Timmy Hill made his eighth start of the 2017 NASCAR XFINITY Series Season behind the wheel of the No. 40 Dodge Challenger for Carl Long’s MBM Motorsports at the Talladega Superspeedway with partnership from X-treme PH and CrashClaimsR.Us. As a smaller budgeted team, MBM Motorsports and Hill look at both superspeedways as opportunities to secure the best finishes possible, and sometimes can become the Cinderella Story in a book full of giants.
“Going into Talladega as a smaller team on a much lower budget is a big challenge. One thing about superspeedway racing is the big draft pack style racing that allows for a team that can’t afford wind tunnel time and top of the line engines, to fight our way into the draft to compete for strong finishes,” Hill said in an interview with OnPitRoad.com.
Hill and the team had just came off of a 28th-place finish at Richmond the previous weekend, and were looking at Talladega as the ultimate opportunity for the team to gain extra spotlight and leave with confidence going into the two weeks off. Hill qualified the No. 40 CrashClaimsR.Us/X-treme PH Dodge in the 37th position at a track where starting toward the rear can be an unintentional benefit and that is just what Hill and crew chief Jason Houghtaling used it as.
“On Saturday, we knew if we played our cards right that we could find ourselves with a great finish and run as strong as anyone,” Hill said. “Our strategy going into this race was to protect our car and have our strongest surge to the front at the end of the race. This actually worked out really well in our favor as there was two major accidents that took out a good handful of other cars.”
As the race began to wind down, cars began to go behind the wall one-by-one after being caught up in the two big ones. Hill and his team began to make a move toward netting the best possible finish and with a crash on the last lap, it pushed them back to a 17th-place finish, his best finish since the July race at Daytona in 2015.
“We began our charge with 12 laps to go,” he said. “Our Dodge could run right up in the middle of the lead pack, bumper to bumper with anyone in the top-5. It is an amazing feeling to be door-to-door with top of the line equipment when we know we are working with significantly less.
“With a crash on the white flag and no caution, we were pushed back to finish 17th. Even though we wanted more, we are very pleased to race as well as we did and come away with a clean car.”