Short Track Break Out … The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series returns to Richmond Raceway for just the second time in the last 16 years, and Austin Hill is on the hunt for a short track break out. The driver of the No. 16 Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra has quickly turned his season around with three straight top-10 finishes, including two podium results, and is craving his first-career victory on a short track. Richmond might be the perfect place for Hill to break through for a short track win as he led 65 laps in the Camping World Trucks’ return to the 0.75-mile venue last September. Saturday afternoon’s ToyotaCare 250 marks the first paved short track event of the season, as Hill enters Richmond fresh off a ninth-place result in the tour’s most recent outing on the dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway.
Climbing the Hill … The Winston, Ga. product continues to climb the proverbial hill after five events and sits sixth in the driver championship standings. After being buried 23rd in points after two events, Hill and the No. 16 team have clawed their way up the leaderboard with old-fashioned consistency. In the last three races, Hill has gained 17 positions in the standings by posting finishes of third, second, and ninth. In the last two races, Hill has scored the most points of all Camping World Trucks competitors (91) and has outperformed all other drivers by 13 markers in that span.
Short Track History … An eighth-place finish at Richmond last September was Hill’s best-career result on a short track, but he’s no stranger to Richmond’s victory lane. In 2015, he drove his family-owned No. 22 entry to victory at Richmond for his fifth and most-recent win in the ARCA Menards Series East. He led 65 laps after starting on the pole in last year’s Camping World Trucks event and ran inside the top five for most of the race. Although it’s not categorized as a short track, Hill also delivered a podium finish at the 1.25-mile World Wide Technology Raceway last August, a venue that bears numerous similarities to Richmond’s three-quarter mile layout.
Chassis Selection … Chassis No. 014 will make its second ever appearance on Saturday afternoon, and its first of 2021. This Toyota Tundra debuted at Phoenix Raceway last November and finished 12th after an overtime finish.
Tune In … The first paved short track event of the season goes green at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon on FOX Sports 1, while NASCAR Raceday begins at 12:30 p.m ET. Stay connected with the No. 16 Mobil 1 team by following @Hattori_Racing on Twitter, @hattoriracing on Instagram, and Hattori Racing Enterprises on Facebook.
Austin Hill Quote:On returning to Richmond for his second Camping World Trucks start at Richmond:“The biggest thing is just going to be the tire falloff and just trying to manage that as much as you can moving around the racetrack. I think you’re going to be able to move around the racetrack a little bit more than you did in the night races. You’re probably going to be able to move up the racetrack more throughout a run and do some different things. I’m excited for it. I love racetracks that are like this, that are worn out and it comes into the driver’s hand and you have to move around a lot to find speed.”
“We’ve made a lot of gains with our short track program and hopefully we can show that with our Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra on Saturday. There were a lot of races that we had a shot to win last year, Richmond being one of them, so hopefully we can put ourselves in the right position towards the last fuel run to get our first short track win.”