Back for Redemption … The Vankor 350 at Texas Motor Speedway (TMS) comes at a perfect time for Austin Hill and his No. 16 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota team. Hill is seeking redemption after last weekend at Martinsville Speedway and is focused on remaining at the top of the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series (NGOTS) provisional playoff grid.
A Welcome Sight … The NGOTS’ return to “No Limits, Texas” is a welcome sight for Hill. He posted a season best fifth-place finish at TMS last fall with Young’s Motorsports and aims to duplicate another top-five result on Friday night. In the two races on 1.5-mile configurations this season, Hill finished seventh at Atlanta Motor Speedway in February and collected 11 stage points at Las Vegas Motor Speedway before suffering an overheating issue. He and the No. 16 team bring impactful resumes to TMS and are primed to challenge for the victory on Friday night.
Texas History … Hill brings plenty of experience to the Lone Star State as five of his 55-career NGOTS starts have come at TMS. His top-five finish last November was a career-high at the time and tallied four top-15 finishes in those five starts with Young’s Motorsports.
Season to Date … Through four of 16 regular season races, Hill remains alone at the top of the NGOTS playoff standings as the only locked in driver. Hill occupies the seventh position in the regular season point standings, just 16 points behind the leader as the NGOTS standings remain extraordinarily close. Hill’s close proximity to the point lead is due in large part to his 37 stage points, which is third most in the series.
Chassis Selection … Chassis No. 008 will make its second appearance of the season this weekend at “No Limits, Texas”. Hill most recently ran this Toyota Tundra at Las Vegas Motor Speedway earlier this month and ran in the top five before overheating. Crew chief Scott Zipadelli and company ran this truck at TMS last fall and finished third with Brett Moffitt at the controls.
Tune In … FOX Sports 1 has live coverage from “No Limits, Texas” beginning with two-rounds of qualifying at 5 p.m. ET on Friday evening. FS1’s race coverage kicks off at 8:30 p.m. ET before the Vankor 350 goes green at 9 p.m. ET. 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 tour’s first visit of the year to TMS:
“We need a little redemption this week and I feel like Texas is going to be a good place for us. The last two weeks haven’t gone the way we wanted, but I feel good about going back to a mile and a half. These guys ran third at Texas last fall and we finished fifth in that race, so I think we all know what we need in our Safelite AutoGlass Tundra to be fast and run up front. It’s awesome to have Safelite on board with us this week and we’re going to try and get them in victory lane to regain some ground in the point standings.”