By: Ashley McCubbin
While people have grown used to seeing Timmy Hill in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, and will once again in 2022 as he runs the full campaign, he will also be behind the wheel of other cars this year.
He is one of the 42 drivers hoping to qualify his way into the Daytona 500. Although with one of the smaller teams in the garage in Motorsports Business, the chances of success seem higher with the NextGen car.
“I think you’ve seen a lot of teams that haven’t competed at a much higher level are doing much better now, and I think that’s because teams are not engineering their own parts and pieces,” Timmy Hill told NEWS FROM THE PITS. “We’re all in the same area as far as what we’re bolting on the cars. it’s defiantly going to close the field up. We still have plenty of work on our hands to make these cars drive faster and better, and beat the competition. It’s never going to make the field exactly even, but it’s going to close the gap.
“When we went down to Daytona for the test, we did really well in the draft. On the first day we topped the boards on speed, so it just allows us to compete at a much higher level than we have before. For me personally, I’ve always driven for the smaller teams and they’re getting hand-me-downs from the larger teams, parts that those guys didn’t no longer want. These guys are bolting them on as if they’re a new piece.
“So things are never going to be equal, but definitely closer. We still have our own work cut out to make our car faster and driving better, but looking forward to what the car will bring for us.”
Whether than focusing on the pressure of the task at hand, Hill has a keen thought process on how to tackle the next couple of days. He hopes they have enough speed on Wednesday to lock themselves in, but if not, will begin immediate focus on the Duels on Thursday.
“We have to see whose in our race, and how hard those guys race,” he explained. “Because typically if you’re locked into the Daytona 500 and with this car being as expensive and parts not available as they are, those guys won’t race as hard as somebody who is probably locked in. so that point, you try to really scheme out your competition and what they’re capable of and what they’re trying to do. So essentially if you have someone whose trying to protect their car and you have nothing to lose, you can really push those guys to a point they may not race as you as hard.”
The interest and intrigue of the Duels only is heightened by realizing each driver is heading to the Daytona 500 with a single car due to no back-ups as a result of the current new car shortage. While Noah Gragson mentioned keeping that in mind last week, Hill says you cannot think that way.
“The race pays like no other,” Hill emphasized. “For a race team like ours or Noah is driving for the Beard family, they want that big check, their partners want to be in the big show and on television. I think his mindset will probably change. We’ll probably be the only five cars or whatever cars show up as a open-car running harder than the other cars. I’m assuming all the other guys that are charter teams and locked in will want to protect their cars. but the fellas that are not locked in, they will put more on the line, that’s for sure.”