Austin Hill in the garage area at Talladega Superspeedway.
Sean Gardner | Getty Images

Austin Hill to return to HRE’s No. 16 for 2020 Gander Trucks season

Hattori Racing Enterprises announced Tuesday that Austin Hill will return as driver of its No. 16 Toyota in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series in 2020.

Hill is currently in his first season driving for team owner Shige Hattori. The 25-year-old driver has won three times this year, including a triumph in the season-opening event at Daytona International Speedway.

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“It’s awesome to be coming back in 2020,” Hill said in a statement released by the team. “We have plenty left to accomplish this season and that’s our number one focus, but it’s great to have things in place for next year to where we can move right into 2020.”

The organization indicated an “increased presence” for sponsor United Rentals, which has served as the No. 16’s primary backer for six races so far this season. HRE also indicated that Don Valley North Toyota, Ibaraki Toyopet and Gunma Toyopet would return as sponsors, and that support from Toyota Racing Development would continue.

Hill moved to the Hattori team in 2019 after spending parts of the last three Gander Trucks seasons with Young’s Motorsports. Hill, who also has two pole positions this year, qualified for the Gander Trucks playoffs for the first time in his career. He carries a nine-point cushion as he clings to the fourth and final transfer spot in the series standings heading into Friday’s Round of 6 elimination race.

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Hattori Racing Enterprises claimed the series championship last season with Brett Moffitt, who joined GMS Racing for the 2019 campaign.

Hill was a member of the NASCAR Next driver development program from 2014-15. He made his Xfinity Series debut earlier this season, finishing ninth at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in a car owned by Carl Long with support from Hattori.