Sunday, Oct 01

Austin Hill Finishes 28th at Michigan

Austin Hill Finishes 28th at Michigan NK Photography Photo

Race Winner:  Chris Buescher of RFK Racing (Ford)

Stage 1 Winner: Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)

Stage 2 Winner:  Martin Truex Jr. of Joe Gibbs Racing (Toyota)



Austin Hill, driver of the No. 62 Bennett Transportation and Logistics Chevrolet Camaro for Beard Motorsports, finished 28th in the rain-postponed FireKeepers Casino 400 on Monday afternoon at Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn. After qualifying 30th, Hill was forced to drop to the rear for unapproved adjustments for the start of the 400-mile race. The rookie driver took advantage of the first caution of the race to pit for four tires, fuel, and a wedge adjustment to combat a tight racecar. After going back green, Hill reported that he struggled with making passes and moving up through the field on the longer runs. As the first stage came to a close, Hill was scored in 31st place. Rain descended upon the racetrack on lap 74 before the end of second stage, forcing NASCAR to stop the event and ultimately postpone it to Monday. When the race resumed on Monday, Hill was forced to pit during the initial caution laps to switch out the steering wheel to repair a radio issue. He restarted at the tail end of the longest line but wasted no time in working his way back up through the field and was scored in 27th place by the time caution waved on lap 103. Hill went on to finish the second stage in 29th place. Along with a handful of other teams, the Beard Motorsports team elected to stay out for the start of the final stage, placing the No. 62 Chevrolet in ninth place. A loose-handling issue made navigating traffic a challenge for Hill and he eventually started to drop through the field. He was in 24th place when the team made what was planned to be their final pit stop. A fueling issue however resulted in the need for an additional trip to pit road to add more fuel. Hill was scored two laps down in 29th place once he returned to the track. Despite the setback, adjustments made to the car worked to the favor of the Winston, Georgia native allowing him to pick up a position by the time the checkered flag waved.


Austin Hill, driver of the No. 62 Bennett Transportation and Logistics Chevrolet Camaro for Beard Motorsports:           

“It was nice playing a little bit of pit strategy there and getting up inside the top-10 for one of the restarts. We just struggled all day with getting really loose when racing behind other cars. I don’t know if it was the aero platform or what – I’m so new to these Cup cars and still trying to figure it out – bu it just felt like I was out of the race track really bad when I was behind other drivers. The car was loose on entry and that just killed us in the turns because we would fall back. It was just too loose. The team made a good adjustment during the green-flag pit stop, Darren (Shaw, crew chief) did a good job getting the car tightened up for me and I thought we were running some halfway decent lap times there at the end. It’s just a bummer that we couldn’t get all of the fuel in and had that issue. That just made it an uphill battle at that point because we didn’t get the cautions we needed to bunch up the field. But I think I learned a lot with our No. 62 Bennett Chevrolet. We definitely had a lot more speed than what the finish showed. I’m a little bummed out about the finish but at the same time we have the positive of having had decent speed so we just try to keep building more for these next few races.”


Next Up:               

The next event on the NASCAR Cup Series schedule is the Verizon 200 at the Brickyard on Sunday, Aug. 13 on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The race begins at 2:30 p.m. EDT with live coverage provided by NBC and SiriusXM NASCAR Radio. The next race for Hill and the No. 62 Chevrolet from Beard Motorsports will be the Coke Zero Sugar 400 on Saturday, Aug. 26 at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.




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