Hitting the Century Mark … Austin Hill will hit the century mark and make his 100th career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start on Friday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS). The driver of the No. 16 Ibaraki Toyopet Toyota Tundra is reaching the career milestone in his 49th start with HRE and comes at one of his most successful venues. Hill has pulled into victory lane in two of the last three Camping World Trucks events in “Sin City” and a third victory in the desert would come at the perfect time for he and the No. 16 team. Hill has collected 18 of his 19th career top-five finishes with HRE and 30 of his 38-career top-10’s during that span, including all six of his Camping World Trucks victories.
Time for a Comeback … The 2020 regular season champion was handed two finishes outside the top-20 to start the season at Daytona International Speedway, but is ready to mount a comeback beginning at LVMS. Hill began last season with seven consecutive top-10 finishes which fixed him atop the series standings, including a third-place finish in the first event at LVMS. He looks to restart a similar streak and establish a resilient comeback to climb back into the championship conversation at his most fruitful venue.
Las Vegas History … Six of Hill’s previous 99 Camping World Trucks starts have come on LVMS’ 1.5-mile high banks. The Winston, Ga. native has two victories at LVMS, including two of the three most recent events in “Sin City” with four top-10 finishes. Since suffering an overheating issue in his first start in Las Vegas with HRE, Hill has an average finish of 1.67 in the last three races at LVMS. Continuing that string of results could vault Hill up the championship standings as he currently sits just 19 points out of 10th.
Chassis Selection … Crew chief Scott Zipadelli and the Ibaraki Toyopet team elected to race chassis No. 010 for the first intermediate track of the 2021 season. Hill most recently raced this chassis at Bristol Motor Speedway last September and has since been updated and outfitted with a new Toyota Tundra body. Hill piloted this truck to victory lane at LVMS in September 2019 by leading 29 of the 134 laps.
Tune In … The third event on the ’21 Camping World Trucks slate will be carried live on FOX Sports 1 at 9:00 p.m. ET, while coverage begins at 8:00 p.m. ET with NASCAR Raceday. Stay connected with the No. 16 Ibaraki Toyopet team by following @Hattori_Racing on Twitter, @hattoriracing on Instagram, and Hattori Racing Enterprises on Facebook.
Austin Hill Quote:
On making his 100th start at Las Vegas:
“It’s a pretty cool milestone to hit 100 starts in the series. That means a lot to be in the series for that long and have opportunities to drive fast trucks every week. There’s a lot of other people that have put in a lot of effort over the years to make that happen, especially all the guys at HRE and Ibaraki Toyopet this weekend. We’ve had extremely fast Tundras every time that we’ve gone to Las Vegas and have had a ton of success. This is the same truck that we won with in 2019 and ran third with last spring. Hopefully we can have a similar result on Friday night. We didn’t get the results we wanted in the first two races at Daytona, but every one of us is looking forward to turning that around this week and hopefully we can get Ibaraki Toyopet into victory lane for the first time.”