Playoff Pursuit … Three races remain before Austin Hill and the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series move into the playoffs. The pilot of the No. 16 United Rentals Toyota Tundra has five playoff points under his belt and is one of five Gander Trucks regulars to have a victory this season. He and the No. 16 team look to bank as many of the remaining 21 playoff points in the regular season as possible starting at Pocono Raceway this weekend.
Big Momentum at Big Tracks … While engine issues plagued Hill and relegated him to a frustrating result a week ago at Kentucky Speedway, he and the No. 16 team have recently been on a roll at tracks 1.5-miles and larger. In the last five events at those venues, Hill has scored four top-10 finishes in that span and has led 47 laps in four of those races. He’ll look to continue those strong efforts at the “Tricky Triangle” and put himself in position for his second victory of the season.
Pocono History … Hill has made three prior starts at Pocono in his 64-race Gander Trucks career. Two of those three starts resulted in top-15 finishes for Young’s Motorsports in the last two trips to the Pocono Mountains. He’ll look to out-perform his previous best finish of 11th on Saturday afternoon.
Season to Date … Through 13 of 16 regular season events, Hill sits seventh in the Gander Trucks driver championship standings. He has a guaranteed spot in playoff field courtesy of his victory at Daytona International Speedway in February. In total, Hill has collected one win, three top-five and seven top-10 finishes with 95 laps led and one pole award.
Chassis Selection … The most successful chassis in HRE’s fleet returns to the track this weekend. Crew chief Scott Zipadelli and company have prepared chassis No. 007 for Hill to race on Saturday afternoon. Hill most recently drove this chassis to a fifth-place finish at Chicagoland Speedway after earning his first-career pole and setting a new track record. It also raced at Atlanta Motor Speedway in February and at Texas Motor Speedway in June. In total, it has one top-five and three top-10’s in three appearances this season.
Tune In … FOX Sports’ Gander Trucks coverage from the Poconos begins on Friday evening with pole qualifying on FS1 at 6 p.m. ET. Raceday coverage from the “Tricky Triangle” kicks off at 12:30 p.m. ET on FOX followed by the green flag at 1:00 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 stretch run to the Gander Trucks Playoffs:
“Our program at the intermediate tracks has been really strong, and the most important part of the season is right in front of us. Saturday will be a good chance for us to hopefully get back in victory lane with our United Rentals Tundra. 60 laps is a really short race, especially with two cautions for the stages, so we’re going to need to have the balance close to start the race. You’re not going to have very many chances to adjust on it and track position is going to be really key. Scott (Zipadelli) knows how to call races and find track position, so I feel like we have a really good shot at it this weekend.”