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NASCAR Truck: Austin Hill joins Hattori Racing

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 16: Austin Hill driver of the #22 A&D Welding Ford during practice for the New Smyrna 150 Presented by JEGS on February 16, 2014 in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. (Photo by Robert Laberge/NASCAR via Getty Images)

By AMANDA VINCENT

Austin Hill will drive the No. 16 Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series in 2019, the race team announced Tuesday. Hill replaces reigning Truck Series champion Brett Moffitt in the No. 16 after Moffitt was released from the team during the offseason because of a lack of sponsorship.

“I’m thrilled to join HRE this season,” Hill said. “Shige (Hattori, team owner) has built a great team, and what they accomplished last season has me extremely optimistic heading to Daytona. I’ve had the pleasure to work with great teams in the past, including my family’s team in the K&N Series, but this is an opportunity of a lifetime at HRE. Scott and the team proved what they’re capable of last season, and I can’t wait to get to work and see what we can accomplish this season.”

In addition to Moffitt winning the 2018 Truck Series driver championship during his single season with Hattori Racing, the team also won the 2018 Truck Series owner championship after a season of sponsorship issues that sometimes left personnel unsure whether or not they’d be racing from one week to the next.

United Rentals will be the primary sponsor of the No. 16 for some races in 2019.

“We’re proud of what all of our team members did last season, and I’m looking forward to having Austin drive our trucks and work with United Rentals and all of our partners,” Hattori Racing owner Shige Hattori said. “Austin had a great career in the K&N Pro Series and did well in his first full-time truck series season last year. I’m looking forward to what we can do together this season.”

Scott Zipadelli will be crew chief.

“I’m really looking forward to racing with Austin and continuing our team’s success,” Zipadelli said. “Austin is a great kid and has a lot of potential. He has a great track record in the K&N Series and put together a strong year last season with Young’s Motorsports. I think he’ll transition well into our program and fit right in with our group.”

Hill has 51-career starts, to date, in the Truck Series between 2014 and 2018, resulting in a top-five and eight top-10 finishes. The 2018 season was his only full-time season, so far, in the series. Six of his top-10s, including his career-best fifth at Texas Motor Speedway, came last year for Young’s Motorsports.

Hill also is a five-time winner in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East in 39 races between 2012 and 2018. He competed full-time in that series in 2014 and 2015, finishing in the top-five of the series standings both years.

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Posted by on January 8, 2019. Filed under Breaking News,Featured,NASCAR,NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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