Hill Scores 13th Top-10 Finish of '21 at VegasSeptember 25, 2021
FINISH: 10TH, START: 10TH, POINTS POS: 10TH
Austin Hill drove to his 13th top-10 finish of the season on Friday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) after a late three-wide bid for the lead came up just short. The driver of the No. 16 Weins Canada Toyota Tundra extended his streak of top-10 finishes on 1.5-mile tracks to 11-consecutive races with his 10th-place result. The finish put the No. 16 team 15 points above the cutline in the race for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series owner points championship after Hill was tied for the sixth-most points scored on Friday night with 33.
Hill began the evening from the 10th starting position and immediately moved forward despite a tight handling condition on the Weins Canada Tundra. The Winston, Ga. native ran as high as sixth after the lap nine restart and maintained his position inside the top-10 for the entirety of Stage 1. On lap 30, Hill collected two points after completing the opening stage in ninth position.
Crew chief Scott Zipadelli and the HRE team equipped Hill with four fresh tires, fuel, along with track bar and wedge adjustments during their first pit stop under the stage caution. Hill restarted in 12th on lap 37 and rejoined the top 10 on lap 46. A caution on lap 53 allowed Zipadelli to employ and alternative pit strategy, just seven laps shy of the Stage 2 finish, as he called Hill to pit road for four fresh tires. On the lap 57 restart, Hill restarted 18th and rocketed to finish Stage 2 in seventh to collect four points on lap 60.
As most lead lap trucks pitted under the stage break, Hill stayed on track and inherited the fourth position for the lap 67 restart. On lap 71, Hill took the race lead as a caution occurred deeper in the field. He paced the field for 12 laps until pitting for four tires and additional adjustments under the lap 81 caution flag. After restarting seventh on lap 85, Hill maneuvered up to the second spot and challenged for the lead before a tight balance thwarted his progress. A caution on lap 114 allowed Hill to take on his last set of tires and climbed from seventh to fourth on lap 120. The evening’s final restart with four laps to go on lap 131 saw Hill dive to the middle lane and make a three-wide challenge for the race lead, nearly clearing the bottom lane. However, Hill was stuck in the middle lane, went without a push down the backstretch and took the checkered flag in 10th position.
Austin Hill Quote:
”I had to go for it on that last restart. I knew we’d have a chance to make a move when we restarted outside in the second row. We almost had our Weins Canada Tundra clear of the bottom lane and could have drag raced down the backstretch for the lead and maybe got a push from behind. Our Tundra was tight the entire night, but we still managed a way to get back towards the front to have a shot at it. We gave ourselves a little more room in the owner points standings, so we’ll go to Talladega and try and get another superspeedway win next week.”