Toyota Racing – Austin Hill
NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Quotes
LINCOLN, Ala. (October 11, 2019) – Hattori Racing Enterprises driver Austin Hill was made available to media at Talladega Superspeedway:
AUSTIN HILL, No.16 United Rentals Toyota Tundra, Hattori Racing Enterprises
How’s practice – you were pretty good?
“Yeah, our plan to draft with the KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) guys didn’t pan out the way we were anticipating. We unloaded with a mock run. We thought it was decent. We saw some guys run two or three laps in their mock run and we only ran one, so we think we are close. We are not really sure – it drove well. That’s pretty much all you can ask for at this type race track.”
New truck or same truck you had in Daytona?
“Same truck we had in Daytona. It feels like it was just as good as it was in Daytona. It drafts up – sucks up really good. I can push the guy in front of me whenever I want to. It just drives really good. I saw a lot of guys behind me, their trucks just seemed to move around a lot with the air. Our truck seems like its sealed to the track really good.”
Talk about going from the biggest track to the smallest – Martinsville – in a few weeks.
“It’s definitely a transition for sure. A place like Martinsville – is kind of like Talladega – really anything can happen. Back in the spring, we were running up front – we weren’t having a great day, but we were going to run about eighth – and we had a green-white-checkered and finished 16th because we got booted out the way. So, anything can happen at Martinsville, like anything can happen in Talladega. I feel like this race and Martinsville is going to be two of those races that you just have to have solid days, collect stage points and finish up front.”
How do you treat this race with your position in the point standings?
“I feel like you can’t really change anything you have done all season. As soon as you start changing stuff, it’s going to bite you. Just like we did in Daytona. We qualified really good and we stayed up front all race long. I think that’s kind of what we should do going into tomorrow. We need to be aggressive and we need to be upfront, because we need to get stage points. Stage points are huge. If we can go out there and win the first two stages – and get 20 stage points – that’s huge going into the next round. I’m here to win Talladega. I’m looking at Homestead, but my number one goal is to win Talladega. And if I’ve got to get aggressive to make it happen, I’m going to.”
Do you rely on your crew chief Zippy’s (Scott Zipadelli) Playoff experience?
“I kind lean on him. They have experience being in the Playoffs and winning the championship last year, so it’s definitely something we’ve talked about. It’s kind of like the round of 8. We did what we had to do to make it to the next round and we were really good at Las Vegas and we were able to get a win. But our number one goal has been to get stage points. That’s really the only thing that has changed from throughout the season. Of the races we ran, we weren’t too concerned about stage points and now that we are in the Playoffs, that’s one of the biggest things that we are concerned with – getting as many stage points as we can.”
Is this team capable of winning another championship?
“Definitely, easily. I feel like Talladega is obviously an unknown and you’ve got to get through this round. Our number one goal is to get stage points in stage one and stage two and hopefully we can be there at the end of the race for a solid top-10 if not a win. If we are in the lead, it’s going to get aggressive to try to win the race obviously. But I feel really confident going into Martinsville and Phoenix. Probably a little more confident in Phoenix than Martinsville. I feel very confident that this team is capable of being in the Final 4 and being able to compete for a championship at Homestead for sure. Especially how we have been running the last couple months. We’ve been running, firing on all cylinders, we’ve been really good.”
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