Hill Tallies Third Straight Top-10 on Dirt at BristolMarch 29, 2021
Finish: 9th, Start: 2nd, Points Pos.: 6th
Austin Hill continued his consistency with a ninth-place finish on the dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway on Monday afternoon. The result was Hill’s first career top-10 finish on dirt in his third career start and earned the second-most points of all drivers in the field. He closed the gap by 34 markers on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series point leader with the aid of 13 stage points and sits sixth in the standings after five races.
The driver of the No. 16 United Rentals Toyota Tundra started the postponed event from second position and ran inside the top five for the majority of the first stage. As three cautions caused three restarts in the opening stage, Hill restarted in the dried-out inside lane and dropped back as far as seventh. A one-lap dash to the Stage 1 break on lap 40 allowed Hill to gain one position and collect five points in the sixth position.
Crew chief Scott Zipadelli and the United Rentals team gave Hill four tires and an adjustment to help him gain forward bite in Stage 2, and the changes paid off. Hill restarted sixth and took full advantage of the outside lane to immediately climb to fourth. A rash of three cautions set up multiple restarts, which allowed Hill to muscle his way to third and collect eight points at the end of Stage 2 on lap 90.
Hill restarted in the bottom lane to start the final segment on lap 92 in seventh after multiple trucks stayed on track. The dry, rubbered-up inside lane hindered Hill’s progress and ran as far back as 11th on lap 96. Hill managed to regroup and climbed up to seventh after a restart on lap 126 but was caught on the inside lane for the final restart on lap 132. Over the final eight laps, Hill held on to take the checkered flag in ninth and notched his third consecutive top-10 finish.
Austin Hill Quote:
“The track was pretty good when we first started. I kind of thought that it might be a little muddy, but it turned out that the track was pretty good and ready to go. Our United Rentals Toyota Tundra fired off really well. I was just trying to figure the track out, I’m not a dirt guy so trying to figure it out. Lost some track position on a couple restarts. It seemed like the bottom lane, I could just never get going and it took our truck three or four laps to get going. There at the end, it just came down to that last restart and I got in line. I started finding some lanes that were working for me, but just kind of ran out of time there. I felt like I was faster than the three or four in front of me, but solid points day. Coming into this thing, I wasn’t expecting a top-10 so it’s nice to get a top-10. After as good as we ran, I wanted to win. We’ll go onto the next one and try to do a little better on this dirt stuff.”