Chasing Time … Austin Hill, driver of the No. 16 United Rentals Toyota Tundra and his Hattori Racing Enterprises squad return to battle at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday afternoon after two idle weekends for the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series (NGOTS). The Winston, GA native enters “The Paperclip” chasing his second victory of 2019, the points lead, and his first grandfather clock.
Out of the Gate … Three races into his tenure with the No. 16 team, Hill has come out of the gate strong in 2019 and sits third in the NGOTS points standings. His victory at Daytona International Speedway in February has assured him a spot in the playoffs and followed that up with a strong seventh-place finish at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Despite an overheating issue at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the most recent outing, Hill’s 31 stage points, tied for the most in the series, is a big reason why he holds a podium position in the championship standings.
Short Track History … Hill has the most experience at “The Paperclip” of any track on the NGOTS tour. Since 2014, Hill has compiled seven starts at Martinsville and recorded a track-best finish of ninth in this event last season. In total, Hill has amassed 11 NGOTS starts on paved short tracks in 54 total career starts.
Season to Date … With 13 regular season races still on the docket, Hill remains the only driver locked into the playoffs. He has earned one win, two top-10 finishes and is tied for the most stage points (31) through three events with an average stage finish of 6.16. He enters his eighth start at Martinsville nine points out of the points lead and three points behind second.
Chassis Selection … Hill will climb behind the wheel of chassis No. 009 for the first time this weekend. Crew chief Scott Zipadelli and the No. 16 team are bringing this Toyota Tundra back to the track for the first time since it went to victory lane with Brett Moffitt at ISM Raceway in November. This chassis also recorded a runner-up finish at Martinsville in the playoffs last October.
Tune In … FOX Sports 1’s coverage from the shortest paved track on NGOTS schedule begins at 10:30 a.m. ET on Saturday with three rounds of qualifying. The green flag will drop later that afternoon at 2 p.m. ET on FS1. Stay updated with Hill and the No. 16 team by following @Hattori_Racing on Twitter, hattoriracing on Instagram, and Hattori Racing Enterprises on Facebook.
Austin Hill Quote:
On the first short track race of 2019:
“I’ve been looking forward to Martinsville ever since we left Las Vegas. We had some bad luck overheating in Vegas, and you always want to get back to the track when you’re coming off a result like that. I’ve always felt comfortable at Martinsville and feel at home on the short tracks. Scott (Zipadelli) and the guys ran really well there last season, so I know we’ll have a strong United Rentals Tundra when we unload for practice on Friday. We’ve been fast each week so far, and I feel like we haven’t gotten the finishes we deserve, so hopefully we can race towards the front all day and take home that grandfather clock.”