Hill clinches first NASCAR win in ’21

Winston native Austin Hill celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Corn Belt 150 presented by Premier Chevy Dealers at Knoxville Raceway on Friday for his first win of the season with two races remaining before the playoffs.

A week after securing a spot in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series playoffs, Winston native Austin Hill picked up his first win of the season.

The Alexander High graduate did it in dramatic fashion at Knoxville Raceway for his first-career win at the storied half-mile track at the Marion County Fairgrounds.

It was Hill’s seventh Camping World Trucks victory and first win on a track smaller than 1.5-miles.

Hill went from 21st to take the lead on an overtime restart to score the win.

“I didn’t think it (a win) was coming at Knoxville,” Hill said. “I didn’t think it was coming at any dirt racetrack. I don’t have a dirt background.”

He started the race 13th on the starting grid after finishing fourth in his qualifying race earlier in the day.

Hill would climb inside the top-10 in the first 10 laps by using multiple lines.

He earned a point at the end of Stage 1 on lap 40.

After four new tires, fuel and a change in air pressure during the stage break, he immediately began to make a charge.

He started at 11th on lap 42, and moved into the top-5 by lap 60.

After some trouble, Hill slid back to 13th at the end of Stage 2 on lap 90.

Several multi-truck accidents set up three overtime restarts. On the second restart, he took the lead when a caution occurred.

On the final overtime restart on lap 178, Hill pulled away from the field for the win.

“The thing that helped me the most at this racetrack is, you got to keep the rear tires in it,” he said. “I’ve always been a guy that’s really good saving tires. That’s always my M.O. Anytime we go to a track that’s really slick, your Atlantas, your Homesteads, those type of racetracks where you got to save tires, I feel like I’m pretty good there. This track kind of was the same way. After that second run, our right rear tire was basically just slick.”

The next race is Aug. 7 at Watkins Glen International.

Hill has 510 points and sits in third place in the Truck standings.