JOLIET, Ill. -- After racing in Saturday's STP 300, Timmy Hill will head home to Maryland to get ready to fit into a cap and gown -- so he can graduate from high school.
Hill has been a regular on the Nationwide Series since turning 18 in February. One day, he's on the track next to the likes of Kevin Harvick and Carl Edwards, the next he's back in science class at North Point High School in Waldorf, Md. That surreal experience will come to an end when he graduates Tuesday.
"You grow up, see these guys on TV and think it's pretty cool," Hill said. "I go back to school and they say, 'Tim, we see you on TV.' It's incredible I get to do this."
He joked about half the kids in school having asked for his autograph, but he doesn't charge.
"I should, but I just give it out," Hill said.
Hill had modest goals for Saturday -- he was hoping to finish in the top 25 -- but his aim on the Nationwide Series this year is simply to get accustomed to the different tracks. He mentioned Edwards has been especially helpful. Hill's best finish this year was 14th at Talladega.
"A lot of drivers don't want to tell you secrets because they don't want you to get fast, but he's kind enough to give me pointers," Hill said.
Logging miles: On Saturday, four drivers flew in from Kansas City, Kan., where they were qualifying for NASCAR's STP 400 at Kansas Speedway: Harvick, Edwards, Brad Keselowski and Joe Nemechek. Both Edwards and Keselowski were in Joliet to practice Friday before flying to Kansas.
Rain, rain go away: Qualifying was halted Saturday after 17 drivers because a severe thunderstorm hit the track, sending pit crews scrambling. Starting lineups were determined by Friday's practice times. Aric Almirola took the pole while points leader Elliott Sadler was second. The rain also pushed the scheduled ARCA series race until after the STP 300.