Timmy Hill and the No. 61 Toyota at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Timmy Hill savors new partnership, equals career-best finish at Bristol

BRISTOL, Tenn. — A team collaboration that came together just this week paid off in a big way for Timmy Hill and his new-look No. 61 Toyota team at Bristol Motor Speedway.

Hill was beaming after Friday night’s seventh-place finish that matched a career best for the NASCAR Xfinity Series journeyman. The result marked the fourth top-10 finish of his career, but the first outside of Daytona International Speedway.

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“It’s huge. For me, I’ve had three or four top 10s but they’ve all been at superspeedway races,” Hill said after driving the top-finishing Toyota in Friday’s Food City 300. “A lot of the guys say, hey, that’s luck, superspeedways are luck and a lot of guys wreck out. I really feel like tonight, we’ve earned this finish. We did finish one lap down, but for the most part we were on the lead lap all night long. I feel like we really worked hard and worked our guts out tonight and feel like we earned this one.”

The race marked the debut of a partnership between Carl Long’s MBM Motorsports and Hattori Racing Enterprises with team principal Shige Hattori. Hill said the arrangement allowed the team to share notes, pool its resources and to beef up its tire supply.

Hill said he was unsure about the future of the Long-Hattori collaboration, but after a largely trouble-free debut at Bristol, the 26-year-old driver was still soaking in the night.

“Most people who know me know that I smile quite a bit,” Hill said. “No, this is going to go through the night. I’ve got a long drive back home so I’m sure I’m going to talk to my wife and my family all throughout the night and really cherish this moment.”