a big thing to try and get as much as you can every week. We’d love to get a win and lock ourselves in early again, and that extra bonus money would be pretty nice too. Scott (Zipadelli) and the guys made a lot of upgrades to this truck we’re running this week, so I can’t wait to see what we have and hopefully be the truck to beat on Saturday.”