From staff reports
At the impressionable age of 4, Austin Hill saw a video biography of Jeff Gordon and knew he had found a new hobby.
"We showed Austin a video that told of Jeff Gordon's start in racing and Austin really liked what he saw," remembered Brian Hill, Austin's father.
Gordon, who started his career racing quarter-midgets in California, has gone on to an illustrious career racing in NASCAR's elite division. Hill has the same plans for his racing future.
"I want to race NASCAR someday. That is my racing goal and something that I would really like to do," Hill said.
In addition to Austin, Brian Hill has two other sons interested in racing. Dalton, 5, is currently racing quarter-midgets and Kason, 2, will start racing quarter-midgets when he turns 5.
Despite their geographical differences, Hill, a native of Winston, Ga. and Gordon, a Californian, do share a racing milestone. Both won their first quarter-midget championship at 8-years-old. To accompany his championship, Hill has recorded over 85 quarter-midget wins and has three Bandolero series wins.
Racing in the Atlanta Dental Team Bandolero Bandits division, Hill made his first career start at Atlanta Motor Speedway, and is a fan of the "Thunder Ring," notching a second place finish his first time out.
However, Hill did not fair as well in the first week of the Thursday Thunder season opener, getting wrecked late in the race.
"We had a second or third place finish locked up, but someone spun in front of me, someone else ran into the back of me and I spun out," Hill noted. "The track was really fast."
Not all of Hill's racing success can be attributed to natural talent alone. Steve Allison, nephew of legendary NASCAR champion, Bobby Allison, serves at team coach and crew chief for Hill Brothers Racing.
Austin has definitely got the talent to make it big," Allison said. "If I didn't think he could get it done, I wouldn't be with him."
During week two, Hill took his first step to make up the ground in the championship race he lost in the season opening round of Thursday Thunder: he led many laps and finished fourth.
"I want to win a championship in every division that I run," Hill said. "Steve has taught me how to drive and set up a race car; we can win a Bandolero championship."
Austin hopes that the laps he runs in Atlanta Motor Speedway's Thursday Thunder will be showed one day in his driving career retrospective tape he makes when he ascends to the elite driving ranks.
Tickets for Thursday Thunder are available at Gate 13 (frontstretch Champions Grandstand) on event nights. Parking is free. Spectator gates open at 6 p.m. with preliminary action beginning immediately. Feature racing begins at 7 p.m. and concludes by 10:30 p.m.
Call (770) 946-4211 for information or visit www.legendsofga.com or www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.