|Austin Hill Racing Facebook Page|
“A lot of drivers are able to get up in the morning, go work out, they might slip in at the shop, then leave and go do whatever they need to do,” said Hill. “For me, I’m in the shop Monday through Friday from eight in the morning until five, sometimes as late as 10 p.m. at night. It all depends on how busy we are and what needs to get done for the upcoming race.”
This level of dedication to his team teaches Hill to have a new respect for what it means to be a driver in one of NASCAR’s top series and for the individuals working in the shop week in and week out to prepare for each race.
“I’m finding that I need to stay focused on finding the perfect balance of taking care of myself as a driver and taking care of the business as well,” he continued. “We have three guys working in the shop, four including me, so I’m in the shop all the time and I have to make the time to work out and really dedicate myself to stay fit as a driver because so much of my time is dedicated to working on the truck and managing the business.”
Austin Hill Racing is a family effort, with Hill partnering with and receiving guidance from his father, Bryan, both at track and at home.
“When we get to the race track my mindset is absolutely 100 percent in driver mode. I’m focused on how to make the truck fast, get in, strap in and race,” Hill stated. “My dad is at the track with us and helps by taking some of the management decisions that way I can stay focused on driving. When we’re at the shop he’s in Georgia so I can only call him and get his advice, but having him at the track really helps me stay focused on driving and step away from the business side.”
Although he stays focused on driving, the business side of the sport does occasionally stay with him during the race.
“When you’re racing, owning your own stuff will make you think twice about certain moves you want to make,” said Hill. “Somebody who has a full-time ride might decide midway through the race to make a dive bomb pass off into the corner and get tangled up in the wreck. They have a whole group of guys to take care of the truck and get the team ready for their next race. That’s one thing you can tell with me compared to some of the other guys is I’m a little more patient when it comes to passing somebody because if we get caught up in something I’ve got to pay the price and help fix the truck.”
Hill feels he has mastered when to wait and when to really fight for position on track.
“I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job during my career to balance when to be patient and when to be aggressive. I’ve been pretty good about keeping all the fenders on my equipment, keeping it clean and finishing the races. That being said if I’m running third and there’s a chance at the win, I’m going to take it. However, if I’m running 10th instead of going for ninth and wrecking, I’ll take that 10th place finish and go home with a good race truck.”
Hill certainly has come a long way in his career, racing from the age of six, progressing through the ranks to be making his first NASCAR start at Kentucky Speedway, a venue he has previously competed at in US Legend Cars.
“I’m really excited for Kentucky. This is a completely new experience for me going back with the Truck Series. With the new pavement now it’s going to be totally different for everybody and I can’t wait.”
Hill is competing in a partial NCWTS schedule this season and has earned two Top-15 finishes in three starts this season. He will run the No. 02 Ford F-150 in Kentucky.
The Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 will take place on Thursday, July 7 at 8:30p.m. ET at Kentucky Speedway. Fans can follow Hill on social media for updates at Austin Hill Racing (Facebook), @_AustinHill (Twitter) and @_Austin_Hill_ (Instagram).(Austin Hill Racing)