Austin Hill posted his 11th top-10 finish of the season with an eighth-place result on Friday evening at Dover International Speedway. The driver of the No. 16 United Rentals Toyota Tundra earned an additional playoff point by capturing his second stage win of the season at “The Monster Mile”, and continues to sit atop the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series championship standings by 41 markers.
Thanks to his finish at Daytona International Speedway, as well as other performance metrics, Hill took the green flag from the third position and quickly asserted himself as one of the strongest competitors in the field. He made a bold, three-wide bid for the race lead after a restart on lap 26 and took the top spot on lap 27. Hill paced the field for the balance of the opening stage to earn his second stage win of 2020, and a valuable playoff point, on lap 45.
Various strategies juggled the running order under the stage caution as crew chief Scott Zipadelli put four tires on Hill’s No. 16 in addition to fuel and air pressure adjustments. Hill restarted 14th on lap 53 and ran on the fringe of the top-10 until the finish of Stage 2 on lap 90. Under the second stage caution, the United Rentals team gained Hill three positions with an efficient four-tire stop and allowed him to restart seventh on lap 98, as he also took advantage of the “choose cone” rule.
The Gander Trucks point leader immediately grabbed the sixth position on the restart, but his progress was thwarted by a lack of lateral grip on the exit of both corners. Despite the ill-handling condition, Hill continued to contest a position in the top five until a round of green-flag pit stops began on lap 161. Hill cycled to 11th on the green flag cycle but worked his way back to ninth by the time a late caution flew on lap 194. Zipadelli and company gave Hill a fresh set of tires for the final three-lap dash to the checkers, which netted him one position to finish eighth.
Austin Hill Quote:“Track position meant so much today. We fired off really good and had really good speed at the end of the day too. We just lost track position towards in the second stage and it just took so long to get back towards the top five. Scott and the guys brought a really good United Rentals Tundra today, and we were really able to show it in the first segment. Winning the stage was big and really showed what kind of pace we had. Clean air was king today and we just didn’t have enough rear lateral grip to get back through traffic as quick as we needed to.”