Timmy Hill signs on for part-time Sprint Cup ride with Circle Sport Racing

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Timmy Hill made 19 starts in last year’s 36-race Sprint Cup season – finished 38th overall in the standings, which isn’t bad considering he raced just a little over a half-season – but parted ways with FAS Lane Racing after last season when the team decided to go in another direction.

His best finishes were 27th in the grueling Coca-Cola 600 and the July race at Pocono. But even more commendable is that Hill never wrecked out a car last season and suffered just three DNFs due to mechanical failure.

Just having turned 21, Hill has a new part-time ride (number of starts will be based on sponsorship) starting this weekend, where he hopes to qualify the No. 33 Circle Sport Chevrolet in the Kobalt 400 Sprint Cup race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. He’ll split driving duties on the car for several races with Brian Scott.

“I had a good year with FAS Lane Racing last year,” Hill told FrontStretch.com. “Had a very solid year, learned a lot and had a great time doing it. Over the offseason, (team owner) Frankie Stoddard told me that they didn’t have any funding for the upcoming season and [was] trying to figure out what the best deal was.

“… I got in touch with (Circle Sport team owners) Joe Falk and Mike Hillman and they showed a lot of interest for me to drive their car. Over the offseason, I kept back-and-forth talking with them. At Daytona, we finalized driving for them and here we are, going to Vegas.”

Scott, of Port Tobacco, Md., will also drive the car next week at Bristol before Scott climbs back in at Auto Club Speedway in two weeks.

“They’re running the No. 33 car all season,” said of his new team. “Brian Scott was scheduled to run the 500 and Phoenix, but he wanted to focus on his Nationwide season and they didn’t have a driver from Vegas on.

“I spoke with them over the offseason, I got a lot of experience in the Sprint Cup car last year and I was the best candidate for Las Vegas.”

Now all that’s left is to qualify and make Sunday’s show.

Follow me @JerryBonkowski

Toyota victorious in Bahrain on Porsche’s LMP1 swansong

Toyota Motorsport GmbH
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SAKHIR, Bahrain – Toyota denied Porsche a swansong victory in its final LMP1 appearance in the FIA World Endurance Championship by taking a commanding win in the 6 Hours of Bahrain on Saturday.

Porsche started from pole in the last competitive outing for the three-time Le Mans-winning 919 Hybrid car, only to lose out to Toyota’s Sebastien Buemi within the first half an hour of the race.

Porsche lost one of its cars from contention for victory after an errant bollard got stuck underneath Timo Bernhard’s No. 2 entry, leaving Nick Tandy to lead its charge in the No. 1 car.

Tandy moved into the lead just past half distance after a bold strategy call from Porsche to triple-stint the Briton after a fuel-only stop, vaulting him ahead of Anthony Davidson in the No. 8 Toyota.

Tandy’s win hopes were soon dashed when he tangled with a GTE-Am backmarker at Turn 1, sustaining damage that forced Porsche into an unplanned pit stop that put the car a lap down.

With the No. 7 Toyota losing two laps following a clash with a GTE-Pro car earlier on, Davidson, Buemi and Kazuki Nakajima went unchallenged en route to the car’s fifth victory of the season.

Porsche rounded out the podium with its cars, with the No. 2 leading home the No. 1, leaving Toyota’s No. 7 car to settle for P4 at the checkered flag.

Vaillante Rebellion clinched the title in LMP2 after a stunning fightback led by Bruno Senna, with the Brazilian securing his maiden motorsport championship win in the process.

GTE-Pro saw AF Corse complete a hat-trick of titles in 2017, with James Calado and Alessandro Pier Guidi wining the class’ first world championship recognized by the FIA, while Paul Dalla Lana, Pedro Lamy and Mathias Lauda sewed up the GTE-Am title.