Austin Hill will run another season in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series for Hattori Racing Enterprises in 2020. Tuesday, the team made the announcement in the form of a press release.
Hill, of course, was on the receiving end of quite a bit of hate this offseason.
The hatred toward Hill stemmed from when HRE announced that they would be moving on from the defending NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series champion Brett Moffitt for the then 24-year old driver.
I’ll be honest, I too was scratching my head.
Obviously, Hill was bringing a little bit of sponsorship backing from United Rentals, and he had shown promise in the K&N East Pro Series, but it just seemed like a very questionable decision to release the defending Series champion for a driver who had never won a race in NASCAR National Series competition.
10 months later, Hill has won three races and he sits in the top-four of the championship standings heading into the final cut race before the Championship 4 event at Homestead-Miami Speedway.
What’s more, Hill has held his own in tense moments this season.
A wild crash-marred season opener at Daytona was no match for Hill’s determination, as he was the man left standing in victory lane.
A feud with Johnny Sauter also didn’t faze him.
Participating in the pressure-packed Playoffs for the first time didn’t either.
Through every obstacle that has come his way, Hill has stayed fast, consistent and he is on the verge of a truly special season.
Now, the management at HRE look like geniuses. More importantly, Hill thrived under the pressure of having a championship-caliber Truck under him.
Regardless of how Phoenix turns out this weekend for Hill, he has surpassed all expectations and he has made believers out of his biggest critics.
If he does have a good day at Phoenix, Hill will get a chance to defeat Moffit and two others head-to-head for the championship.
Hill has flat-out earned another season in the No. 16 truck.
Toby is the Founder, Editor and go-to man for TobyChristie.com. He is also the co-host of The Final Lap Weekly Podcast. Additionally, Toby is a NMPA (National Motorsports Press Association) award winning writer, and has followed NASCAR as a fan since 1993.