Austin Hill Back in Empire Racing Group’s No. 82 Ford F-150 at Martinsville Speedway

This weekend will mark NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) driver Austin Hill’s second start at Martinsville Speedway as he returns to the track where he made his truck series debut in 2014.

Hill, a 22-year-old Winston, Ga. native, previously competed at Martinsville Speedway during one of his two NCWTS races last year.

“We actually had a really good truck there,” recalled Hill.  “We led some laps and fell back to 5th or 6th spot.  I had a wheel come loose during one of the pit stops late in the race.  I had to come in and change it and then went a few laps down.  When we got back out there, we just tried to miss the wrecks and finish the best that we could.  It was disappointing to have a wheel loose because as good as we were running, I felt like we had an 8th place truck for sure.”

The NASCAR Next driver and K&N Pro Series East winner finished 26th in his NCWTS debut and looks to improve his finish with the support of his ERG team and crew chief, Mike “Grumpy” Cheek.

“I’m excited about going back with Empire Racing as I feel we’ll have a solid truck and hopefully we’ll get that Top-10 finish,” said Hill.  “It’s been great working with Mike and his team and really looking forward to racing at Martinsville again.”

Following a tough race at Talladega, Hill is excited to being moving on to a track he has visited before and has experience at.

“I’ve basically grown up racing at short tracks,” Hill said.  “From starting in Quarter Midgets and Bandoleros, to moving into Legend Cars and the K&N Series as well – its primarily been short track racing.  I like that type of racing, as you have to get up on the wheel every lap.  When you get to the bigger tracks, the mile and a half tracks, so much more comes into play.  The downforce and body of the truck come into play.  At short tracks, the drivers and the smaller teams have a bigger chance of making something happen and having a good day.”

Cheek is also eager to be working with Hill for the second weekend in a row and looks forward competing in the Kroger 200 on Saturday.

“I am very excited to have Austin back with us,” said Cheek.  “We consider Austin a part of our family and it is great to see so much excitement in the shop. Our team is so pumped up and ready to get to Martinsville!  I know that Austin can get the job done on the track and we’re excited for this race weekend!”

Also returning to ERG’s No. 82 Ford F-150 as a sponsor is Doug Herbert’s B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Pro-Active Driving School. The organization works to prevent injuries and save lives by training and educating teenage drivers and their parents about the importance of safe and responsible driving

Empire Racing PR
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Steven B. Wilson

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