Austin Hill Continues Impressive Season With Win At Kansas Speedwayby Hunter Thomas July 24, 2020 0 comments
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Austin Hill dominated Friday’s Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 200 at Kansas Speedway to capture his first NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series victory of the 2020 season.
Hill led the final 39 laps en route to his fifth series win and Hattori Racing Enterprises’ first Kansas victory. Prior to taking the lead for the final time, Hill battled Brett Moffitt for the top spot. The two drivers split stage wins, with Moffitt winning the first and Hill taking the win in Stage 2. Hill had the faster truck in the closing laps, but he was a little apprehensive about a possible late-race restart.
“Really, those last 20 laps felt like they went on forever,” Hill said. “I started thinking, what am I going to do when a caution comes out. Am I going to choose the outside or inside lane and how hard do I drive it into the corner on old tires, just a lot of things were going through my head. I’m glad we didn’t have to do a green-white-checkered finish and it just ended like it did. The United Rentals Toyota Tundra was really fast tonight. We do have some work for tomorrow. It felt like on the long run we were just way too free. I had to really pedal it through the corner, but we were good enough tonight.”
Hill, the driver of the No. 16 United Rentals Toyota, has finished inside the top-10 in every race this season except for last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, when his truck suffered a mechanical issue; however, despite the impressive season, Friday’s win marked the first for the Georgia native this year.
“It’s just a lot of weight off my shoulders honestly,” Hill said. “I’ve been kind of beating myself up by not getting the win in Atlanta and felt like there were some other race tracks we should have won at or at least had a better shot at. It’s just a big relief to be locked into the Playoffs and to just have that momentum going forward. We’ve been really consistent all year.”
Moffitt held on to finish second after leading 21 laps. ThorSport Racing’s Grant Enfinger and Matt Crafton finished fourth and fifth respectively. Derek Krause rounded out the top-five, followed by Zane Smith, Ben Rhodes, Sheldon Creed, Johnny Sauter and Todd Gilliland.
Throughout the 134-lap race, there were 16 lead changes among eight drivers. Hill led a race high of 65 laps.
There were only four cautions for 19 laps, and two were for the ends of stages and the others were for single truck accidents.
The NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series will hit the track again at Kansas Speedway on Saturday. Live coverage of the e.p.t. 200 will broadcast on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and the Motor Racing Network (MRN) at 1:30 pm. ET.
Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images