Austin Hill wins Truck Series race at Michigan in overtime
Austin Hill won Saturday’s Truck Series race at Michigan International Speedway in overtime, fending off Sheldon Creed on the final lap to score the victory in the regular-season finale.
It is Hill’s second win of the season after he won the season-opener at Daytona.
The top five was completed by Tyler Dippel, Austin Wayne Self and Brett Moffitt.
Hill bounced back from a speeding penalty early in the final stage to lead 26 of 105 laps.
“It’s huge, we’ve had a struggle these last four or five races,” Hill told FS1. “We just keep having issues and can’t finish races. Man, these guys just work their tails off day and night just trying to put these trucks together. This is actually a brand new truck, first time (it saw) the race track was yesterday. When we unloaded we had to workout some bugs on it. We got it driving really good.”
The overtime finish was setup by a large wreck on a restart with four laps to go in the scheduled distance. Tyler Ankrum, who was the leader, received a push from Matt Crafton, which turned his truck into the outside wall and started a chain reaction.
Among those in the wreck were Johnny Sauter, Todd Gilliland, Anthony Alfredo, Natalie Decker and Spencer Boyd.
“I think (Ankrum) just spun his tires, to be honest,” Crafton said after the race. “That’s from what I saw from my seat. I asked a couple of people and they said it looked like he was still spinning the tires when I hit him. Definitely, never going to try wreck somebody. We worked so good together on the restart before that. I shoved him to the lead and it was just wrong timing.”
Pole-sitter Ross Chastain led every lap of Stage 1. But during the ensuing pit stops, Johnny Sauter turned Codie Rohrbaugh into Chastain’s right side as Chastain exited his box. The damage from the collision sent Chastain to the garage and ended his day.
By just starting the race, Grant Enfinger clinched the regular season championship and was awarded 15 playoff points.
With Hill’s win, Crafton clinched the last playoff spot based on points since there wasn’t a new winner.
The eight driver playoff field is Brett Moffitt, Enfinger, Stewart Friesen, Chastain, Hill, Crafton, Sauter and Ankrum.
Not involved in the playoffs is Kyle Busch Motorsports. Both Gilliland and Harrison Burton needed to win Saturday to get into the playoff field. At least one KBM driver has been a member of the championship four the last three years.
STAGE 1 WINNER: Ross Chastain
STAGE 2 WINNER: Brett Moffitt
WHAT’S NEXT: Playoff opener: UNOH 200 at Bristol Motor Speedway at 8:30 p.m. ET Aug. 15 on FS1.