Winston native Austin Hill begins his second playoff quest for the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series championship tonight in Tennessee.
The Alexander High graduate enters the playoffs as the favorite after clinching the regular-season championship during the 16-race schedule that ended two weeks ago.
Hill reached the semifinals last season, and looks to carry the momentum of a strong season into the playoff competition.
He had one victory and five consecutive top-10 finishes on the season.
“I’m ready to get it going,” Hill said. “We’ve put together a strong regular season and this is a great opportunity for our entire United Rentals team. We’ve been able to string solid finishes together the entire season so far and I think you’re going to have to be a consistent to advance through each round.”
Hill will look for experienced crew chief Scott Zipadelli, who has a championship pedigree.
Tonight ’s playoff opener at “Thunder Valley” is Hill’s fifth career start at Bristol Motor Speedway. His best finish was last season at No. 10 in the opening playoff race.
He will start fifth at the 7:30 p.m. race that will be televised on FOX Sports 1.
Two weeks ago, he led 65 laps at Richmond.
“The longer we put ourselves in position, the wins are going to come,” Hill said. “We definitely would like to have more than one win this year, and feel like we deserved it, but this team is really good at focusing on ourselves and on what weened to do to run well.”
Hill’s lone win came at Kansas Speedway in July.
“Our team has done a great job of being aggressive in every area this year,” Hill said. “We just have to stick to the things that have gotten us to this point.”