Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Bobby Hillin Jr Born In Midland, Texas - June 5, 1964

June 5, 1964
Robert "Bobby" Hillin Jr.
Born in Midland, Texas, USA.
He is a former competitor in the NASCAR Winston Cup Series and NASCAR Busch Series, and once held the record for being the youngest driver ever to win a Winston Cup Series event.

Hillin began his career in racing by watching his father's IndyCar team, Longhorn Racing, compete in United States Auto Club sanctioned sprint car racing and IndyCar events. An all-district linebacker in high school, he began his stock car career at the age of 13 and soon after won the track championship at Odessa Speedbowl in Odessa, Texas, and attended the Buck Baker Driving School at the age of 16.

Hillin made his debut in NASCAR Winston Cup Series competition at the age of 17, driving a car owned and sponsored by his family and crewed by Harry Hyde in the 1982 Northwestern Bank 400 at North Wilkesboro Speedway to a 21st-place finish. Hillin moved to North Carolina to further his career, continuing his education through correspondence courses. He graduated from high school the day before the 1983 Coca-Cola World 600.

In 1984 he joined Stavola Brothers Racing, and in 1986 became the youngest winner in NASCAR's "modern era" when he won the Talladega 500 for the team, at the age of 22 years, 1 month and 22 days.

Despite the win, and two wins in the NASCAR Busch Series in 1988 and 1989 driving for Highline Racing, Hillin's career took a downturn. He would later say he was not mature enough to deal with the pressures of being a NASCAR winner. He left the Stavola Brothers team after the 1990 season.

He started the 1991 season qualifying a backup car for Moroso Racing, fastest in third-round time trials for the Daytona 500. A seventh-place finish in the 500 won Hillin the team's regular ride, however after ten races a lack of sponsorship forced the team to cut back its schedule, and Hillin was released. After two races with Jimmy Means Racing, Hillin was named as substitute driver for Kyle Petty, who had broken his leg earlier in the year in a wreck at Talladega. He drove eight races in the Team SABCO No. 42 before Petty returned.

He then joined Team Ireland late in the 1991 season, and then for a partial season in 1992. When the team closed late in 1992 after being disqualified at the October Charlotte race, Hillin moved to Donlavey Racing, running the full 1993 season for the team. After three races in 1994, Hillin resigned from the team. He ran a partial schedule the rest of the year for Charles Hardy Racing and Moroso Racing. He then attempted two races early in 1995 for Moroso, before joining Jasper Motorsports twelve races into the 1995 season, replacing Davy Jones. He remained with the team through 1996 and into 1997. Hillin also competed in the Suzuka Thunder Special, an exhibition race held at Suzuka Circuit in Japan following the 1996 season, finishing seventh in the event. He was released from the team after failing to qualify for the 1997 Coca-Cola 600. Later that year Hillin attempted three races for Triad Motorsports, failing to qualify for any. He would only drive one further Winston Cup race in his career, at Bristol Motor Speedway in 2000 for Melling Racing, substituting for an injured Stacy Compton.

He restarted his own Busch Series team for the 1998 season, including five Major League Baseball players in the team's ownership. The team underperformed, and after the 2000 season he chose to go into-semiretirement, having decided to go into business in his native Texas. In 2008 Hillin returned briefly to competition, driving at Kansas Speedway in the Nationwide Series for MacDonald Motorsports. He drove one additional race for the team in the series at Texas Motor Speedway in 2009, but then retired for good from the sport.

He is currently CEO of T-Rex Engineering & Construction, providing services to the Gulf of Mexico's oil drilling industry.

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