Austin Hill captured his first career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series win in Friday night’s NextEra Energy 250 at Daytona International Speedway.
Hill, in his first race driving the No. 16 Toyota for Hattori Racing Enterprises, led a race-high 39 laps and survived a record 11 caution flags to take the win in his 52nd start.
The two-lap shootout in overtime saw Hill fight off Grant Enfinger with a number of blocks to hang on to the lead and score the win.
“Man, this truck was fast,” Hill said. “I knew we had a truck that could compete. Got a little scared there at the end. I thought the 98 (Enfinger) was going to get me, he got a big run. We were able to protect it. I can’t believe my first win came at Daytona .It’s so surreal, I can’t wait to party with these guys.”
Enfinger, Ross Chastain, Spencer Boyd and Matt Crafton rounded out the top five.
The record 11 cautions were triggered by a series of multiple truck accidents that took out more than three quarters of the field. There were only nine trucks running at the finish. A total of 55 laps were run under caution.
Josh Reaume, Timothy Peters, Angela Ruch and Austin Wayne Self were the other four trucks running. Stewart Friesen was credited with a 10th-place finish.
Ruch became the second female in the history of the Truck Series to earn a top-10 finish. Jennifer Jo Cobb has the best finish at sixth from 2011.
“Yesterday in practice we got some good runs in the draft,” Ruch said. “I was kind of learning a lot with Joe Nemechek obviously as my big help for the weekend, and obviously I struggled a little bit in qualifying, missed a shift, but all in all, wow, a top 10. It’s a dream of mine to be here.”
The accidents also happened on pit road. Billy Rock, a crewmember for the FDNY Racing team and driver Bryan Dauzat, was injured when he was struck on pit road.
“I just lost brakes when I was coming in,” Dauzat said. “I told him, I said, ‘I have no brakes,’ and he came out in front.”
The impact sent Rock head over heels and he was taken by stretcher to an ambulance. Rock was transported to Halifax Health Medical Center for further evaluation and reported to be “awake and alert.”
Sheldon Creed and Johnny Sauter won the first two stages.
The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series now heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway next Saturday afternoon.