Austin Hill, driver of the No. 20 ARCO Design/Build Ford F-150 for Austin Hill Racing, finished 12th in Saturday’s NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. This finish is an extra special one for Hill, a Winston Ga. native, as he fulfilled his childhood dream to race in one of NASCAR’s top levels at his home race track.
Hill and the No. 20 team quickly began to gain track position after taking the green flag in the 23rd spot. A loose-handling condition plagued the No. 20 Ford F-150 for the first half of the race, but with the right adjustments and strategy calls by crew chief Mike Abner, Hill and the ARCO Design/Build crew were able to move up from their starting position.
Despite the loose conditions of the race car, Hill knew he had a car that could take him to the front. On Lap 33, he radioed over to his crew, “I’m loose throughout the track. If you can get me tighter, I’ll be dangerous.”
The team strategized the adjustments they would need and during the first caution clock stop on Lap 38, they made the necessary changes to tighten the handling on their Ford F-150. Hill restarted 17th and was able to hold his position running between 17th and 19th through the second caution which was caused by another team’s engine failure on track. Following the second caution, the young NASCAR Next driver raced his way to 13th before the second caution clock of the race timed out on Lap 105.
Similar to the previous two pit stops, the team came in for four fresh tires, fuel and tightening adjustments. Only one lap after the restart, an accident involving the majority of the leaders occurred. Hill avoided the incident and gained track position. The team elected to stay out during the caution to hold their ninth place track position.
“I’m going to give it all I’ve got. This should be good,” Hill told his teammates over the radio in the winding laps of the race.
In the final three laps, Hill got caught in the outside lane falling back to 12th from 10th due to a driver ahead of him that missed a shift. The Georgia native took the checkered flag in 12th position in his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race competing for his family-owned team.
“It was a great effort by our entire team,” said Hill after the race. “We wanted to come out here in our first race and prove to everyone that we could race up front with these guys. I think we did that today and I can’t wait until our next race!”
The next NASCAR Camping World Truck Series race for Hill will be at Dover International Speedway on Friday, May 13. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. ET with live coverage provided by FOX Sports 1.
Austin Hill PR