NASCAR Xfinity Series

Austin Hill, Hattori making Xfinity return at Nashville, 5 more races

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Credit: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver Austin Hill and Hattori Racing Enterprises are set to make their returns to the Xfinity Series beginning with Saturday’s race at Nashville Superspeedway. On Tuesday, HRE announced Hill will run six Xfinity races in the #61 Toyota Supra. After Nashville, he will also enter the Xfinity events at Pocono Raceway (27 June), Indianapolis Motor Speedway Road Course (14 August), Michigan International Speedway (21 August), Charlotte Motor Speedway Roval (9 October), and Texas Motor Speedway (16 October).

Hill is currently third in the Truck standings with eight top tens, four top fives, and a best finish of second (Atlanta in March) after eleven races. He began racing for HRE in 2019 and has six career Truck victories.

“I’ve really enjoyed the chance to run our Supras in the Xfinity Series the last couple years,” said Hill. “It’s awesome to have these opportunities thanks to everyone at AISIN, Toyota Tsusho, and Toyota. We have a lot of great partners that help support us and everyone at HRE has been working hard on developing our programme in the Xfinity Series. We had a couple really strong runs last season, and I can’t wait to build on that at Nashville this weekend.”

His first year with HRE also saw him make his Xfinity d├ębut for the team, who had revived the Xfinity programme after a three-year dormancy. After failing to qualify at Daytona due to a driveline issue, he finished ninth in his maiden start on the Indianapolis oval later that year. In 2020, he ran nine races in the #61 and scored two top tens including a fifth at Kansas.

Whenever Hill is not its driver, the #61 is fielded by MBM Motorsports as a multi-person vehicle (though HRE is listed as the owner). Chad Finchum, Matt Jaskol, Stephen Leicht, Robby Lyons, and David Starr have made starts in the #61 in 2021, with Starr holding the best run of sixteenth at Talladega. The #61 is thirty-sixth in owner points after twelve rounds.

“We are so excited to be able to compete in the Xfinity Series again this year,” added Hattori. “AISIN and Toyota Tsusho have been great partners of our team for a long time and to be able to continue our relationship in the Xfinity Series is a big help to our organisation.”

Hill has no experience at Nashville as it returns to the NASCAR schedule for the first time in a decade (the Trucks will race there on Friday), nor has he raced at the Indianapolis RC. He finished second at Pocono in the 2020 Truck race, while he won at Michigan in 2019. His best Truck finish at Texas is second in the 2020 fall event, and he finished fourth there in Saturday’s race. Hill’s lone Xfinity starts at the Charlotte Roval and Texas last year both ended in retirements and thirty-third-place finishes.

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