Catching Up with NASCAR driver Timmy Hill in the No. 15 Hauler

Timmy Hill outside the No. 15 RWR hauler
Photo by Rosalie Thompson for Skirts and Scuffs

Talking with Timmy Hill in the No. 15 hauler on a recent NASCAR race weekend, the maturity and focus of the 18-year old who is currently leading the race for Nationwide Rookie of the Year (ROTY) is apparent.  Hill graduated from a public high school in Maryland last summer in a class of 550, where he often took his work on the road and scheduled his tests around his racing.

But this year, Hill has left high school behind and spends his weekend competing in the Nationwide series where he is often recognized at the track, but can still hang out with his friends like any teen, usually without anyone knowing what his current job is.
Hill grew up around racing and drives for Rick Ware Racing, the same team his dad, Jerry, drove for during his racing career.  He said his dad never pushed him to race but is almost always at the track on race weekend to watch his son follow in his footsteps.
The No. 15 driver jumped into the Nationwide series this year but had to postpone his start by a week when he was not eligible to drive at Daytona in February because he had not turned 18, an age requirement of NASCAR. 
“This time last year I didn’t even know I was going to be running Nationwide,” Hill said recalling his progress in just one year.  “I was only 17 and I was running ARCA and K&M.” Now he is 18 and leading the Nationwide Rookie of the Year points in a battle with Blake Koch.  Hill said to win the ROTY award would be a big honor.  “A lot of big names have won it in the past.”
Hill prepares for races by studying tracks that are new to him and doing race simulations. When the Nationwide Series headed to Road America in Wisconsin in June, Hill qualified 23 but finished 11th, his best Nationwide finish to date.  That was in part because he had done a lot of road course racing in Legends but also because he studied the track before he arrived.
This year while running for ROTY, Hill will view every race as an opportunity to learn, especially from the Cup drivers who also race in the Nationwide series.  He takes every opportunity to study how the Cup drivers run a particular track to see if that will work for him.  He values the knowledge he gains from other drivers, especially Carl Edwards who has been a driver he knows he can always go to him with questions.
“My main goal is to one day be in the Cup series,” Hill said about his future.  But for the 2011 season he will settle for ROTY honors and the experience he will gain along the way.

*Update - Timmy Hill was named the 2011 Rookie of the Year on November 19, 2011 at the conclusion of the Nationwide Series season. Congratulations to Timmy and his team. * 
Catching Up with NASCAR driver Timmy Hill in the No. 15 Hauler Catching Up with NASCAR driver Timmy Hill in the No. 15 Hauler Reviewed by Rosalie Thompson on Tuesday, July 19, 2011 Rating: 5