Country Roads, Take Me Home … For the second straight season, Austin Hill heads home to Georgia with the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series point lead in hand. The driver of the No. 16 United Rentals Toyota Tundra holds a 17-point advantage in the championship standings coming into Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) after three consecutive top-10 finishes to begin the year. He’s aiming for a landmark win at his home track and to become the second series regular to tally a victory this season.
Strong Out of the Gate … The 2019 season was a personal breakout year for Hill, but the Winston, Ga native has been even stronger out of the gate in 2020. For the first time in his career, he has begun the Gander Trucks season with three-consecutive top-10 finishes and has an average finish of 6.0. Hill and the No. 16 United Rentals team have complimented their strong finishes by collecting points in five of the six stages this season. His high level of performance is illustrated in a variety of statistical categories, including ranking first among series regulars in driver rating (106.5), average running position (6.3), and most laps run inside the top 15 (351 of 374 laps run).
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. Thanks to his ninth-place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26th, Hill is on a streak of eight top-10 finishes in the last nine races at 1.5-mile tracks, dating back to Kansas Speedway last season.
The Real Heroes … HRE will continue recognize some of The Real Heroes by running names of front line workers on board the No. 16 Toyota Tundra as a “thank you” for their service and contributions. Scott Hedrick, from Evansville, IN, is being honored as a Star of Life for his exceptional patient care exhibited over a long and distinguished career and will have his name on the driver side door of Hill’s Tundra at AMS. His commitment to his patients is underscored by the time he puts in on the job. In the last 12 months, Hedrick has worked more than 3,600 hours and made more than 1,300 ambulance runs, by far the most in the Evansville, IN operation.
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 race it at AMS on Saturday afternoon. 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 in 2019 at Chicagoland Speedway, Pocono Raceway, and Phoenix.
Tune In … FOX Sports 1 will have live coverage of Hill’s home race on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m. ET. Stay updated with Hill and the No. 16 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 on top of the standings:“I have a lot of memories growing up racing on the quarter mile at Atlanta. I ran a ton of legends and bandolero races there, so it would be pretty awesome to go back to victory lane in a truck. We’ve had a lot of success on the mile-and-a-half’s, so I’ve definitely been looking forward to going back to Atlanta. Racing at home is always special, and with as good as we’ve been on the intermediates, and to start the year, we definitely have a good opportunity in front of us this weekend. I’d love to get United Rentals a win and get one for all the guys’ effort. We’ve done a good job so far this year at getting stage points and being consistent each week. We just need to put the entire afternoon together to contend for a win and Atlanta would be the perfect place to do it.”