Roger Hill Fielded Cars For More Than Two Decades
Daytona Beach, FL — The NASCAR Whelen Modified and Whelen Southern Modified Tours lost a member of the family Thursday after Roger Hill, owner of the No. 79 and No. 19 cars, passed away following a brief illness.
Hill and his wife, Sandra, have owned cars that competed in the Whelen Modified Tour since the 1980s. Based in Westfield, N.C., Hill’s team – Hillbilly Racing – trekked to the northeast to compete full-time in the Whelen Modified Tour year after year. Since the Whelen Southern Modified Tour was formed in 2005, the team has also often competed in those events on weekends that did not conflict with the northern-based tour.
“Roger will be greatly missed as a competitor in both modified tours,” said NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour Series Director Chad Little. “But it’s his passion for the tours that will be missed the most. His dedication to NASCAR modified racing is nearly unparalleled.”
Hill made 46 starts as a part-time driver on the Whelen Modified Tour from 1988 until 1996, when he stepped out from behind the wheel. The team has featured multiple drivers in the seat since that time, most recently James Civali in 2011. Daniel Hemric was tabbed by Hill to pilot the No. 79 for 2012.
Hillbilly Racing has enjoyed success through the years with Roger and Sandra’s son, David, leading the team as crew chief. Hill’s legacy in NASCAR modified racing extended to a third generation in 2011 when David’s son, Derrick, made his debut behind the wheel of the Hillbilly No. 19 in the Whelen Southern Modified Tour race at Bowman Gray Stadium.
Aside from his dedication to the sport, the personal touch and generosity that Hill brought to the sport will also be remembered and missed throughout the racing community.
“I valued my relationship with Roger very much,” Little said. “He always took the time to help me understand a competitor’s perspective in a respectful manner, and I appreciated that. He was instrumental in my learning process since I became the series director.”
Arrangements will be made public when available.
Sources: Jason Cunningham & Tim Southers/NASCAR PR