By: Isaac Donsky, Staff Writer
Views expressed in opinion columns are the author’s own.
It’s safe to say that Maryland has little interest in the world of NASCAR. However, as a resident of this state since 2002, I can say there is one reason Marylanders should watch NASCAR. That reason is that every Sunday, we have a little representation in the sport suiting up for 500 miles. He may not be the best driver on track, but he certainly isn’t the worst. May I introduce everyone to Timmy Hill.
Born Feb. 25, 1993, Hill hails from the tiny village of Port Tobacco, located in the middle of Charles County. Hill has raced in NASCAR since 2010, starting out in the lower divisions before moving up to NASCAR’s top ranks. His stats aren’t exactly the best, as in 396 total starts across NASCAR’s top three touring series, he has accumulated 11 top-ten finishes. That may not be that impressive, but if you look at his career outside of the numbers, you’ll find the diamond in the rough.
Hill is a pure driver. He’s one of the few NASCAR drivers to have driven every manufacturer currently in the sport, fielding Fords, Chevys and Toyotas for some of the worst teams. He even suited up in a Dodge several times before the brand left NASCAR. While the teams he drives for generally struggle to even finish races, Hill will outperform his equipment every single time. He has a habit of taking cars worth 40th-place and driving it 500 miles to a 30th-place finish. That may not appear very impressive to you or me, but in the world of NASCAR, it’s quite an achievement.
It’s not just his driving skills that make him such an interesting driver. He’s had to fight, tooth and nail, just to prove he belongs in the sport. In 2017, NASCAR banned a vaping company, Veedverks, from sponsoring the #66 Toyota of MBM Motorsports. Hill, who was driving part-time for the team, responded by gifting MBM with a 14th-place finish at Indianapolis, the best finish in team history. At Daytona in 2020, Hill and MBM were hit with a controversial penalty for using an illegal body-filler on the nose of their Toyota, resulting in the front bumper getting a complete rebuild. Hill took that Frankenstein-looking car and finished a career best of third.
Just last week, Hill once again found himself fighting to prove that he belonged. When NASCAR announced an invitational race would be held on the racing simulator iRacing, Hill was not invited. This was seen as an outrage by the community as Hill had won an iRacing event the previous year during the COVID-19 shutdown, and is one of the most known winners of NASCAR drivers in iRacing with over 670 victories. What made the situation even worse is that Hill revealed that his team might have to cut back on races due to a lack of sponsorship, and that they had hoped the invitational could get them some much needed exposure.
Well it seems the rest of the NASCAR world has been paying attention to Hill, as just a few hours before the race, Austin Cindric withdrew, allowing Hill to take his place. A genuine gesture that was the culmination of the #LetTimmyRace campaign on social media, in which thousands of NASCAR fans tweeted at NASCAR to let Hill compete.
Any average driver would have likely given up if they had as much thrown at them as Hill has. But he’s weathered the storm time and time again. As a representative of Maryland, he’s done a pretty good job at showing the tenacity and work ethic of Marylanders and I genuinely hope that he’ll find more success in the sport in the coming years.