By Dustin Albino, “Frontstretch.com”
Timmy Hill is looking to check off the next thing on his bucket list: competing in a Daytona 500. He’ll have the opportunity come February with MBM Motorsports.
Hill, 26, attempted to qualify for the Great American Race just one other time in 2017. That year, running for Rick Ware Racing, he finished 20th in his Duel race and missed out on the Daytona 500.
“I feel like it’s going to be my best shot of ever making the 500,” Hill told Frontstretch. “I’ve only had one other shot, and we probably didn’t go down as well prepared as we would have hoped. This time around, we’re going down with a really good piece. It’s going to be a Ford with a Roush Yates motor, and I feel like it’s going to be a really good car.”
Making the 500 would be a dream come true for the Maryland native, who has always been competitive at superspeedway racing, specifically for MBM at Daytona in the Xfinity Series.
“I think for every kid growing up, that particular race is a childhood dream, especially for me,” Hill added. “I would always cheer on the small guys, so it’s neat that we’re going to be one of those small guys clawing our way, trying to make the 500. It’s going to be pretty special if we make that race.”
As a team, MBM has made just one start in the Daytona 500, coming in 2018 when just 40 cars showed up to participate. Mark Thompson ended the race in 22nd position.
Team owner Carl Long hopes he can get Hill in the race.
“For the 500, you’ve got to have somebody that understands the draft, knows how to look ahead and have a gut feel for when the wreck is going to happen,” Long stated. “I don’t think there’s anybody in racing, myself included, that gets through a wreck as good as Timmy Hill does. I would wind up being windshield deep into something and he comes out with a scratch on the fender.
“Timmy is a good driver and I need a good driver to be in our car to get into the race.”
For a small team like MBM that has between 30 and 35 employees, making the Daytona 500 has huge implications on its financial budget for the remainder of the season.
“If you come out of Daytona and you miss the race it’s a struggle the rest of the year,” Long said. “It’s a huge financial race. If you come out of Daytona and you miss the race, it’s tough. Sometimes you have to lay off people, and it really sets the tone for what your program is going to be for the rest of the year.”
Long confirmed that MBM will attempt to run the No. 46 car as well in a Toyota with its own engine program, though doesn’t have a driver or sponsor lined up yet.
As for the 2020 season, Long intends on running the whole year, though that could change due to sponsorship. Hill will be his primary driver.
“A lot of people have overlooked Timmy for one reason or another,” Long said. “I’ve been fortunate enough to be around him since he started racing in Xfinity. I respect his ability a lot.”