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Port Tobacco's Timmy Hill, Racing in to the History Books
By Andy Marquis
Timmy Hill is only 18 years old, but the Charles County teenager is racing to become the youngest Rookie of the Year in NASCAR Nationwide Series history. At 18, he has already won the Allison Legacy Series national championship, competed in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards when he was just a junior in high school and now finds himself racing with the likes of Kevin Harvick, Kyle Busch, Carl Edwards and Danica Patrick among many others.
Racing is something that runs in Timmy Hill’s racing history. His father Jerry raced in the top ranks of NASCAR in a career that yielded 68 career starts across the top-three divisions in NASCAR. Hill also scored four top-ten finishes in the ARCA ranks. You could say racing was in Hill’s blood.
Hill caught the racing bug at nine years old. He started running go-karts, where he began racing competitively at King George Speedway just across the bridge in King George, VA. It wasn’t the only sport Timmy was in at the time, but it was the one he enjoyed the most.
“I grew up in Charles County all my life, Hill told TheBayNet. “When I was growing up, I played soccer. It was fun and pretty healthy. But it was hard to do soccer and go-karts. I had to pick one or the other, so I picked go-karts because I had fun with that. My dad used to run in the (NASCAR) Camping World Truck Series when I was seven or eight years old. He never really let me do anything until he got me a go kart. Since then, we’ve just been moving up.”
His time racing go-karts found over 80 victories, two World Karting Association championships, one King George Speedway championship and a championship in the Concord Motorsports Park winter series.
Moving up, he has. Much like most Charles County students, Hill attended Milton M. Somers Middle School. He got accepted in to the Automotive Technology STI program at North Point High School for Science, Technology and Industry in Waldorf. At the same time, he was spending his weekends in the Charlotte region competing in bandoleros and legends classes at tracks like Charlotte Motor Speedway and Concord Motorsports Park.
In 2008, while he was a freshman in high school, Hill began racing in the Allison Legacy Series. The Allison Legacy Series races in cars that are 3/4th the size of the ARCA cars running four cylinder engines and the old Monte Carlo and Thunderbird body styles. The series raced on short tracks and road courses. Hill won the national championship one year later in 2009. A championship in the Allison Legacy Series puts him in the ranks of drivers like Trevor Bayne (winner, 2011 Daytona 500) and Regan Smith (winner, 2011 Showtime Southern 500 at Darlington).
In 2010, Timmy Hill graduated up to the bigger bodied stock cars in the legendary Ohio-based ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards and in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series. He ran seven races in the 2010 ARCA campaign with Rick Ware Racing and Mark Gibson Racing. His seven ARCA starts yielded one top-ten finish and an average finish of 15.9. In ARCA, he raced at some of the most challenging tracks in the country such as the steep-banked Salem Speedway, the technical New Jersey Motorsports Park road course and the legendary Rockingham Speedway. Hill scored a 10th place finish at Toledo Speedway.
In the same year, Hill scored a sixth place finish at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (California) in his NASCAR K&N Pro Series West debut. He also scored a tenth place finish in his NASCAR K&N Pro Series East debut at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway. However, one hurdle stood in his way before going to Daytona, a place where racers dream and dreamer’s race. Hill was a senior in high school, but he did not meet NASCAR’s minimum age for competing in their national divisions. His NASCAR Nationwide Series debut was put off a week and he would have to start the season, in a cliché, “one lap down”.
Now, he leads the rookie standings over Blake Koch and has earned the respect of his fellow competitors in a series that sees some of the best drivers in racing each week. His goals are to win Rookie of the Year, and continue to improve in hopes of moving up to the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series in due time.
“A couple guys have said I’m doing a good job, doing the right thing and doing things right,” Hill said. “Right now, there aren’t a lot of open rides. Hopefully, if something opens up, we’ll have the chance.”
One of the things the NASCAR Nationwide Series has become known for in recent years is, what some say, is an overabundance of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers who have won just about every race in the past five years. In fact, Sprint Cup Series drivers winning the Nationwide Series championship every season dating back to 2006 forced NASCAR to make rule changes to give Nationwide Series regulars a chance to win Rookie of the Year and championships in their league of competition. However, it also gives Nationwide Series drivers an opportunity to learn from the more experienced drivers in NASCAR’s ranks.
To race a guy like Carl Edwards, for Hill, is special. He said his favorite driver (other than his father) is Carl Edwards who was running in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series when Hill was starting out.
“It’s pretty neat to race with those guys,” Hill said. “It brings the popularity. You learn a lot from them, I mean, they’re the best of the best. They show their stuff and you learn from them.”
It also makes a win, or a good finish, in the series even more impressive. To date, Hill’s best finish is an 11th in a very bizarre race at the technical Road America road course in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. Hill said his experience in the Allison Legacy Series helped him learn how to drive the road courses.
Hill recently moved to Charlotte where he can spend more time working with his team. However, his roots are in Charles County. He attended elementary school at Gale Bailey Elementary School, and said he was zoned to go to Henry E. Lackey High School but got in to North Point High School. He is the middle child, and a devout Washington Redskins fan. His younger brother Tyler, 17, currently competes in the Allison Legacy Series where, like his brother before him, he is leading the points and dominating the series.
To find out more on Timmy Hill, visit his website at: http://timmyhill15.com/
The NASCAR Nationwide Series is televised nationally on the networks of ESPN.The entire broadcast schedule can be viewed here
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