Hill, Hattori Claim Season Opener at Daytona

Hill, Hattori Claim Season Opener at Daytona

Any drivers first NASCAR win is a cherished victory, but when your victory comes at Daytona International Speedway, victory is just that much sweeter.  Austin Hill claimed his first NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series victory at Daytona piloting the No. 16 Toyota fielded by 2018 championship winning team Hattori Racing.

Hattori Racing

Hill had to survive multiple large crashes and two overtime periods to claim the NextEra Energy Resources 250 victory.  “This truck was fast, it really was, I knew we had a truck that could compete,” Hill explained in victory lane.  I can’t believe that my first win came at Daytona. It’s so surreal and I can’t wait to party with these guys.”

ThorSport Racing driver Grant Enfinger notched his best career finish Friday night as he captured the second place position.  Ross Chastain, Spencer Boyd and Enfinger’s ThorSport teammate Matt Crafton rounded out the top five finishing drivers.

Action News Jacksonville
Christian Eckes truck on fire after a lap 53 crash.

After running the first 50 laps without a large incident, a lap 53 accident eliminated many of the top competitors from the race. Defending series champion Brett Moffitt, Stewart Friesen, Jordan Anderson, Sheldon Creed, Grant Enfinger, Brennan Poole, Johnny Sauter, Myatt Snider, Austin Wayne Self and pole sitter Christian Eckes all suffered damage during the incident.  Enfinger was able to recover from the wreck to finish in second position.

Fox Sports
Natalie Decker escaped injury after a cut tire severed a brake line causing her truck to catch fire.

Natalie Decker, making her truck series debut Friday, had her race cut short after a flat tire severed a brake line on her truck during the second lap of the race.  The brake line ignited a fire under the left front of her No. 54 N29 Toyota causing significant damage. She was able to bring the truck to pit lane, but made a quick exit as the fire grew in intensity as she came to a rest.

The Gander Outdoor Truck Series travels to Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Atlanta 200 on Saturday, February 23rd.  The race gets underway at 4:30 pm EST on Fox Sports 1.

Photo credits: LA Times, Hattori Racing, Fox Spots and Action News Jacksonville

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