Austin Hill returns to the Camping World Truck Series this weekend in the No. 82 Empire Racing Group’s Ford F150 at Talladega Superspeedway.
The NASCAR Next driver, who finished third in the K&N Pro Series East tour with wins at New Smyrna Speedway and Richmond International Raceway, competed in the John Corr-owned truck at Daytona International Speedway and Dover International Speedway earlier this season. The 22-year-old Winston, Ga. native’s best result was 16th.
“We had a really fast truck at Daytona with Empire Racing Group at the start of the season,” Hill said. “We were the fastest on the board in the first practice there. The truck drafted really well too. That was my first time drafting like that, and I was still trying to figure it out, so in the race I got behind (Johnny) Sauter and was able to really understand how to side draft.
“Since then, I’ve talked a lot of people about Talladega, and it looks like for as good as we ran at Daytona we should be good on speed this weekend. Also, Talladega is a wider track so there’s more room if you do happen to make a mistake.”
ERG has expanded Hill’s truck schedule to also include races at Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix International Raceway. Mike Cheek will be Hill’s crew chief this weekend.
Hill raced for in two truck events for Ricky Benton last season at Martinsville and Homestead, where he finished 20th. Hill has five wins, one pole, 13 top fives and 23 top-10 finishes in 37 NKNPS starts. In preparation for the Daytona truck race, Hill competed in the ARCA season-opener and finished 13th.
With the long off-season for K&N, Hill is excited to return to racing.
“Every driver wants to get out there and win every race that they can,” Hill said. “If circumstances work out for us, and it’s late in the race and we have 15 laps to go and we are in the Top-5 or Top-10, I think we’ll have a great chance at the win. We just have to wait and see how it all stacks up.”