Finish in Style … The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series regular season comes to a close on Saturday in the Irish Hills at Michigan International Speedway (MIS), and Austin Hill looks to close it out in style. The driver of the No. 16 Hino, AISIN Group Toyota Tundra enters the regular season finale locked into the playoffs and ninth in the standings. He’ll look to gather another five playoff points by taking the No. 16 team to victory lane for a second-consecutive year at MIS.
Stick to the Program … While the last three outings have not produced the desired results for the No. 16 team, their outright speed and performance has the team optimistic heading into MIS. Hill has won the pole by breaking the track record in two of the last three events on tracks 1.5-miles and larger (Pocono Raceway and Chicagoland Speedway). From May to June, Hill also tallied four-consecutive finishes of eighth or better on those style racetracks. Crew chief Scott Zipadelli, Hill, and the No. 16 squad are confident in sticking with their program and aim to return to the top five on the high banks of MIS.
Motor City History … Saturday’s Corrigan Oil 200 marks the second start at the two-mile speedway for the driver of the No. 16 Hino, AISIN Group Toyota. Hill’s debut in the Irish Hills came last year when he started 10th and finished 19th with Young’s Motorsports. He’ll look to park the No. 16 Tundra in MIS’ victory lane for the second year in a row after the HRE team won in thrilling fashion one year ago.
Season to Date … In the first 15 races of 2019, Hill has constructed a career season. His victory in the season kickoff at Daytona International Speedway cemented his place in the Gander Trucks playoffs and has totaled three top-five and seven top-10 finishes. He has also earned his first career pole awards, both with track records, at Chicagoland Speedway and Pocono Raceway. This season will be Hill’s first appearance in the playoffs and looks to add to his career season over the final eight events.
Chassis Selection … Zipadelli and the No. 16 squad have prepared a new Tundra for the regular season finale. Chassis No. 010 was recently completed and will see it’s first laps of competitive action in two practice sessions on Friday afternoon.
Tune In … FOX Sports’ coverage from the Irish Hills begins on Saturday morning with pole qualifying at 9:30 a.m. ET on FOX Sports 2. Coverage of the Corrigan Oil 200 switches to FOX Sports 1 at 12:30 p.m. ET 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 closing out the regular season:
“I can’t wait to climb in this new truck and start practice on Friday. We’ve had a tough road the last few weeks, but we’re all ready to turn it around and I think Michigan will be a good place to do that. This group’s result last year speaks for itself, and I can’t wait to see what kind of speed we have in our Hino, AISIN Group Toyota this weekend. We’ll have quite a few folks from both Hino and AISIN Group at the track since we’re so close to their offices in Detroit. It’s a big race for them which makes it a big race for us on top of closing out the regular season. We’d definitely like to put a big finish on the regular season and head into the playoffs with a little momentum, and hopefully another win.”