By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent
Austin Hill and Hattori Racing Enterprises will honor the service and life of Mooresville, NC Police Department’s K-9 Officer Jordan Sheldon in the Digital Ally 250.
Officer Sheldon, a six-year veteran of the MPD, was shot and killed in the line of duty during a routine traffic stop last Saturday near the Hattori race shop. Hill’s No. 16 Toyota Racing Development Toyota Tundra will carry decals honoring the 32-year-old officer and his K-9 partner Ramon.
Five of Hill’s 11 top-10 finishes in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series have come on 1.5-mile tracks. In his only start at Kansas Speedway, he started ninth and finished 12th. Hill’s speed this season on 1.5-mile tracks have only been hampered by mechanical issues.
“I really feel like we can win anywhere we go,” Hill explained. “Especially this weekend with how fast we’ve been on the mile-and-a-halfs this season. I felt like we had a top-five truck last week, and if we execute everything the right way, I know we’ll be up towards the front and in the mix on Friday at Kansas.
“I’d love to get our Tundra back in victory lane and celebrate TRD’s 40th Anniversary the right way. I’ve only been to Kansas once last year and we ran pretty decent. I’m really looking forward to getting there this week with Scott (Zipadelli) and these guys and hopefully put a good night together and keep putting points on the board.”
Three of the seven victories that the Shige Hattori-owned team have come on 1.5-mile tracks. In the organization’s three trips to Kansas, it has finished sixth twice, both times with Ryan Truex behind the wheel.
Hill, via his victory in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway, is one of two drivers locked into the playoffs. Johnny Sauter became the other with his victory at Dover International Speedway last weekend.
— Hattori Racing (@Hattori_Racing) May 8, 2019