Hill Looks to Hit the Bigtime in NashvilleJune 17, 2021
Hit the Bigtime … Austin Hill is looking to hit the bigtime in “Music City” with his first victory of the season in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series’ return to Nashville Superspeedway for the first time in a decade. Like most competitors, the driver of the No. 16 JBL Toyota Tundra has never competed at Nashville as the track has sat dormant since 2011. The 1.33-mile concrete configuration might be in Hill’s wheelhouse as it resembles similar characteristics to many other 1.5-mile and intermediate tracks on the Camping World Trucks schedule. Through 11 events this season, Hill’s four best finishes (second, third – twice, and fourth) have all come on intermediate venues at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Atlanta Motor Speedway, Kansas Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway (TMS).
On the Rise … Hill has been on the rise in recent weeks, as he currently holds the third spot in the drivers’ championship standings and grabbed third in the owners’ point standings at TMS. The Winston, Ga. product has three finishes of ninth or better and has scored the second-most points in the last two races at Charlotte Motor Speedway and TMS. While he is still looking for his first trip to victory lane this season, Hill has a sturdy 29-point cushion on fourth place in the standings, and a comfortable 144-point margin on the playoff cut line with four races remaining in the regular season.
Season to Date … As the season cracked the official halfway point at TMS last Saturday, Hill has constructed a consistently stable campaign. Last week’s fourth-place finish in the “Lone Star State” was his fourth top-five finish of the year and has collected eight top-10 finishes. In fact, Hill only has a pair of finishes below 13th and holds and average finish of 10.6.
Chassis Selection … Chassis No. 008 is making an appearance for Friday’s return to “Music City”. Crew chief Scott Zipadelli and the JBL team have completely rebuilt this Tundra with new front and rear clips, making it a virtually brand new piece. Hill most recently raced this Toyota at Darlington Raceway last September when he finished third. Chassis No. 008 was raced seven times in 2019, and it’s best finish came at Kansas that season where Hill drove it to a fourth-place finish.
Tune In … FOX Sports will have wall-to-wall coverage from Nashville on Friday, beginning with practice on FOX Sports 2 at 11:00 a.m. ET. FOX Sports 1 will carry pole qualifying at 5:00 p.m. ET followed by the green flag at 8:00 p.m. ET. Stay connected with the No. 16 JBL team by following @Hattori_Racing on Twitter, @hattoriracing on Instagram, and Hattori Racing Enterprises on Facebook.
Austin Hill Quote:
On making his first start at Nashville:
“It’s always exciting to race some place new. There are going to be quite a few unknowns because no one has raced there in such a long time. Everybody at HRE has done a great job working on this JBL Toyota Tundra. A lot of work has gone into this truck and the good news is we’ll have some practice to dial it in on Friday. I always loved racing at Dover, and with Nashville having a similar concrete surface, I think we’ll have a good idea of what direction to work when we unload. It’ll be a little bit of a work in progress for everyone through practice, qualifying and on into the race since we’ll all be learning a new racetrack. I know our group is up to the challenge and hopefully we can find our way to the front by the end of the night.”