Hattori Racing Enterprises

Austin Hill joins Hattori Racing Enterprises in Truck Series

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Austin Hill will drive for Hattori Racing Enterprises in the Gander Outdoors Truck Series this season, the team announced Tuesday.

Hill takes over the No. 16 Toyota from Brett Moffitt, who won six races and the series title for the team last year. Moffitt revealed in early December that he would not be returning to the team due to a lack of sponsorship.

Moffitt has not announced any plans for 2019.

A native of Winston, Georgia, Hill is a former member of the NASCAR Next program who competed full-time for Young’s Motorsports in the Truck Series last year and finished 11th in the standings.

Hill has 51 Truck starts since 2014 with one top five in last November’s race at Texas Motor Speedway

He also earned five K&N Pro Series East wins from 2013-15.

The No. 16 will be sponsored by Toyota autodealer Chiba Toyopet in the season opener at Daytona. United Rentals will be a sponsor in multiple races. The team was sponsored by Ibaraki Toyopet and Kobe Toyopet in one race each in 2018.

“I’m thrilled to join HRE this season,” Hill said a press release. “(Owner) Shige (Hattori) has built a great team and what they accomplished last season has me extremely optimistic heading to Daytona. I’ve had the pleasure to work with great teams in the past, including my family’s team in the K&N Series, but this is an opportunity of a lifetime at HRE. Scott and the team proved what they’re capable of last season, and I can’t wait to get to work and see what we can accomplish this season.”

Scott Zipadelli will return as the team’s crew chief.

“I’m really looking forward to racing with Austin and continuing our team’s success,” Zipadelli said in the press release. “Austin is a great kid and has a lot of potential. He has a great track record in the K&N Series and put together a strong year last season with Young’s Motorsports. I think he’ll transition well into our program and fit right in with our group.”

Hattori also announced this week it will return to competition in the K&N Pro Series East with Max McLaughlin in the No. 1 Toyota.

McLaughlin’s team will run engines prepared by students from NASCAR Technical Institute’s (NTI) Spec Engine Program.

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2018 Truck Season in Review: Brett Moffitt

Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images
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Brett Moffitt

CREW CHIEF: Scott Zipadelli

TEAM: Hattori Racing Enterprises

POINTS: First (Won championship in his first full season)

WINS: Six (Atlanta, Iowa, Chicagoland, Michigan, Phoenix and Homestead)

LAPS LED:  269

TOP 5s: 13 (Career-best; earned three top fives in six races in 2016)

TOP 10s: 13 (Every top 10 was a top five)

POLES: None (Best starting position was fourth at Texas II)

WHAT WENT RIGHT: His Atlanta win put Moffitt in the playoffs early as long as the team attempted to qualify for all of the races … Six wins tied for the most during the season with Johnny Sauter; no one else had more than three … Won the final two races of the season.

WHAT WENT WRONG: Sponsorship woes plagued the team all season. In Week 11, they considered missing the race at Chicagoland before a sponsor was found at the 11th hour with Fr8Auctions.com. Moffitt won that race … Most often was forced to overcome poor starting position. Qualified on the first two rows only once and the first three rows six times; notably his last three races began in the top five.

WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2019: Despite winning the championship, Moffitt will not return to Hattori Racing and no other plans have been announced.

Germán Quiroga steps in for Matt Tifft, Red Horse Racing in Iowa Truck race

(Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images)
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An issue with a disc in Matt Tifft‘s back resulted in Sam Hornish Jr. replacing the driver in this weekend’s Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway.

Now Red Horse Racing has announced Germán Quiroga will drive its No. 11 truck in Tifft’s place in the Camping World Series race in Iowa.

The move comes after Quiroga started second and drove to an eighth-place finish for the team last Friday at Texas Motor Speedway in his first Truck race since 2014. The native of Mexico City raced for Red Horse Racing in 2013 and ’14 and was scheduled to drive the No. 11 Toyota again June 25 at Gateway Motorsports Park.

“I’m really excited to have the chance to race at Iowa this weekend,” Quiroga said in a press release. “It wasn’t originally in the plan, so I’m thankful to Tom DeLoach and Red Horse Racing for giving me this opportunity. I’ve been successful at Iowa in the past, so I’m confident that we’ll have a good Toyota Tundra and be able to pick up a good result.”

In three previous starts at Iowa, the 36-year-old driver has one pole (2014), one top five and two top 10s.

Quiroga will make the start without crew chief Scott Zipadelli, who was suspended for one race weekend for the No. 11 truck violating NASCAR’s lug nut rule at Texas. Zipadelli also was fined $5,000 and put on probation through the end of the calendar year.

Scott Zipadelli loses stepdaughter to cancer

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After a lengthy battle with cancer, Scott Zipadelli’s stepdaughter died Friday night. She had been battling a rare form of muscular cancer for more than four years.

Costa’s battle began at the age of 16 just as she was completing her junior year in high school.

Zipadelli functioned as crew chief for Red Horse Racing and Ben Kennedy in 2015, but never lost his focus on the family. Instead of returning to the shop after Camping World Truck Series races, he often headed straight home.

Throughout the 2015 season, one of Costa’s strongest supporters was Sherry Pollex who has been fighting her own battle with ovarian cancer. “The world won’t be the same without this beautiful soul on the planet. RIP my sweet friend,” Pollex tweeted late Friday night.

Costa passed at 9:37 pm. The entire NASCAR community mourns her loss.

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