Austin Hill broke into victory lane for the first time in 2020 with a dominant display at Kansas Speedway for his fifth-career NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series win. The driver of the No. 16 Toyota Tundra gave United Rentals their first NASCAR victory after leading a race-high 65 laps, including the final 39, and extended his advantage atop the championship standings. Hill was one point shy from scoring max-points and holds an advantage of 40 markers after nine events.
When the green flag waved under the hot Kansas sun, Hill instantaneously moved from his sixth starting position into the top five on lap two. He wasted no time asserting himself as a threat by moving into the top three on lap five and grabbed the runner-up spot on a lap 24 restart. He made a late bid for the Stage 1 victory but ran second and earned nine points on lap 30.
Hill came to the attention of crew chief Scott Zipadelli and the United Rentals team for four tires and a slight chassis adjustment to aid his loose condition on corner exit. The adjustments paid major dividends on the ensuing 25-lap run in Stage 2. Hill blitzed the top lane of the speedway to go from 10th to fourth in two circuits after the lap 37 restart, and grabbed the lead on lap 41. He cruised to the Stage 2 win at lap 60 to earn his first playoff point of the season and his third-career stage win.
During the stage break, Hill pitted for tires and a small adjustment as the United Rentals Tundra began to free up as the track surface cooled. He restarted fourth and moved up to second when the final caution waved on lap 82. Zipadelli and company gave Hill one more set of fresh tires and another round of adjustments to combat his increasingly loose balance. The Winston, Ga. native restarted third on lap 88 and waged a fierce three-truck war for the lead with fellow championship hopefuls. After five official lead changes, Hill maneuvered his Tundra on the high side of Turn three and four to gain control of the lead for good on lap 96. In the closing laps, Hill built a lead upwards of three seconds to capture his first checkered flag of the season and his first win at Kansas Speedway.
Austin Hill Quote:
“This is awesome and we’ve been working so hard for this. Last week was a bummer having engine troubles and I told the guys before coming here, let’s go finish three spots better and I’ll be dang if we didn’t do it. Can’t thank everybody enough at HRE, Scott (Zipadelli, crew chief) and the guys, they work their tails off week in and week out. First win with the United Rentals paint scheme and that’s awesome, they’ve been a tremendous partner for me throughout my career. I’ve been wanting to get a win with these colors on and I’m so glad I was able to do it. That last pit stop, I tried to brake check a little bit and got out in fourth because I wanted to be in the high lane. I got tagged from behind, that was my fault and I apologize to Brett (Moffitt) when he hit me. I had it for Scott and the guys, they now have to replace the bumper to get ready for tomorrow. But I think the win was worth it.”
“Really, those last 20 laps felt like they went on forever. I started thinking, what am I going to do when a caution comes out. Am I going to choose the outside or inside lane and how hard do I drive it into the corner on old tires, just a lot of things were going through my head. I’m glad we didn’t have to do a green-white-checkered finish and it just ended like it did. The United Rentals Toyota Tundra was really fast tonight. We do have some work for tomorrow. It felt like on the long run we were just way too free. I had to really pedal it through the corner, but we were good enough tonight.”