LINCOLN, Ala. – He said last week he would come to Talladega Superspeedway by “not riding around in the back.”
And after his qualifying effort, Austin Hill battled for his first career pole in the NASCAR Xfinity Series to kick off the weekend for the Sparks 300.
“I’ve said it all week long, that we’re just going to be very aggressive,” noted Hill. “This goes to show all the hard work that everybody at Richard Childress Racing puts into our Chevrolet Camaros. We thought we were going to have a shot at it today. The first run, I was all over the race track for some reason. I wasn’t very smooth – got down into (turn) three on my first lap and I was washing all around, but we were still able to put in a solid enough round to advance.”
It was nearly a Richard Childress Racing front row with teammate Sheldon Creed starting in third. While it would have been nice on paper to have a team showing like such, it gives Hill a bit more comfort in controlling the initial start and restarts knowing that he should have a teammate assist in the pushing efforts. Hill also realized it will help the fight to stay up front to gather as many valuable stage points as possible.
“That last lap that we turned, I thought, was money,” Hill added. “That was all I had. I was as smooth as I could be, right on the yellow line, and it shows all the hard work we’ve put in to get to this point. Now we just have to be aggressive, stay up front, (try to) lead laps and see what happens. I’m happy about this. I’ve wanted to sit on the pole this year and it’s a great feeling to finally do that.”
Hill nearly hunted down Noah Gragson last weekend at Texas Motor Speedway, but fell short by merely 1.2 seconds in a win that would have locked him into the next round of the Playoffs. His second place finish last weekend left him feeling like any race car driver would the following race.
One spot better.