Port Tobacco Driver Planning Big Racing Year by Rich Romer After 20 years as a racer, Port Tobacco, Maryland's Jerry Hill enters the 2002 racing season with his best deal ever. RDS Motorsports has retained Hill to drive their AmeriSuites ...
Port Tobacco Driver Planning Big Racing Year by Rich Romer
After 20 years as a racer, Port Tobacco, Maryland's Jerry Hill enters the 2002 racing season with his best deal ever. RDS Motorsports has retained Hill to drive their AmeriSuites sponsored Dodge Ram race truck in NASCAR's Craftsman Truck Series. Hill describes the arrangement, "Their shop is located in Burlington, North Carolina, and the race equipment is all theirs. We have funding from the sponsor to run the full series of 22 races." Last year, Hill ran in 13 of the Craftsman Truck races driving for Randy McDonald and finished the year 25th in the points.
In addition, Tom Pease, a Massachusetts based car owner, has contracted with Hill to drive his stock car in five ARCA races: Daytona, both summer races at Pocono, Michigan, and Talladega. Pease has sponsorship for the race program from Kennel Club. Rejecting any other racing, Hill says, "Trucks and ARCA are more than enough." Hill started 20th in the field for the ARCA race at Daytona. Scheduled for 200 miles (80 laps of the 2.5 mile SuperSpeedway) the race was interrupted once by rain, restarted, and then prematurely ended after 54 laps by a second, heavy rain shower. Hill finished on the same lap as the leaders and was credited with 19th place.
Jerry Hill started racing motorcycles when he was 10 and won 230 races. In 1980, he moved into race cars with NASCAR's Baby Grand National series for four cylinder cars which is now known as the Goody's Dash Series. Hill finished both the 1980 and 1981 race seasons in the Top 10 for the points cham pionship. "I had a Top 10 finish in the series race on the high banks at Daytona International Speedway." In 1985, Hill competed in ten NASCAR Busch Grand National series races and had four Top 20 finishes. In his racing career, Hill has entered 80 ARCA RE/MAX series races for stock cars scoring six Top 5s and 20 Top 10s.
In 1991 and 1992, Hill entered 10 Winston Cup races. "My best finish was 15th at Rockingham." In 1995, he gave up running his own race team and began driving for other owners. "It lets me concentrate more on my driving without having to worry about the problems of managing a race team, getting and keeping sponsors, hiring a crew for the shop and the track, and keeping everything running."
Talking about his RDS Motorsports Craftsman Truck Series team, Hill said, "It's a good race team. As a new Dodge team, we enter the 2002 season without any provisionals for the first four races so we have to make the starting field based on qualifying times." The first race of the year was at Daytona on the Friday before the Daytona 500. Hill was 34th fastest in morning practice, but late in the session his engine failed and had to be quickly changed in the garage area before the afternoon's qualifying session. He took the green flag for two laps at speed but exiting Turn 2 on his first lap, the replacement engine also failed forcing Hill to coast back to the pits. Lacking any provisionals to get into the race, the RDS team was forced to pack up and head home.
The second race of the 2002 Craftsman Truck Series race season comes up this weekend at Darlington, South Carolina--"The Track Too Tough To Tame." The race will be televised on Saturday, March 16 at 6:00 P.M. on cable channel ESPN2. Jerry Hill is looking forward to the race. "We have gone back to the drawing board and fixed the problems we had at Daytona. We are well prepared for Darlington and expect to deliver a good finish." Hill's next ARCA race will be on June 8 at Pennsylvania's Pocono International Speedway.