Despite a less than impressive finish in the first NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series playoffs race, Winston native Austin Hill still remains in the title hunt.
Hill, an Alexander High graduate, finished with a 25th-place finish last week at Bristol Motor Speedway after starting in the fifth position.
He still remains two points above the cutoff to advance.
“I think we could have run in the top-10 with our United Rentals Toyota Tundra, but we had a brake issue all race long,” Hill said in a statement released from his Hattori Racing Enterprises team.
Six laps into the race, Hill encountered some adversity.
He had contact with another truck that sent his No. 16 Toyota Tundra into the outside wall in Turn 1 that caused significant damage. During a caution on Lap Nine, Hill pitted to assess the damage.
On the lap 120 restart, he continued to experience brake issues.
The regular season champion would again get caught in another incident.That happened on Lap 156 when he inadvertently got caught in an incident that did additional left-front damage to his truck.
Despite the setbacks, he was able to finish in the 26th position but would be credited with 25th following a post-race inspection.
“We’re not sure if it was from the damage early in the race or if we had another issue,” Hill said. “We’ll go back and evaluate what happened and be ready to get a win at Las Vegas.”
Hill has some good history at Las Vegas, where he has one of his five truck series wins.
“We have good history at Vegas so I’m ready to get there and see if we can get to victory lane,” said Hill, who finished fifth overall in last season’s playoffs.