Austin Hill will make six NASCAR Cup Series starts next season driving the No. 62 for Beard Motorsports.
Hill’s first race with the team will be an attempt at qualifying for the Daytona 500. Beard Motorsports does not have a charter, so Hill will have to qualify for the season-opening event (Feb. 19) on his qualifying speed or through a Duel race. Following Daytona, Hill is set to compete at Talladega in April, the Chicago street course in July, Michigan and Daytona in August, and Talladega in October.
“From the moment I started in quarter midgets back home in Georgia, racing in the NASCAR Cup Series has always been my goal,” Hill said. “I’m incredibly grateful to Richard Childress for giving me the platform to race and win in my first season in the Xfinity Series, and for the opportunity the Beard family has provided me to run more races in Cup.”
The small, single-car Beard Motorsports team is an alliance partner of Richard Childress Racing, which Hill drives for in the Xfinity Series. Hill becomes the driver of the Beard car as Noah Gragson, who has driven it this season, moves into the Cup Series full-time in 2023 with Petty GMS.
“We’re a proud, family-run race team and these six races in 2023 are moments we’re really looking forward to,” said Amie Beard, executive vice president, Beard Motorsports. “No job is too small here at Beard Motorsports, and if anyone can appreciate that, it’s Austin. He’s raced and run his own team and been successful. It’s helped make him a really good driver and an even better person and we’re thrilled to have him as part of our team.”
Beard Motorsports runs a handful of events each season, mostly the superspeedway events. The organization has made 21 starts since debuting in 2017.
Hill made his Cup Series debut earlier this season at Michigan International Speedway. He finished 18th in a third Childress car.
“Austin has really seized the opportunities that he’s had in his young career,” said Mark Beard Jr., executive vice president of Beard Motorsports. “He’s won in Trucks, and here he is winning in his first year in the Xfinity Series. It’s all very impressive. He brings a lot of talent and just a really strong desire to compete, and that’s a great combination for us to have at Beard Motorsports.”
Said team co-owner Linda Beard, “Our family has grown up in Michigan and we’ve all grown up around racing, so being able to race at our home track is something we’re genuinely excited to see happen. It’s an excellent way to promote Beard Oil Distributing. We’re a third-generation, family company that has always called Michigan home. We’ve been providing fuel and lubricants exclusively to contractors for more than 50 years, and now we’ll be able to say, ‘Thank you’ to a lot of those customers at a race that’s right in our backyard.”