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Port Tobacco native and 2011 graduate of North Point High School graduate Timmy Hill is still burning rubber on the tracks and setting high goals for himself. But now he’s added another project to his repertoire: He’s training for his pilots license.

Hill captured the 2011 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year award and was the youngest in history at age 18 to do so. He drove the No. 37 Poynt.com Ford Fusion in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Rick Ware Racing. He is also the driver of the No. 15 Poynt Ford Mustang, also for Rick Ware Racing.

Hill, who now resides in High Point, N.C., said his season had its ups and downs.

“We started off with a major high with a seventh-place finish in the NASCAR Nationwide Series opening race at Daytona.” Hill said. “l finished 19th in the NASCAR Nationwide Series points this year even without being in six of the races. Mostly the downs are things like mistakes on pit road, blown tires, mechanical problems, motor problems. Just all kinds of bad luck that is just out of our hands.”

Hill said he decided to take advantage of opportunities to drive in some of the NASCAR Sprint Cup races. He competed in five of those races and posted his best Sprint Cup finish with 22nd place at the Kansas Motor Speedway.

Throughout the 2012 season he was in the NASCAR seat of the No. 41 Rick Ware Racing Ford Mustang fulltime for the Nationwide Series. Hill has spent time on the track in Las Vegas, N.V. in the No. 37 car, in Talladega, Fla. for NEMCO Motorsports in the No. 97 and in Charlotte, N.C. and Phoenix, Az. for FAS Lane Racing in the No. 32 car with his best finish at Kansas.

“To help pursue my racing career I have moved to High Point and have been living here for over a year now, but I enjoy coming home to see the family.” Hill said.

His recent visit to Maryland consisted of eating crabs, a Southern Maryland must.

“My most recent trip back home was for Thanksgiving,” Hill said, “and we had a great time eating crabs for dinner, shooting guns, and walking the trails. Over the winter I am working towards getting my pilot’s license. I took my first lesson the other day and it was a blast. I can’t wait to do more of it, so that’s my winter project.”

Hill’s 2013 plans are to run for Rookie of the Year in the Sprint Cup Series driving for FAS Lane Racing's No. 32 US Chrome Ford.

“As of right now it’s not a full season,” Hill said, “but we have about 20 races lined up to run so we are putting a heck of an effort out to be Rookie of the Year in both the Nationwide Series and the Sprint Cup Series.”

Hill’s brother, Tyler, has also been busy on the track. Over the summer Tyler won the Summer Shootout Championship, a 10-race series that runs at the Charlotte Motor Speedway’s 1/4-mile track in Legend Cars.

“This is a very well known series in the southeast,” Timmy Hill said. “Tyler has been moving up that ladder as well and getting his feet wet in some Late Model Racing at Hickory Motor Speedway [in Newton, N.C.]. Tyler was able to learn the bigger cars quick and receive a couple top five [finishes] in his first few races.”

Tyler Hill ran 10 races at Hickory Motor Speedway in 2012 in the Late Model Division. Tyler Hill plans to run in the Winter Heat Series at Charlotte again this winter.

“Tyler is last year’s champion for that series as well so he will be a tough on to beat.” Timmy Hill said.

For more information on Timmy Hill and Rick Ware Racing, go to www.Timmyhill15.com.

showalter@somdnews.com