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Timmy Hill set to attempt first Daytona 500

THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- Officials from Rick Ware Racing (RWR) announced today the team’s intent to compete in the 2017 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series as an "open non-chartered" team beginning with next month's 59th annual Daytona 500 at Daytona International Speedway.

RWR's return to the elite level of NASCAR will have Timmy Hill aboard the No. 51 Chevrolet for Speedweeks with a rotating list of drivers to follow throughout the season including longtime RWR drivers Stanton Barrett, Cody Ware and road course veteran Kevin O’Connell to name a few.

"We've been eyeing our return to the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series since the end of last year," said RWR team principal Rick Ware. "We knew with the competition level stronger than ever, we needed to take the steps to make sure we could come to the track and be as competitive as possible, while focused on building our organization as the season presses on.”

RWR also announced the team has acquired assets from Tommy Baldwin Racing (TBR) for use this season, including cars, pulldown rig and technology support.

Additionally, longtime industry veteran Joe Lax, also previously with TBR will serve as crew chief, while pro-motor engineering (PME) will supply the horsepower during the season.

Furthermore, Mike Hillman Sr., a longtime fixture in NASCAR joins RWR in a newly created role as team consultant.

"I feel like we've done a great job getting our stars aligned for this year," Ware added. "Between acquiring cars from Tommy Baldwin Racing and having a good open relationship with them, plus being able to bring key personnel aboard who have the desire and drive to make our team the best it's ever been.

"One component I'm really proud about is our initiative to bring our body work in-house. We really have hired some talented and experienced personnel overall and I couldn't be more excited to get our season underway."

Hill is hopeful to make his "World Center of Racing" debut in next month's Super Bowl event. The 23-year-old hopes to make his 49th Cup race in his first ever Daytona 500.

Despite no Cup starts at Daytona, the Port Tobacco, Maryland native has four XFINITY starts at the 2.5-mile oval with two career top-10 finishes including back-to-back top-10 runs for Rick Ware Racing in 2012 with a career-best seventh in the season-opening race.

"I'm thankful to continue my relationship with Rick Ware Racing for the 2017 season," said Hill. "I've always wanted the chance to compete in the Daytona 500 and thanks to Rick and Lisa (Ware), I'll have that opportunity. It won't be easy, but as a team and Joe (Lax) leading the way, we’re focused and will give it all we have and hope we’ll be one of the 40 cars running in the Daytona 500!"

Timmy’s Blog: Chicagoland Speedway NASCAR XFINITY Series Recap

This past weekend at Chicagoland Speedway was a great weekend for myself along with the everyone involved with MBM Motorsports.  Most weeks leading up to this race I have found myself in the team's second car doing a lot of testing & tuning to help better the whole program.  With the lack of sponsorship it has been very hard to find a way to run the entire distance in the race.  With the help from our friends at U.S Chrome, I was finally able to sit back behind the wheel and run the race till the checkered flag! Our weekend started off great!  We took to the track in practice and found ourselves with a great driving car.  We had to make very little adjustments to our car because I was that confident about it.  As I climbed out of the car to debrief with Carl & George, I smiled pretty big to see ourselves sitting 22nd in practice.  For some 22nd is an average running position, but for a smaller team like ours that has a smaller amount of resources and funding... this was a huge accomplishment! As we shifted our attention to qualifying, we set a goal that we would make the 2nd round of qualifying to set our best qualifying position of the year.  Feeling very confident about the handling of the car I took the track preparing to run the whole lap wide open.  I took the green flag and sailed it down into turn 1-2 wide open and the car stuck and hooked the white line.  I brought it back around and hooked 3-4 right on the white line and brought it back to the start finish line and posted a great lap inside the top 24!  For the first time this year the #13 car would advance into the 2nd round and eventually wind up 22nd. After having terrific practice and qualifying sessions, I was all smiles heading into the race.  I had 300 miles of fun ahead of me.  We took the green flag and found ourselves battling amongst some great cars and competition.  This is a testament of the hard work that MBM Motorsports put into this car to compete with the bigger budget teams.  The majority of the race we found ourselves inside the top 25 even as we found ourselves lacking on tires to put on our car.  We put together great strategy all race and kept the car clean with no scratches to bring home a 25th place finish. This weekend was a great step in the right direction to show everyone what I can do behind the wheel along with how much MBM Motorsports has been improving!  I really appreciate the hard work everyone at the shop put into this car for me because the end results we powerful.  I want to thank my friends at U.S Chrome again for coming aboard and giving me the chance to race this weekend!  Thanks everyone for tuning in and I cant wait to do it again!