Austin Hill enters the regular season finale at Watkins Glen International (WGI) firing on all cylinders coming off his first victory of the 2021 campaign. The driver of the No. 16 United Rentals Toyota Tundra became the winningest driver in HRE team history after tallying his seventh-career victory at Knoxville Raceway last month. Hill collected five playoff points for his first win on dirt and can start the playoffs as high as second, based on his performance in Saturday’s United Rentals 176. While there is no practice or qualifying on the NASCAR Camping World Trucks agenda this weekend, Hill will get a jumpstart on the competition by competing in the ARCA Menards Series race on Friday evening.
“Break on Through to the Other Side” … Hill and the United Rentals team finally broke through for their first victory of ’21 and opened the door to victory lane, a feat they’re focused on accomplishing with greater regularity as the playoffs beckon. The Winston, Ga. native has his sights set on the seven playoff points available on Saturday afternoon and would like to check another box on his Camping World Trucks resume: a road course win. His victory at Knoxville was not only his first on dirt, but his first on a short track, and a victory at “The Glen” would cap off a victory at every style track on the series’ calendar.
Season to Date … With 14 of 15 regular season events completed, Hill holds the third position in the championship standings, and is fourth on the provisional playoff grid. Hill’s win at Knoxville was his sixth top-five of the season and has totaled 11 top-10’s. The result continued to lower Hill’s average finish to 9.4 and is fourth among full-time drivers.
Chassis Selection … Crew chief Scott Zipadelli and the United Rentals team have prepared chassis No. 015 for the second time this season. Hill most recently piloted this Toyota Tundra to a ninth-place finish in wet conditions at Circuit of the Americas in May. The HRE squad built chassis No. 015 new for this season and is specifically designed for road course racing.
Tune In … FOX Sports 1 has coverage of the United Rentals 176 from WGI on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. ET with NASCAR Raceday followed by the green flag at Noon ET. Stay connected with the No. 16 United Rentals team by following @Hattori_Racing on Twitter, @hattoriracing on Instagram, and Hattori Racing Enterprises on Facebook.
Austin Hill Quote:On making his first Camping World Trucks start at “The Glen” without practice and qualifying:
“I feel really strong about HRE as a group and my whole team. I feel very confident that we’re going to unload and be pretty close. On that side of it, I’m not too worried about it. We’re also going to run the ARCA race the day before, so that’s going to help me just kind of get a little seat time.”
“Our United Rentals team has always had a lot of confidence and the win at Knoxville only adds to it. We feel like we can win anywhere we go, and we proved that on dirt. All of us would like to win on a road course too, and it’d be really special since we haven’t gotten one yet, plus for everyone at United Rentals and all their customers. We’ll have a lot of folks at the track with us this weekend and can’t wait to see what we have on Saturday.”