Austin Hill Captures First Career Truck Series Win At Daytona In NASCAR Overtimeby Hunter Thomas February 16, 2019 0 comments
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Austin Hill survived NASCAR Overtime in the wild NextEra Energy Resources 250 on Friday night at Daytona International Speedway to capture his first ever NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series win.
Hill, who is only 24-years-old held off the hard charging veterans, Grant Enfinger and Ross Chastain on the final lap of the race. Enfinger got a bumper to the rear of Hill’s truck as they raced through Turn 4 for the final time, but as they exited, a gap was stretched. Hill stayed glued to the bottom of the track in his Hattori Racing Enterprises No. 16 CHIBA Toyopet Toyota and led the rest of the way down the frontstretch to win the season opener.
“We got a little separation from us and my spotter, Mike Harmon, he did an awesome job just telling me when the run was coming – what lines to choose,” Hill said. “The 98 (Grant Enfinger) got to me down in the center of (turns) three and four and kind of jacked me up pretty good. I didn’t think I was going to be able to hold onto that. We were saving fuel at the end. Coming off of four, I was pretty scared. I didn’t think we were going to make it to the finish.”
Hill only has 52 starts in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series. Prior to Friday night, the Georgia native’s best series finish came last November at Texas Motor Speedway, when he finished fifth. On Friday, Hill led a race high of 39 laps and survived two NASCAR Overtime restarts en route to the winning the race.
“I never would have thought in a million years I’d win at Daytona,” Hill said. “We’ve had some success at Daytona before, but just didn’t have the finishes we were looking for there at the end. We’d have something happen and to be able to come on board with Hattori Racing and start off the season like this, I think there’s going to be a lot of good things to come for us.”
Enfinger held on to a runner-up finish in his ThorSport Racing No. 98 Champion Power Equipment Ford. Chastain finished third, followed by Spencer Boyd and Matt Crafton. Rounding out the top-10 were Josh Reaume, Timothy Peters, Angela Ruch, Austin Wayne Self and Stewart Friesen.
Throughout the night, there were 11 cautions for 55 laps. The carnage affected nearly every truck on the track. In fact, out of the 32 trucks that started, only nine finished. A crash on lap 55 involved 12 trucks, and an accident on lap 100 involved 10 trucks.
The second race of the season will be held at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, February 23. Live coverage of the Atlanta 200 will broadcast on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 4:30 p.m. ET.
Photo Credit: Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images