Austin Hill, driver of the No. 20 A&D Welding Ford F-150, earned his third consecutive Top-20 finish of the season in his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) start at Texas Motor Speedway.
Hill used Thursday’s two practice sessions to acclimate himself to the track, running in race trim as well as a mock qualifying run. Hill was happy with the handling of the truck and the team only made minor changes to prepare for track conditions Friday evening.
After qualifying 27th, Hill began to climb through the field, gaining six spots before the first caution came on Lap 10. Hill fought his way into the Top 20 by time the caution came out on Lap 52, keeping himself in position to receive the lucky dog spot.
As night fell, the team continually made adjustments under caution periods to keep up with the changing track conditions over the course of the 167-lap race. Hill continued to climb through the field throughout the race, fighting for position in addition to battling lapped traffic. Hill’s team informed him that he was running the same lap times as the leaders at several different points in the race.
Hill broke into the Top 10 briefly before the final round of caution flag pit stops.
After restarting 15th, Hill was forced into the wall at Lap 125, heavily affecting the handling with minor damage to the right side of the truck. The team elected not to pit in the waning laps of the race and Hill brought the No. 20 across the line in the 15th position.
“I know we had a truck capable of finishing in the top 10, maybe higher,” said Hill. “Getting squeezed into the wall late in the race really hurt the handling of the truck and we fell back from where we had been running. We’ll get there, we just have to keep fighting.”
Austin Hill PR