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Austin Hill: Meet NASCAR’s Newest Villain

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

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What’s Happening?

Austin Hill made some NASCAR fans upset on Sunday thanks to his run-in with SVG. Hill’s career has been an interesting ride, and now he has put himself out of favor with much of the fanbase. How did NASCAR’s potential new villain come to be?

  • Austin Hill is in his third full-time season in the NASCAR Xfinity Series for Richard Childress Racing. He has established himself as one of the top drivers in the series, and that also came from a stellar Craftsman Truck Series career.
  • However, Hill has also been caught in a few conflicts during his NASCAR career. In each instance, some fans have turned against him, and some animosity against Hill has formed as a result.
  • Fans are split on Austin Hill. Many fans did not like how Hill handled past conflicts, and that has kept some fans from rooting for him.

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Austin Hill’s Early Life and Career

Austin Hill was born on April 21, 1994, in Winston, Georgia. Hill’s career began in quarter midgets, winning a track Championship in 2002 in Cunning, Georgia. He raced various other cars including late models, bandoleros, and legends cars before making the jump up to NASCAR.

While many drivers in their late teens and early 20s are within the National Touring Series at this point in their careers, Hill jumped into the ARCA Menards Series East, then K&N Pro Series East, for the first time when he was just 18 years old. It’s worth noting that Hill was not a prodigy like many other drivers, and he had to scrap, claw, and work for every ride he had.

He raced for his family’s race team in the series, and he moved to full-time competition in 2014 after winning his first race in 2013 at Dover. Competing against drivers like William Byron, Justin Haley, Ben Rhodes, and Kaz Grala, Hill won 4 races between 2014 and 2015 with 2 top-5 points finishes.

During this time, he began working his way into the Craftsman Truck Series. After part-time seasons between 2014 and 2017, he competed full-time for Young’s Motorsports in 2018. Hill impressed with 6 top-10 finishes, which landed him a ride with Shigeaki Hattori and Hattori Racing Enterprises for 2019.

Hill broke out with 8 wins in 3 seasons and 3 top-10 points finishes. This is when Richard Childress Racing came calling.

Hill signed on to drive the #21 car for 2022, and he built a reputation as a superspeedway ace. He’s won 8 races since joining the team in 2022, including 4 on superspeedways. The performance was enough to earn him a multiyear contract extension after the 2023 season. While many drivers blossom in their early 20s, Hill was proving to be a late bloomer as he accomplished all of this in his mid-late 20s.

As time went on, however, Hill was not endearing himself to some fans. As a result, Hill has undergone somewhat of a villain arc over the last few months.

The Villain Arc

While Hill had his moments before Martinsville 2023, this was the moment where many fans turned against him. He and teammate Sheldon Creed were fighting for the win and a Championship 4 spot at Martinsville in the closing laps when the two made contact multiple times. Neither driver won, and both were eliminated from the Playoffs.

Sheldon Creed and Austin Hill both expressed their displeasure after the race. For the full breakdown of everything that happened, read the article below.

Regardless, this moment turned many fans against Austin Hill. Many felt that RCR unfairly made the departing Creed the scapegoat, while Hill got off scot-free. This set off an interesting discussion on social media.

We did an article in the offseason about people expressing their dislike of Austin Hill on Reddit. Fans pointed even further back than the Creed incident, specifically to a run-in with Myatt Snider. It shows that fans have had a disdain for Hill for some time now.

That happened again at COTA this weekend. After a tough battle with SVG in the closing laps, Hill confronted SVG after the race. You can also see at the tail end of the last lap in the video below, it appears Hill may be trying to turn SVG off of the final turn.

Whether or not Hill tried to spin SVG out or not is uncertain, but, it was another instance of Hill roughing up a driver for a potential win. It worked out well for neither party.

As a result of all of this, Hill has developed a reputation amongst fans, and that has made him disliked by some. Does he deserve to be called the Xfinity Series newest villain?

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Joshua Lipowski

Joshua Lipowski

All Posts