It hasn’t been a good few weeks for Austin Hill and the Hattori Racing team in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Trucks Series. He finished 31st, 30th and 32nd in the last three races of the season after winning the season opener in the Trucks Series at Daytona. Not today, as Hattori Racing has two wins in a row at Michigan International Speedway with Brett Moffitt in 2018 and Austin Hill this season. It is Hill’s second win of the season.
This race was also the last race of the Trucks Series Regular Season, as the playoffs start next week at Bristol. With Hill already being a winner this season, it allowed Matt Crafton to be locked into the playoffs. Drivers like Ben Rhodes, Harrison Burton, Todd Gilliand, and Sheldon Creed were some of the drivers that have been eliminated from playoff contention. Also, for the first time in the history of the Truck Series Playoffs, Kyle Busch Motorsports will not be represented.
The race was caution free for the first 20 laps as Ross Chastain of Niece Motorsports led every lap and picked up the Stage 1 win. As Chastian was leaving his pit, he had contact with another truck, which ultimately ended his day. Ben Rhodes then took the lead to begin Stage 2.
Brett Moffitt won last years race took Stage 2 with Austin Hill right behind him in second place. Only one caution in Stage 2, that was a spin by Christian Eckes in the 51 truck.
With four laps to go, a big crash on the front stretch broke out involving the leader at the time, Tyler Ankrum. He spun the tires and collected all 3 DGR Crosley trucks which included Ankrum, Anthony Alfredo, and Natalie Decker. It also collected Todd Gilliand, who needed a win to get in the playoffs.
In the final restart, it was between Austin Hill, Sheldon Creed, and Tyler Dippel. Creed and Dippel needed a win to get into the playoffs and battled in the last few laps. However, it was Hill that came out on top as Hattori Racing wins at Michigan for the second time in a row.
Grant Enfinger clinched the Regular Season Points Championship in the Truck Series today at MIS. Enfinger will join Austin Hill, Johnny Sauter, Brett Moffitt, Tyler Ankrum, Matt Crafton, Stewart Friesen, and Ross Chastain, as the eight drivers that will be in the playoffs competing for the championship starting next week at Bristol.