The NASCAR Camping World Truck Series season continued with a 94-lap race at Talladega Superspeedway on Saturday, October 2. The playoffs were the biggest storyline, but Austin Hill changed the direction with a major announcement. He revealed that he won’t return to Hattori Racing Enterprises in 2022.
FOX Sports reporter Jamie Little broke the news prior to the green flag waving. She revealed that Hill expressed a desire to move up to the Xfinity Series in 2022. He doesn’t have a guaranteed seat yet, but his goal is to announce his plans in the coming weeks. For now, Hill will focus on finishing out the year with races at Martinsville Speedway and Phoenix Raceway after a Stage 3 crash derailed his race at Talladega Superspeedway.
Little added that Hattori Racing Enterprises continues to search for the next driver that will control the No. 16 Toyota Tundra in 2022 and beyond. Meanwhile, Hill will make more starts in the Xfinity Series for Hattori Racing Enterprises while driving the No. 61 Toyota Supra and trying to gain experience for his future move.
Hill actually provided more information about his future after a crash at Talladega Superspeedway ended his day early. He explained that he is still searching around but that he feels good about where he sits with two races remaining in the Truck Series season.
Hill Leaves Hattori Racing Enterprises With 8 Wins
The driver of the No. 16 Toyota began his full-time Truck Series career with Young’s Motorsports. He started all 23 races in the 2018 season and registered six top-10 finishes and one top-five. He ended the 11th overall but did not have the opportunity to compete for the championship.
Hill made a major career move in the 2019 season, joining Hattori Racing Enterprises and turning in a career year. He won four races and posted seven total top-five finishes while making a name as a championship contender. However, Hill ended the year fifth overall after missing out on the championship four.
The Georgia native continued to stack wins during his final two seasons with Hattori Racing Enterprises. He won two in 2020 and reached the playoffs for the second consecutive season before ending his year in the Round of Eight. In 2021, Hill turned heads at the very end of the regular season, winning at Knoxville and Watkins Glen to secure his spot in the playoffs. Though he did not make it to the Round of Eight after issues at World Wide Technology Raceway and Bristol Motor Speedway.
Hattori Will Seek To Add Another Championship Contender
Hattori Racing Enterprises has only competed full-time in the Truck Series since the 2017 season, but the team has achieved considerable success in a short amount of time with 14 wins and 47 total top-five finishes.
Ryan Truex kicked off the run, first as a part-time driver in 2016 and then as a full-time driver in 2017. He did not win any races while driving the No. 16, but he posted eight top-fives and 13 top-10s before finishing ninth in the standings.
Brett Moffitt was the next man to race for Hattori, and he took the organization to new heights. He posted a team-best six wins, including the final two of the season, while building up an insurmountable lead in the points. Moffitt locked up the Truck Series championship after holding off Noah Gragson.
Hill was not able to reach these same heights during his time with the race team, but another driver will have an opportunity in 2022. Hattori will strive to find a driver that can match the wins of Hill and Moffitt while contending for a championship once again.