By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent
In his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut, Austin Hill quietly earned a top-10 finish in the Indiana 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
On the final restart, Hill lined up just outside the top-10 in the No. 61 AISIN Group Toyota Supra. In the mad scramble, he maneuvered his MBM Motorsports forward. Hill followed Cole Custer and Chase Briscoe through the three and sometime four-wide pack.
The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Playoff Grid driver passed Xfinity Series regulars Michael Annett and Ryan Sieg to enter the top-10. As the field became strung out, Hill found himself ninth, where he would remain when the checkered flag waved.
“This is a fun series; I had a blast today,” Hill admitted. “Car was a little off. We were a little loose all day. We really had to fight through that. All the guys back at the shop did a heck of a job to bring a fast piece. We had a few things go our way.
“The last restart, the outside line got rolling really good. I was able to pick up a few spots. I can’t thank everyone enough, AISIN, Toyota and TRD. This Toyota Supra was pretty good today. Wasn’t expecting a top-10 for my first time out, but I will take it for sure.”
Prior to the final restart, Hill had been running solidly inside the top-20. His Carl Long-owned, and Shige Hattori assisted, Toyota climbed up the running order as the attrition rate increased. Hill narrowly avoided an accident that claimed fellow Toyota Racing Development driver Christopher Bell with seven laps to go.
The top-10 is also redemption for Hill. When he and his Truck Series team, Hattori Racing Enterprises, attempted to make their debut at Daytona International Speedway last month, a mechanical issue left them without a lap time. Hill failed to make that race.
Hill’s top-10 is the third top-10 finish for MBM Motorsports. Both races involving the collaboration between HRE and MBM have now resulted in top-10 finishes. Officially, MBM now has two top-10 finishes in 2019, the first time the organization has earned two top-10s in a single season.