Hill Enters Round 2 as One of the FavoritesOctober 17, 2020
One of the Favorites … Austin Hill enters Kansas Speedway to kick off Round 2 of the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series playoffs tied for the point lead and arguably the favorite to advance to the championship finale. The driver of the No. 16 Toyota Tsusho Toyota Tundra begins the second round atop the standings, 12 points above the cut line and returns to one of his most successful venues on the tour. Hill captured his first victory of the season at Kansas on July 24th in dominating fashion and is aiming for a repeat of that performance to earn an automatic berth into the title round at Phoenix Raceway.
Tailor-Made Venue … “The Sunflower State” has been one of Hill and the No. 16 team’s most prosperous tracks over the last two seasons and is a venue tailor-made for them to start strong in the “The Round of 8”. Saturday’s 200-miler at Kansas marks the first time in the Gander Trucks’ 26-year history that one venue will host three points-paying races in a single season, as Hill looks to take two out of three at the 1.5-mile speedway. He has taken full advantage of the nine races on 1.5-mile tracks this season. Both of his victories in ’20 have come at 1.5-mile tracks and has finished ninth or better in eight of the nine events, including five top-five finishes.
Kansas History … In his three starts at Kansas Speedway behind the wheel of the No. 16 Toyota Tundra, Hill has an average finish of 3.67 with one win, two top-five results and has not finished worse than sixth. In total, Hill has made four Gander Trucks starts at Kansas and has finished in the top 12 in each appearance. He has led a total of 214 laps in six different races at 1.5-mile tracks this season, including 84 laps led in Kansas' July doubleheader weekend.
Chassis Selection … Ole faithful chassis No. 007 returns to competition this weekend for the first time since the doubleheader weekend at Kansas on July 24-25th. Hill drove 007 to victory lane on the Friday’s portion of the weekend and led 19 laps en route to a sixth place finish the following afternoon.
Tune In … Round 2 of the Gander Trucks playoffs will be covered live by FOX Sports 1 beginning with NASCAR Raceday at 3:30 p.m. ET followed by the green flag at 4:00 p.m. ET. Stay updated with Hill and the No. 16 Toyota Tsusho team by following @Hattori_Racing on Twitter, Hattori Racing Enterprises on Facebook, and @hattoriracing on Instagram.
Austin Hill Quote:
On his chances to capitalize at Kansas Speedway in Round 2:
“Kansas has been a great place for us every time we’ve gone. Getting the win back in July and leading laps in both races during the doubleheader was really good for our team and we have a lot of confidence going back this weekend with our Toyota Tsusho Tundra. I think you’re going to have to be extremely consistent in the second round with the field being cut from eight to four after Martinsville. The best way to get to Phoenix would obviously be to just take care of business this weekend at Kansas and move on, so hopefully we can do that on Saturday. (Crew chief) Scott (Zipadelli) and all the guys at HRE have been putting a ton of effort into these trucks so we can go back even better than what we were in the summer.