Austin Hill continues to set the pace in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series by leading the championship standings heading to Kentucky Speedway and is inching closer to his first win of the year. The driver of the No. 16 AISIN Group Toyota Tundra is coming off a runner-up finish at Pocono Raceway, which tied his best result of the 2020 season. Hill has led laps in four of the six events this year and has the highest average finish of any driver in the Gander Trucks field (4.6). He and the No. 16 team are knocking on the door to victory lane and could secure their playoff berth on Saturday in the Bluegrass State.
Extending a Record … In the series’ most recent outing at Pocono, Hill set a new HRE record with seven consecutive top-10 finishes, dating back to his victory at Homestead-Miami Speedway (HMS) last season. He and the No. 16 team look to extend that record and improve on the most impressive stat line in the series. He’s the only Gander Trucks competitor to have finished all six races in the top-10 and his aforementioned average finish of 4.6 is not only tops in the series, but is on par with, or better, than previous seasons of former champions. Hill’s stat line continues to boast some of the best numbers on the tour, leading series regulars in average running position (5.7), laps led (102), fastest laps (35), and driver rating (112.3).
Kentucky Track Record … The Winston, Ga. native also looks to continue his incredible streak at 1.5-mile tracks with top-10 finishes in the last six races, and 10 of the last 11 races at those venues. In four previous starts at Kentucky, Hill’s best finish is 10th, which came in 2017 driving for Young’s Motorsport.
Chassis Selection … Crew chief Scott Zipadelli and the AISIN Group team will unload chassis No. 010 for Hill’s fifth appearance at Kentucky. Hill drove this Toyota Tundra to victory three times in 2019 (Michigan International Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, and HMS) in its first three starts and most recently finished seventh at HMS after leading 29 laps. Chassis No. 010 has made three starts this season with a best finish of third at Las Vegas and has accumulated points in five of the six stages in which it has competed.
Tune In … Coverage from Kentucky will be carried live on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 6:00 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 his expectations at Kentucky Speedway:“We’re planning on going in a little bit different direction at Kentucky with our AISIN Group Tundra. We had decent speed last summer but need to find something extra. With the cushion we have in the points, we definitely want to keep improving on our package to try and get ourselves a win. Kentucky is a challenging place with two totally different ends of the racetrack. Turn one and two is pretty straight forward and similar to a lot of other mile-and-a-halfs. (Turn) three and four is really wide and a lot flatter. It’s hard to find a mark into turn three that you can consistently hit throughout the night and makes the truck feel different than on the other end. I’ve got all the confidence in the world in our team and their preparation, so hopefully we can put it together on Saturday night and lock ourselves in the playoffs with a win.”