Timmy Hill on virtual NASCAR: “The feelings are still real”
Esports | March 29th, 2020
While Timmy Hill’s bump-and-run move on William Byron to help win Sunday’s eNASCAR Pro Invitational race was only virtual in nature, Hill said he still expects some hard feelings.
With five laps remaining in the originally scheduled 125-lap event at virtual Texas Motor Speedway, Hill hit the rear bumper of Byron’s No. 24 Chevrolet entering Turn 1 sending him up the track and back in the field.
Hill, an accomplished iRacer, ended up holding off Ryan Preece and Garrett Smithley in a two-lap overtime to preserve his victory.
“I tell you what, the rush of emotions typically feels a lot the same because I knew a lot was on the line, a lot of people watching. I wanted to be careful about what I did and what I said,” Hill said when asked about the emotional impact of the race for drivers.
“It’s definitely not the same because when I’m in the car in real life, I really don’t want something to fail because it’s probably going to get hurt. I think you see a lot more aggressive moves on iRacing than you do in real life just because at the end of the day it’s not going to hurt you.”
Even so, Hill said he still expects Byron to be upset with his winning move and will likely seek the opportunity to do something similar in a future race.
“This is a very unique situation because, trust me, it feels real. I’m sure he is mad. That’s one of the situations where I think if I call him today, he probably really wouldn’t even want to talk about it. I got to probably give him some time to cool down.
“I may try to reach out to him. He’ll probably still be mad probably for the next coming weeks. Even though this is iRacing, it is virtual, the feelings are still real.”
Timmy Hill and Ryan Preece
Photo by: NASCAR Media
A huge accomplishment
Hill, 27, speaks from experience. In almost 1,700 starts in iRacing’s Oval class, he has nearly 700 wins and more than 450 poles. He finished third in last weekend’s inaugural Pro Invitational Series race at the virtual Homestead-Miami Speedway.
While his victory was only a virtual one – and one he may have a hard time replicating in real NASCAR competition driving for a small-budget team – the victory still held significance for Hill.
“I definitely rank it up there (among his racing accomplishments). The reason being is just because the platform is being televised on Fox, having essentially the entire NASCAR audience tuning in,” he said.
“I’ve won a lot of iRacing races. It’s neat to win on there. It’s really neat to win against your competitors that you race each and every Sunday. Like I’ve said, iRacing is a huge tool for me. Never (will) replace real life racing.
“I tell you what, the way I celebrate this win, the way it ranks for me, it’s definitely towards the top.”