With the Camping World Truck Series beginning their playoffs on Friday night at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway; Truck Series regular Austin Hill has decided to concentrate on those playoffs and will not participate in the Xfinity Series race at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday in the New Holland 250. Hattori Racing Enterprises has asked Cup Series driver Bubba Wallace to step in and take over the driving duties of the number 61 car.

Hill, currently ranked second of the 10 playoff drivers said, “we really enjoy running the Xfinity Series but having someone like Bubba step in to help this weekend will let us focus 100% on our AISIN Toyota Tundra at Gateway. The first race in the playoffs is always important and our team has a great chance to win everywhere we go with our AISIN Toyota Tundra. Being able to focus solely on Gateway Friday night will be helpful for us to get our championship run started on the right foot.”

This will be Wallace’s first time in an Xfinity Series car since 2017. Wallce is the lone driver for the new Cup Series team 23XI Racing in the number 23 car.

Speaking on the opportunity Wallace said, “I’m excited to race again in the Xfinity Series. Michigan is a track where I’ve run well in the past and even won in the Truck Series. Anytime we can get extra track time, it helps. Just to get extra laps before the Cup race on Sunday will be good with no practice or qualifying. Thanks to everyone at HRE and Toyota for the opportunity to run the AISIN Supra this weekend. Hopefully we can go out and have a strong race and put ourselves in contention at the end of the day.”

In other Xfinity Series news…
Since ending his part time stint as the driver of the Xfinity Series JR Motorsports number eight car, Josh Berry has jumped behind the wheel of a car…or truck…every chance he got while looking for a full time ride.

On August 15 Berry got the news that he will be driving full time in the Xfinity Series next season when he returns to drive the number eight JR Motorsports car.

Berry took the number eight to victory lane at Martinsville Speedway in April.

NBC Sports broadcaster and JR Motorsports owner Dale Earnhardt Jr spoke highly of Berry; adding that he hoped the young driver could find a full time ride. Via a team statement, Junior said, “this moment is something we’ve been working toward for a long time. Josh took full advantage of the opportunity he had this year in the number eight car. He went out, raced hard, and earned every bit of this. With all he’s accomplished on a limited schedule, I can’t wait to see what he can do in this series full time.”

Prior to stepping into the number eight car in the Xfinity Series, Berry drove late models for JRM where he racked up 89 wins.

Berry spoke on the new opportunity saying, “it’s difficult to put into words what this means. I’m just a local short track racer, so saying this is a dream come true seems like an understatement. I’m so grateful to Dale, Kelley, L.W. (Miller) and everyone at JR Motorsports. They have always believed in me. This is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I’m ready and focused on 2022.”