HILL IN REACH OF HISTORIC ROOKIE CHAMPIONSHIP
With only eight races remaining in the NASCAR Nationwide Series season heading into Richmond International Raceway for the running of the Virginia 529 College Savings 250 on Friday night, Timmy Hill knows that every race is the most important race of his career.
Timmy Hill set his season goal to become the NASCAR Nationwide Series Sunoco Rookie of the Year. That title means a little more to the 18 year old who was forced to sit out the season opener at Daytona due to age restrictions.
Now just eight races away, Hill holds a slim two point lead over Blake Koch in what would mark a very historic accomplishment.
If Hill can finish the season with the points lead, he would become the youngest rookie of the year in the history of any of the top three NASCAR Series, beating Joey Logano, Landon Cassill and Colin Braun.
Sprint Cup: Joey Logano: 19 years, 5 months, 28 days in 2009
Nationwide: Landon Cassill: 19 years, 4 months, 8 days in 2008
Camping World Truck: Colin Braun: 20 years, 1 month, 23 days in 2008
At the end of the season, Hill will be 18 years, 8 months, 25 days.
Not only would Hill’s age become significant but also the manner in which it would be achieved. Hill has competed with the lower budget team of Rick Ware Racing for the 2011 campaign. Former NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year winners have predominately competed with Sprint Cup Series affiliated organizations such as Penske Racing, Roush-Fenway Racing, Hendrick Motorsports, Chip Ganassi Racing and Richard Childress Racing dating back over a decade.
“Eight races is a long way from now. Blake (Koch) has been getting stronger and now with Ryan (Truex) in the Joe Gibbs #20 car, it is far from over,” stated Hill. “We have held the lead since the 5th race of the season but it’s going to be a war to hold on to it!”
“We are in control of our own destiny. It has been that way all year. We need to keep putting up solid finishes and that’s all you can ask for.”
Perhaps what is even more astonishing about Timmy Hill is what will happen at Daytona in 2012. Hill will compete in the season opener at the age of 18 and will not be considered a rookie, something that is almost inconceivable.