Story By: JOSH WEINRICH / HATTORI RACING ENTERPRISES – MOORESVILLE, NC – Hattori Racing Enterprises (HRE) team owner Shige Hattori announced today that the organization is pleased to welcome Austin Hill to drive the No. 16 Toyota Tundra in 2019.
Hill, a native of Winston, Georgia, joins HRE’s team, led by crew chief Scott Zipadelli, to compete for the organization’s second consecutive NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series (NGOTS) championship.
As a graduate of the 2014 and 2015 NASCAR Next classes, Hill has accumulated 51 NGOTS starts over five seasons, and completed his first full-time year of competition in 2018. The 24-year old brings a wealth of success in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East (NKNPSE), where he captured five victories in 39 career starts with his family-owned team. In 2018, Hill notched a career-best fifth place result at Texas Motor Speedway and earned six top-10 finishes.
Hill will pilot the No. 16 Chiba Toyopet Toyota Tundra for the season opener at Daytona International Speedway and will be joined in his championship quest with sponsorship from United Rentals for multiple races.
“I’m thrilled to join HRE this season,” Hill said. “Shige has built a great team and what they accomplished last season has me extremely optimistic heading to Daytona. I’ve had the pleasure to work with great teams in the past, including my family’s team in the K&N Series, but this is an opportunity of a lifetime at HRE. Scott and the team proved what they’re capable of last season, and I can’t wait to get to work and see what we can accomplish this season.”
Coming off the first championship in the organization’s history, Hattori is pleased to return in 2019 with the addition of Hill and United Rentals.
“We’re proud of what all of our team members did last season, and I’m looking forward to having Austin drive our trucks and work with United Rentals and all of our partners,” Hattori said. “Austin had a great career in the K&N Pro Series and did well in his first full-time truck series season last year. I’m looking forward to what we can do together this season.”
Zipadelli shares Hattori’s eagerness to start the season and continue the team’s success with Hill behind the wheel.
“I’m really looking forward to racing with Austin and continuing our team’s success,” Zipadelli said. “Austin is a great kid and has a lot of potential. He has a great track record in the K&N Series and put together a strong year last season with Young’s Motorsports. I think he’ll transition well into our program and fit right in with our group.”
Additional sponsorship information will be announced at a later date.