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Austin Hill beats Chastain for Las Vegas Truck win

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Austin Hill beats Chastain for Las Vegas Truck win
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Sep 14, 2019, 3:24 AM

Austin Hill’s late-season roll continued with his first win in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series playoffs.

Hill passed Ross Chastain with 11 of 134 laps remaining and held on for the win in Friday night’s Westgate 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, his second win in the last four races.

The win is the third this season for Hill and third of his career. His first came in the season opener at Daytona.

“This win means the world to me,” Hill said. “We were going to stay out that last caution but everybody else pit so we thought we needed to pit or we’d be screwed. The race stayed green and we drove up through the field.

“This truck was unbelievable. My team gave me a heck of a piece tonight. We’re two-for-two now with this truck. It’s just amazing.”

Asked if he “made a statement” with his victory, Hill said: “Oh, for sure we made a statement. When I saw (Chastain) in my sights, we were running close to his lap times and I started to change my line a little bit. 

“We picked up two or three tenths changing my line. We drove by (Chastain) like he was sitting still and just kept pulling. I was crossing my fingers every lap after we took the lead.”

With the win, Hill locked himself into the next round of the playoffs, where he will be joined by Chastain, Brett Moffitt, Tyler Ankrum, Stewart Friesen and Matt Crafton. 

Grant Enfinger and Johnny Sauter – who both retired early from the race with engine issues – were eliminated from further championship contention.

Christian Eckes finished third in the race, Sheldon Creed fourth and Todd Gilliland completed the top-five.

With 35 laps remaining, Chastain maintained a small but steady lead over Moffitt as Creed moved up to third. Eckes was fourth and Ben Rhodes ran fifth.

Chastain was able to expand his lead to more than 1.4 seconds over Hill with 25 laps to go as Eckes moved up to third. 

With 12 to go, Hill had caught Chastain and the two raced side-by-side until Hill finally cleared him for the top spot with 11 laps left.

Stage 2 

Chastain held off Hill to claim the Stage 2 win as he’s won five of the last eight stages in the Truck series.

Moffitt finished third, Rhodes fourth and Brennan Poole rounded out the top-five.

Following the break between Stages 1 and 2, all of the lead-lap trucks elected to pit with Hill the first off pit road and led the way on the restart on Lap 37. He was followed by Harrison Burton and Chastain.

On Lap 39, first Sauter and then ThorSport Racing teammate Crafton both appeared to develop engines issues. Crafton said he thought first Sauter and then himself ran over something on the track.

The race returned to green on Lap 46 with Hill out front followed by Chastain and Moffitt.

Following a side-by-side battle between Chastain and Hill, Moffitt gave Chastain a push past Hill and into the lead on Lap 51 as Moffitt moved into second and Hill dropped to third.

With five laps remaining in the stage, Chastain held a small lead over Moffitt with Hill in third. One lap later, Hill got around Moffitt to retake the second spot.

Stage 1 

Chastain held off Crafton to take the Stage 1 win, his sixth stage victory of the 2019 season.

Hill was third, Sauter fourth and Todd Gilliland ended up fifth.

Eckes started from the pole but Chastain got around him to take the lead on Lap 4.

On Lap 5, Enfinger’s engine appeared to let go on the frontstretch to bring out the race’s first caution. The team later said he had rear main seal failure on his No. 98 Ford.

“It’s a shame our season’s hopes came down to quality control and a spec part that we had nothing to do with,” Enfinger said. 

When the race restarted on Lap 14, Chastain remained out front followed by Eckes and Crafton.

Hill got around Chastain to take the lead on Lap 17 for the first time in the race. Two laps later, Chastain returned the favor and returned to the top spot as Hill dropped to third.

 

With 10 laps to go in the stage, Chastain maintained a small lead over Crafton while Hill ran in third.

After 25 laps, Chastain still led Crafton and Hill as Sauter made his way up to the fourth position and into the contention for the lead.

Before the race, several drivers had to start from the rear of the field, including Codie Rohrbaugh (engine change), Gus Dean (unapproved adjustments), Moffitt (tire change) and Justin Johnson (driver change).

Cla # Driver Manufacturer Laps Time Laps Led
1 16 United States Austin Hill  Toyota 134   29
2 45 United States Ross Chastain  Chevrolet 134 2.116 88
3 51 United States Christian Eckes  Toyota 134 4.536 4
4 2 United States Sheldon Creed  Chevrolet 134 9.503  
5 4 United States Todd Gilliland  Toyota 134 10.083  
6 30 United States Brennan Poole  Toyota 134 13.732  
7 24 United States Brett Moffitt  Chevrolet 134 16.771 12
8 99 United States Ben Rhodes  Ford 134 18.342  
9 18 United States Harrison Burton  Toyota 134 18.822  
10 5 United States Dylan Lupton  Toyota 134 19.503  
11 17 United States Tyler Ankrum  Toyota 134 22.252  
12 15 Anthony Alfredo  Toyota 134 24.254  
13 87 Anthony Mrakovich  Chevrolet 134 29.664  
14 3 United States Jordan Anderson  Chevrolet 134 31.448  
15 12 United States Gus Dean  Chevrolet 133 1 lap  
16 9 Codie Rohrbaugh  Chevrolet 133 1 lap  
17 22 United States Austin Wayne Self  Chevrolet 133 1 lap  
18 11 United States Spencer Davis  Toyota 133 1 lap  
19 52 United States Stewart Friesen  Chevrolet 132 2 laps  
20 20 United States Spencer Boyd  Chevrolet 132 2 laps 1
21 38 Colin Garrett  Chevrolet 131 3 laps  
22 44 United States Angela Ruch  Chevrolet 131 3 laps  
23 34 United States Jesse Iwuji  Chevrolet 127 7 laps  
24 10 United States Jennifer Jo Cobb  Chevrolet 90 44 laps  
25 54 United States Natalie Decker  Toyota 87 47 laps  
26 02 United States Tyler Dippel  Chevrolet 80 54 laps  
27 19 United States Derek Kraus  Toyota 77 57 laps  
28 33 Mason Massey  Chevrolet 63 71 laps  
29 13 United States Johnny Sauter  Ford 45 89 laps  
30 88 United States Matt Crafton  Ford 39 95 laps  
31 98 United States Grant Enfinger  Ford 6 128 laps  
32 8 United States John Hunter Nemechek  Chevrolet 0 134 laps  
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About this article

Series NASCAR Truck
Event Las Vegas II
Author Jim Utter