Timmy Hill has been lingering around the top three NASCAR national touring series since 2011. But 2019 has been a special year for the driver.
Hill, 26, is happiest when he’s strapped in behind the wheel, but he’s not afraid to get down and dirty. He recently started his own Gander Outdoors Truck Series team, finishing fifth last weekend at Martinsville Speedway, his career-best NASCAR finish.
When not driving, Hill can be found high atop the spotters’ stand, clearing drivers left and right. This season, he works primarily for MBM Motorsports in the NASCAR Xfinity Series, where he’s been coaching the younger drivers along.
And although he loves to drive, Hill doesn’t mind assisting teams in whatever area necessary.
“Wherever I can help out, I’m going to help out,” Hill recently told Frontstretch. “I’ve been in the sport long enough where there have been situations where I didn’t have rides, so I learned some of these different skills that I can help out. On weekends where I’m not driving, I can help out in a lot of different ways.
“A lot of the things I’ve been thrown into that I didn’t necessarily think I’d ever do. When I started my Truck team up, I only had one guy working full-time for me, so I found myself learning a lot of the different skills that I never thought I would learn.
“I’ll go up and spot. Being a driver, I know, when I’m on the track driving, I always appreciate when I have another driver spotting for me because they know what you’re looking for on the racetrack.”
For instance, in September at Richmond Raceway, Hill wasn’t behind the wheel – he was spotting for Stan Mullis in the two practice sessions. Come race time, Carl Long, owner of MBM, had Hill hop over to spot for veteran World of Outlaws driver Mike Marlar, who was making his Xfinity debut. Unfortunately, that didn’t last long, as Marlar was involved in a lap 1 incident.
At Indianapolis Motor Speedway in September, Hill learned all about technical inspection, something he wasn’t too familiar with prior.
“I was learning how to put the aero ducts in and getting tires on and helping with the tech process,” Hill said. “Most of the work is done at the shop, so at the racetrack side of things is really just the tech process and adjusting from practice.”
Because Hill can be found spotting or turning wrenches, that means he’s not in the racecar on a weekly basis. He has, however, competed in 23 of 30 Xfinity events this season. He tied a career-best finish at Bristol Motor Speedway of seventh, which was his best finish on a non-superspeedway track.
Rather than getting annoyed or frustrated by not being in a racecar every week of the season, Hill looks at the bigger picture.
“In some ways it’s disappointing, but in some ways it helps the team grow and build, and the longevity of the team is what keeps my career going,” Hill said. “In one way it is disappointing, but in other ways I know it provides another opportunity around the corner.”
Loyalty is something Hill prides himself on. Since 2016, the bulk of the races he’s competed in at the Xfinity level have come under the MBM banner. He also recorded the team’s best finish in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, placing 14th in the 2017 Brickyard 400.
Though there have been opportunities to go elsewhere, Hill enjoys being a part of one of the smaller teams in the series, where he looks to make an impact in more ways than one.
“In the middle part of my career so far, I found myself not really having a home, and these guys really wrapped their arms around me,” Hill said of MBM. “I feel like I’ve found a home here and I’ve seen progress and this team. I would love to see it grow and continue to build and maybe turn it into something even bigger.
“I don’t want to move laterally. I’d rather stay with my family and stay with the people who have really supported me.”
Flashback to mid-August at Bristol: it was the first time the No. 61 car was ran for MBM in a joint effort with Hattori Racing Enterprises. In the pairing’s first time out, the Maryland native ran among the top 15 throughout the race, taking the checkered flag in seventh.
Ultimately, Hill bested his goal by eight positions – and he entered the race with a pretty lofty goal for the team’s first time out.
“We knew coming back to Bristol, we had a good setup and felt comfortable with it,” Hill said. “It helped that we had sponsorship and were able to put tires on during the race. That really propelled us to be a better running car that race.”
In the process, he proved to himself that if the team should get funding for even one race, allowing it to purchase the necessary needs to be competitive, MBM can deliver.
“I think it did prove something to myself and other people,” Hill stated. “We always question, ‘Man, if we had tires, could we run better?’ Most weeks we’re fighting on running old tires. I don’t think enough people give that much credit to what some of these teams suffer every week.
“We’re doing the best we can with the funding that we do have to make it work because we’ve got to make it work. Most weekends, it’s part of the process in showing up for next week.”
2019 has been one of Hill’s better racing seasons. Along with the seventh at Bristol, he’s earned six additional top-20 finishes in just 11 total races of running at the finish.
- There are 38 cars on the entry list for Saturday’s (Nov. 2) O’Reilly Auto Parts 300 at Texas Motor Speedway. Entering the second race in the Round of 8, Christopher Bell is first in the championship standings, +49 points on the cutoff. Cole Custer sits second, +38, while Tyler Reddick is +37. Meanwhile, Justin Allgaier is on the hot seat, +2 over Chase Briscoe in fifth. Michael Annett ranks sixth, -12, with Noah Gragson, -17 and Austin Cindric, -30. Custer is the defending winner of the race.
- K&N Pro Series East team owner Sam Hunt and driver Colin Garrett have elected to move to the Xfinity Series next season, running the No. 26 Toyota with engines provided by Joe Gibbs Racing. Sources have told Frontstretch the team is looking to run between four and five races, sponsorship dependent. By Daytona International Speedway in February, the team is looking to raise $200,000 toward its efforts, via crowdfunding, and could potentially run in one of the final two races of 2019.
- Our Motorsports will move to the Xfinity Series full time in 2020, having veteran NASCAR modified driver Andy Seuss as its primary driver. In 115 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified starts, Seuss has 22 victories. This season, he’s competed in three ARCA Menards Series races, as well as three NASCAR Whelen Modified tour events. He made his Cup Series debut in July at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, placing 28th for Rick Ware Racing.