Austin Hill Comes Up One Spot Shy of First Career ARCA Menards Series Victory

By Christian Koelle, Staff Writer

Austin Hill came to the track to get some road course experience but managed to come close to tallying the victory Friday at Mid-Ohio. Hill battled his way from the seventh position to put himself in position to battle for Ty Gibbs for the win. Having to save his tires in the end, Hill just didn’t have enough and needed a restart to have any chance to get to Gibbs. 

“It’s just one of those things where you want to push as hard as you can but at the same time, you don’t wanna slick your right front tire or right rear tire. Trying to run down the 18, clicking off a little quicker lap times, I think he was saving his stuff a little bit and I just started overheating my front tires and used a lot of brakes while playing with the brake bias for a bit. I’m not sure what I could have done differently other than maybe have a restart and see if we could have another go at it but all-in-all we did a really good job.”

For not being in an ARCA Menards Series car since 2018, Hill looked to never skip a beat and ultimately earned his career-best finish in the Series, previous best was 10th in his last start at Chicago. As Hill noted earlier in the week, Friday’s start was purely to gain road course experience for the regular-season finale for the Trucks at Watkins Glen in August. Hill announced post-race that Hattori Racing Enterprises will enter the Watkins Glen ARCA Menards Series event to gain more track time and take the notes from Mid-Ohio and maybe improve on their runner-up finish. 

“HRE and all of the guys, Scott and all the guys building this ARCA Toyota Camry,” said Hill. “This is our first race of the year in the ARCA Series so it was good, this was basically a brand new car and it was nice to go out there and get some experience but we’re excited to go back to Watkins Glen next and see if we can get a win.” 

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