The 12 Questions series of interviews continues with Timmy Hill, who drives for MBM Motorsports in the Cup and Xfinity Series. This interview was recorded as a podcast but is also transcribed for those who prefer to read.
1. How often do you have dreams about racing?
I’d say it happens pretty often, especially if I have a big race coming up. Like for me, it’s kind of funny: When we go to Daytona or Talladega, I always have dreams of what could happen. It’s neat to try to deeply think about what could happen. Whenever I have a race coming up where I think I could do well, it’s funny how your mind creates stuff happening.
2. If you get into someone during a race — intentional or not — does it matter if you apologize?
In my opinion, it does. Simply because we go right back into it the next week and you get very little time to digest what happened. So in my eyes, if you take someone out — I guess if it was on purpose, you wouldn’t apologize — but (you should) especially if it was on accident. That guy doesn’t know, and he’s thinking about how he got wrecked and how he was basically done wrong. So if he goes into the next week, it could come back on you. At least for my peace of mind, I like to hear it.
3. What is the biggest compliment someone could give you?
My wife and I were reading the book, The (5) Love Languages. And I think my love language has always been words of affirmation. So I like to hear “Good job,” not matter what that is — whether that’s on the racetrack or back home. For me, if I just hear “Good job” on anything, it feels nice. Because so often, people point out what you did wrong. So every now and again if somebody says good job, it makes you feel good.
I’m not familiar with the book. Can you give a brief synopsis?
We’re about halfway through, but I think there are five love languages. We had a friend, Cindy Shepherd, give us a book — we just got married in January and she said it was a good wedding present to have. So basically, everybody has a different love language. For me, it was words of affirmation. For somebody else, it may be a gift. Everybody takes something differently.
In what you respond to, essentially?
Yes. So it was a good book to read. I think for anyone in a real relationship or who wants to do better for their significant other, I think it’s a good book to read.
4. NASCAR comes to you and says they’re bringing a celebrity to the track and they want you to host them. Who is a celebrity you’d be excited to host?
I love comedians. I could think of a list of them. But I was looking at one, just because it’s football season: Pat McAfee. He used to be a punter for the Indianapolis Colts. And I’m a Redskins fan, so it wasn’t like I was a big fan of the Colts or anything. But he does videos every week about different punters or football plays. If I could host Pat, if he could come to the racetrack, I’d love to host somebody like that.
I saw he recently left Barstool, but he’s still doing stuff, right?
He quoted himself as a free agent, so he’s looking for a new gig. But his content is really funny.
5. In an effort to show this is a health-conscious sport, NASCAR decides to offer the pole for an upcoming race to the first driver willing to go vegan for one month. Would you do it?
Absolutely not. (Laughs) It’s funny, my wife is a vegetarian. I tell her all the time, I’m the complete opposite. I very rarely eat any kind of vegetables. I’ll eat a couple fruits. But I’m as non-vegan or non-vegetarian as they come.
Has she ever tried going vegan?
No. She loves her eggs, she loves her milk. So she doesn’t want to go that far. She just hates her red meats and meats in general. She’s tried to get me to branch out a little more, and I’ve tried, but it’s just not for me. I know when we were planning out wedding, she said, “I know there are not many vegetarians (coming), so make the meal for yourself.” I had this incredible spread of beef and pork and all kinds of stuff for our wedding. So I don’t think I could do it.
6. It’s time for the Random Race Challenge. I’ve picked a random race from your career and you have to tell me where you finished. This is the 2012 Darlington Xfinity race. Do you remember this at all?
I believe I do. I think we finished 15th on the lead lap.
You finished 16th! That’s pretty damn close for a race six years ago.
So that race, I remember very vividly. It was a really good race for us. We didn’t put a scratch on the car, which is very tough to do at Darlington. I remember having to fight my crew chief on the radio about taking a late wave-around that paid off for us. It put us back on the lead lap and had an incredible finish. That was a big moment for us.
You started 31st and came all the way up through the field.
Yes. I think we qualified on scuffed tires and I don’t think we even had one set of sticker tires for that race. It’s hard to think about that, being Darlington, but that was a really good race for us.
7. Who is the best rapper alive?
See, I don’t listen to rap. The very little I do know about rap is some rappers are named after candy and some are named after change and dollars. My wife knows more about rap than I do.
8. Who has the most punchable face in NASCAR?
Gosh, that could be taken a lot of different ways. We’ll go with Brett Griffin (spotter and co-host of the “Door Bumper Clear” podcast). Reason being, he just seems very arrogant and he just seems like he’d have one of those faces you’d like to punch.
Has he talked bad about you on the Door Bumper Clear podcast?
I think he does often. I have a hard time listening to podcasts — I just don’t have the time for it — but from what I understand, he does.
So you hear people say, “Oh, I heard @SpotterBrett say something about you this week?”
It seems like he’s infatuated with me. (Laughs) Don’t know why.
9. NASCAR enlists three famous Americans to be involved with your team for one race as part of a publicity push: Taylor Swift, LeBron James and Tom Hanks. Pick one to be your crew chief, one to be your spotter and one to be your motorhome driver.
Well, for spotter we’ll have to go with Taylor Swift. She’d be nice to hear on the radio.
And she could put @SpotterBrett in his place.
Yeah. Give him a little slap. (Laughs) But she’d be soothing on the radio.
Motorcoach driver, I’ll go LeBron James. That way if we have any tussles on the road, he can fight them. He’s a big guy. I think he’d find the role pretty nice.
That leaves Tom Hanks with the crew chief.
10. What is the key to finding the best pre-race bathroom?
I’ve gotten to the point now where I’ve looked for them very closely and very hard before going to driver intros. You get off that stage and your window is short because you’ve got obligations with your sponsors and you’ve got to take pictures and then the national anthem comes up right away. Most of the time, they have port-o-johns on pit road, but some tracks don’t have them. Then it becomes a challenge because then you’ve got to go a long distance to try to find one.
11. NASCAR decides they would like the highlight reel value brought by the former Carl Edwards backflips and want their own version. How much money would they have to offer for you to backflip off your car following your next win?
I think it’d have to be a lot of money. I’ve tried doing backflips off a boat or into a foam pit. For some reason, I’m always half a rotation short of being able to do a backflip.
You’re a tall guy, too. Tough to get all the way around.
Yeah, some people say that’s an advantage because I’ve got more height. For me, I just don’t have what it takes. I don’t mind trying it if you paid a lot of money to do it. I just don’t think I’ll land it. (Laughs)
12. Each week, I ask a driver to give me a question for the next interview. Last week was Justin Haley, and he wanted to know: How long did it take you to grow that impressive Darlington throwback mustache?
That took me three or four weeks. Didn’t take me very long. I’ll grow a five o’clock shadow literally in a day. Some people say, “Man, it’s really cool you can do that.” I hate it because I’m always shaving. For that occasion, it was really cool to have.
I did it last year, and I put a poll up (this year) — almost knowing the answer — asking my fans if they wanted me to do a mustache or a fu manchu. Of course, they all said fu manchu. I even thought about keeping the fu manchu, but I shaved it Wednesday, went out to the grocery store with it. As soon as I walked into restaurants or the grocery store, people were looking over at their shoulders, staring at me. I wish I could keep it, but I’m just self-conscious and I can’t do it.
How come no full beard?
I personally have always liked a clean look. My wife begs me to have it. It’s just too much. It’s just hard to maintain. I just like the baby face.
Do you have a question I can ask the next driver?
I like to give you questions that are not related to racing. Since football season is here, if your next driver has a fantasy football team, what is their fantasy sports team name? Some people get very creative with it. It’d be cool to see what they come up with.