Richard Childress Racing will have a pair of rookies driving their NASCAR Xfinity Series cars in 2022. On Friday, the team announced Camping World Truck Series regular Austin Hill has joined the organisation’s Xfinity programme for the 2022 season. A number and sponsorship were not immediately announced.
Hill, currently in his fourth full-time Truck season, has been one of the top drivers in the third-tier national series. Since joining Hattori Racing Enterprises in 2019, he has won eight races and made the playoffs every season. Despite being eliminated from the 2021 playoffs after the first round, he has wins at Knoxville (the inaugural race there) and Watkins Glen (the first and only race there since 2000), and mathematically would be third in points under a season-long points system. He announced his departure from HRE with hopes of moving up to Xfinity prior to the Talladega race in early October.
“Austin Hill has established himself as a very competitive racer within the NASCAR Truck Series and we know that he is ready for a full-time opportunity in the NASCAR Xfinity Series,” said team owner Richard Childress. “Austin is a talented young driver and I feel confident that he will help contribute to wins at RCR.”
In addition to his trucking duties, Hill has raced part-time in the Xfinity Series since 2019 with HRE (who has a partnership with MBM Motorsports). Despite failing to make his attempted series début at Daytona due to a mechanical issue plaguing his qualifying run, he scored a top ten in his actual maiden race when he placed ninth at Indianapolis. In fifteen career Xfinity starts, he has four top tens with a best finish of fifth at Kansas in 2020.
“To say it’s an honour to drive for Richard Childress Racing is an understatement,” Hill commented. “I’ve been working hard for an opportunity like this since I was a young kid. I really admire RCR’s NASCAR Xfinity Series programme, and I am looking forward to having the chance to add my name to the impressive list of drivers who have won under the RCR banner.”
2022 will be RCR’s first season with multiple Xfinity cars since 2018 when they had a trio of vehicles in the #2, #3, and #21. The #2 would remain upon contracting to one car a year later before being renumbered to #21 in 2020. Myatt Snider currently drives the again-restored #2; despite winning a race, Snider will not return to the car in 2022 as Sheldon Creed takes over. Snider has not announced his plans, though RCR has reiterated their intent to keep him in the Chevrolet camp while Snider has responded to fan inquiries about his future with GIFs urging them to remain patient.
Creed, a Truck driver like Hill, is vying for his second straight championship and had signed with RCR in September. He tweeted at Hill after the announcement, “Rivals>teammates, looking forward to it!”