Austin Hill Back in Truck Victory Lane at Kansas
(KANSAS CITY, KS - JULY 24, 2020 - RIS) Austin Hill dominated the Blue Emu Maximum Pain Relief 200 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race, leading 65 of the 134 laps.
The first caution flag came out with ten laps to run in the first stage when Robby Lyons had a solo spin. Earlier, Tyler Ankrum had the right rear tire blow, knocking off a brake hose and sending the truck to the garage for repairs. The restart, with seven laps to run in the stage, had Brett Moffitt ahead of points leader Austin Hill and Ross Chastain, last year's winner of this event.
Moffitt took the stage, followed by Hill, Chastain, Todd Gilliland and Matt Crafton.
Ben Rhodes led off the pit stops but Christian Eckes wasted no time in retaking the lead, followed by Ty Majeski and Austin Hill then Hill moved around Majeski and Moffitt into the lead, holding the point through the rest of the stage to pad his points edge over Ben Rhodes. Rhodes took second place in the stage, followed by Zane Smith, Ty Majeski and Derek Kraus. Rhodes led the field off of pit road, followed by Eckes, Smith, Hill and Jones.
Hill tried to push Ben Rhodes, but Rhodes faded, forcing Hill to move high and into third after one lap of green flag racing. He took the lead later, with a spin by Korbin Forrester causing a yellow flag on lap 81.
Crafton used a push from Hill to move into the lead then Hill dropped to the inside line to take the lead but Crafton kept battling back on the outside as the pair battled. Brett Moffitt used a bobble by Crafton to take the lead, then he and Hill continued the battle for the lead until Moffitt got a one length edge over Hill and Enfinger moved into third in the chase for the lead.
Hill took the lead back on lap 97 but Crafton's lap time was the best in the field as he tried to close up from fourth place.
Moffitt closed to within less than three seconds at the ten laps left mark, but Hill answered by opening up his lead to over four seconds. Jordan Anderson got tapped in traffic and nearly caused a late race caution but got the truck off the racing surface and the race went green to the finish with Austin Hill taking his first win of 2020 by three seconds ahead of Moffitt. Enfinger, Crafton and Kraus filled out the top five.
"This is awesome and we've been working so hard for this," said Hill in Victory Lane. "Last week was a bummer having engine troubles and I told the guys before coming here, let's go finish three spots better and I'll be dang if we didn't do it. Can't thank everybody enough at HRE, Scott (Zipadelli, crew chief) and the guys, they work their tails off week in and week out. First win with the United Rentals paint scheme and that's awesome, they've been a tremendous partner for me throughout my career. I've been wanting to get a win with these colors on and I'm so glad I was able to do it. That last pit stop, I tried to brake check a little bit and got out in fourth because I wanted to be in the high lane. I got tagged from behind, that was my fault and I apologize to Brett (Moffitt) when he hit me. I had it for Scott and the guys, they now have to replace the bumper to get ready for tomorrow. But I think the win was worth it."
Were you concerned a late-race caution could come out?
"Really, those last 20 laps felt like they went on forever. 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."
What was the difference once you got out front tonight?
"Just really awesome adjustments from Scott (Zipadelli, crew chief) and all the guys. We started off way too loose during the first run, got looser and looser as the run went on and we were just trying to keep up with it throughout the night. That last restart battle with Brett (Moffitt) was pretty awesome. I was tight enough to stay on the bottom and clear him and finally clear him enough to drive away from him and keep him in my mirror. I wouldn't say I'm the best at running the top. That's probably the first time I've actually run the top all the way around the top and that many laps consecutively. It just gave me a ton of confidence going into tomorrow being able to get up against the wall and having the confidence to run up there. I've always been a bottom feeder. It just boosts my confidence a little going into tomorrow being able to run the top."
What made you go to the top of the track?
"We were free all night, but we weren't free until the center of the corner and off so I was really able to chaarge entry and have a lot of center roll speed. I think that was the biggest difference maker is that I was able to drive in really deep, get it hard on the right-front and get it heated up enough to where it wouldn't get free until the center-off and by that point, I was just modulating the throttle center-off. This Toyota Tundra was just good tonight. There's nothing else can say, it was just really good."
What happened to the left-rear of the Tundra?
"That was all my fault, I apologize to Brett (Moffitt), I think he was the one behind me coming off pit road. I was told we were third coming out of the pits and I wanted to be in the outside lane so I started checking up and I checked up too fast and didn't realize Brett was that close to me and he got into the back of me. 100 percent my fault. I apologize for that. I hate that my guys have to go and replace the rear bumper now, but I think it was worth it getting this win."
Unofficial Results, Blue-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 200 NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series, Kansas Speedway - Kansas City, KS
Fin, St, Driver, Truck, Laps, St1, St2, Tms Led, Laps Led, Playoff Pts, Pts, Status
1) 6, Austin Hill, No. 16 United Rentals Toyota, 134, 2, 1, 4, 65, 6, 59, Running
2) 2, Brett Moffitt, No. 23 Destiny Homes Chevrolet, 134, 1, , 3, 21, 1, 45, Running
3) 8, Grant Enfinger, No. 98 Champion Curb Records Ford, 134, , , , , , 34, Running
4) 17, Matt Crafton, No. 88 Ideal Door/Menards Ford, 134, 5, , 2, 2, , 39, Running
5) 15, Derek Kraus #, No. 19 ENEOS Toyota, 134, 6, 5, , , , 43, Running
6) 7, Zane Smith #, No. 21 MRC Construction Chevrolet, 134, 8, 3, 1, 17, , 42, Running
7) 5, Ben Rhodes, No. 99 Tenda Heal Ford, 134, 9, 2, 2, 3, , 41, Running
8) 10, Sheldon Creed, No. 2 Chevy Accessories Chevrolet, 134, 10, 8, , , , 33, Running
9) 18, Johnny Sauter, No. 13 Vivitar Ford, 134, , , , , , 28, Running
10) 3, Todd Gilliland, No. 38 Speedco Ford, 134, 4, , 1, 15, , 34, Running
11) 19, Ty Majeski #, No. 45 Studio 45 Tavern Chevrolet, 134, , 4, , , , 33, Running
12) 25, Brennan Poole(i), No. 30 RememberEveryoneDeployed.org Toyota, 134, , , , , , 0, Running
13) 1, Christian Eckes #, No. 18 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota, 134, 7, 6, 3, 10, , 33, Running
14) 4, Brandon Jones(i), No. 51 Barracuda Pumps/Menards Toyota, 134, , 9, , , , 0, Running
15) 16, Chase Purdy, No. 24 BAMABUGGIES.com Chevrolet, 134, , , , , , 22, Running
16) 12, Raphael Lessard #, No. 4 Mobil 1 Toyota, 134, , , , , , 21, Running
17) 23, Austin Wayne Self, No. 22 GO TEXAN/AM Technical Solutions Chevrolet, 134, , , , , , 20, Running
18) 13, Tanner Gray #, No. 15 Ford/Ford Performance Ford, 134, , 10, , , , 20, Running
19) 24, Timmy Hill, No. 56 Hill Motorsports Chevrolet, 133, , , , , , 18, Running
20) 27, Cory Roper, No. 04 CarQuest Ford, 133, , , , , , 17, Running
21) 21, Natalie Decker, No. 44 Ruedebusch Development Chevrolet, 133, , , , , , 16, Running
22) 28, Tate Fogleman #, No. 02 Solid Rock Carriers Chevrolet, 133, , , , , , 15, Running
23) 30, Spencer Boyd, No. 20 Crowe Equipment Inc Chevrolet, 133, , , , , , 14, Running
24) 29, Codie Rohrbaugh, No. 9 Pray for Joshua Chevrolet, 133, , , , , , 13, Running
25) 26, Dawson Cram, No. 00 LEVRACK Toyota, 133, , , , , , 12, Running
26) 34, Robby Lyons II(i), No. 97 Sunwest Construction Chevrolet, 132, , , , , , 0, Running
27) 14, Stewart Friesen, No. 52 Halmar Racing To Beat Hunger Toyota, 132, , , , , , 10, Running
28) 33, Clay Greenfield, No. 68 Rackley Roofing Toyota, 132, , , , , , 9, Running
29) 20, Spencer Davis #, No. 11 Polar Bear Coolers Toyota, 131, , , , , , 8, DVP
30) 32, Jordan Anderson, No. 3 Bommarito.com/BG Services Chevrolet, 129, , , , , , 7, Running
31) 36, Jennifer Jo Cobb, No. 10 Fastener Supply Company Chevrolet, 128, , , , , , 6, Running
32) 35, Ray Ciccarelli, No. 49 Springrates Automotive Suspension Parts , 121, , , , , , 5, Running
33) 9, Tyler Ankrum, No. 26 Liuna! Chevrolet, 112, , , , , , 5, Running
34) 11, Ross Chastain(i), No. 40 Plan B Sales Chevrolet, 102, 3, 7, 1, 1, , 0, Brakes
35) 31, Korbin Forrister, No. 7 Nursing Home Caregivers Toyota, 80, , , , , , 5, Accident
36) 38, Norm Benning, No. 6 H & H Transport Chevrolet, 50, , , , , , 5, Handling
37) 37, Bryan Dauzat, No. 28 FDNY Racing/American Genomics Chevrolet, 26, , , , , , 5, DVP
38) 22, Kevin Donahue, No. 33 First Responder Racing Toyota, 17, , , , , , 5, Power
(i) Ineligible for driver points in this series, (#) Rookie, (DVP) Damaged Vehicle Policy
Race Length: 134 laps, 201 miles
Time of Race: 1 hr, 35 min, 27 sec
Average Speed: 126.349 mph
Margin of Victory: 2.928 Seconds
Stage 1 Top 10: 23, 16, 40, 38, 88, 19, 18, 21, 99, 2
Stage 2 Top 10: 16, 99, 21, 45, 19, 18, 40, 2, 51, 15
Race Comments: Austin Hill won the Blu-Emu Maximum Pain Relief 200 at Kansas Speedway, his fifth victory in the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series.
Prior to the start, the following vehicle(s) dropped to the rear of the field under penalty for the reasons indicated: No. 28 (unapproved adjustments), No. 49 (missing rookie meeting).
Caution Flags: 4 for 19 laps;
Laps: 20-23 (No. 97 Spin Turn 4 );
32-36 (Stage 1 Conclusion );
62-66 (Stage 2 Conclusion );
83-87 (No. 7 Incident Turn 4 ).
Lead Changes: 17 among 8 drivers;
B. Moffitt 1-8;
T. Gilliland 9-23;
B. Moffitt 24-32;
C. Eckes # 33-35;
B. Rhodes 36;
C. Eckes # 37-40;
A. Hill 41-63;
B. Rhodes 64-65;
C. Eckes # 66-68;
Z. Smith # 69-85;
R. Chastain(i) 86;
M. Crafton 87;
A. Hill 88;
M. Crafton 89;
A. Hill 90-91;
B. Moffitt 92-95;
A. Hill 96-134.
Cometic Gasket Stage 1 Winner: Brett Moffitt , No. 23
Cometic Gasket Stage 2 Winner: Austin Hill, No. 16
Mobil 1 Driver of the Race: Austin Hill, No. 16
Sunoco Rookie of the Race: Derek Kraus, No. 19
Long-time RIS staffer, beginning in the mid-80s. Charlotte, NC area local contact.