Early Damage in Pocono Mountains 150 Relegates Hill to 31st Place Finish
LONG POND, Pa. (July 31, 2016) – NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) driver Austin Hill experienced all of the ups and downs the “Tricky Triangle” has to offer during his first visit to Pocono Raceway for the Pocono Mountains 150. Hill earned his best career NCWTS start but damage in the race forced him to retire early, relegating him to the lowest finish of his NCWTS career.
Hill turned his first laps ever at Pocono Raceway during Friday’s practice sessions, using the majority of the first session to familiarize himself with the track. After taking quickly to the “Tunnel Turn”, Hill needed help to get the truck to turn through Turns 1 and 3. The team made a series of adjustments to help the truck gain speed off the corners and finished the first practice session 18th fastest on the leaderboard.
The No. 02 continued to gain speed during the final practice session Friday afternoon as the driver became more comfortable with the truck and the race track. To close out the session the team elected to make a mock qualifying run and would end final practice in the sixth position.
Saturday morning’s qualifying session was canceled due to adverse track conditions from overnight rain in the area. The No. 02 would roll off the grid from the sixth position for the Pocono Mountains 150, marking Hill’s best career NCWTS start.
Hill made the most of the initial green flag, expertly gliding through Turn 1 and fighting for position on the opening lap. However, the No. 02 Ford made hard contact with the outside wall coming off of Turn 2 while running in the Top 5. The crew was unable to repair the damage and Hill finished 31st.
“I’m really not sure what happened to us in Turn 2,” said Hill. “It didn’t feel like anything broke, the truck just wouldn’t turn and went straight into the wall. It’s really disappointing because our team put together a good truck that I think would have given us a strong finish. We’ll get there, we just have to keep digging.”
Hill’s next race will be the UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway on August 17. Fans can follow Hill on social media for updates at Austin Hill Racing (Facebook), @_AustinHill (Twitter) and @_Austin_Hill_ (Instagram).
About Austin Hill
Austin Hill, a Winston, Ga. native, is driven to become the next big name in NASCAR. The 22-year-old is driving a partial schedule in the 2016 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. Hill earned a third-place finish in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship in only his second full-time season in the series. Hill is a two-year member of NASCAR Next, a program designed to cultivate and promote the sports’ next generation of superstars. Over the past two years, Hill has secured four NASCAR K&N victories and 12 Top-5 finishes. Hill started his racing career at the age of six in Quarter Midgets. He won the 2002 Quarter Midget championship at his hometrack in Cumming, Ga. and went on to excel in Bandolero, Legends Semi-Pro Series and Pro Late Model Series racing. Hill currently resides in Mooresville, N.C. with his wife, Ashlyn, and daughter, Lynnlee.