|Hillman on the job despite broken ankle|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 18 September 2010 08:41|
Mike Hillman Jr. was hit by driver Zach Germain in the K&N Pro Series East race Friday at New Hampshire Motor Speedway. Hillman was helping on pit road for Miguel Paludo as a favor for Germain Racing, which owns Bodine's Truck Series team.
Germain Racing also owns the cars Paludo and Zach Germain were racing Friday, and Zach Germain is co-owner Steve Germain's son.
``I was looking to carry tires and wow, now I'm laid out on the ground,'' Hillman said Saturday. ``I really don't remember a whole bunch about it. I banged my head a little bit and my leg.''
Hillman broke his right ankle and tibia, and also tore ligaments. He will need surgery, but refused to miss Saturday's race. Bodine went into New Hampshire with a 261-point lead over Aric Almirola in the standings.
``I'm going to come out and call the race and hang out with them, but if I wasn't here, they could handle it because these guys are awesome,'' Hillman said.
Bodine said there was no chance Hillman would not call Saturday's race.
``We can't do this without our coach,'' Bodine said. ``It's like a good football team - when things are going your way, and you've got that rhythm and things are working, you don't want to disrupt it. He knows what I like in a truck. He knows how to make the adjustments and there's no way you're going to keep him from this race, I guarantee you.''
AMBROSE CONTENT: Marcos Ambrose raised more than few eyebrows when, after his fifth-place finish last week at Richmond, he said he was second-guessing his decision to move to Richard Petty Motorsports next season.
Ambrose announced last month he was leaving JTG Daugherty Racing to replace Kasey Kahne in the No. 9 Ford next season for RPM.
Ambrose did not specifically address his second-guessing remark, but said he's honestly looking forward to the future.
``I've made a lot of choices in my life, and none of them you can go back on,'' Ambrose said. ``I am just really pleased with JTG and ... all my guys that we can have good runs like that at the end of the season. We want to say goodbye the right way.''
The Australian started with JTG in the Truck Series in 2006, and helped it expand to NASCAR's premier Sprint Cup Series.
Since announcing his intent to move, Ambrose has three top-10 finishes and contended for the win at Watkins Glen. Now he wonders what his results will be with a new team.
``There's a lot of circumstances that come into play, so I just really felt like if I was going to get the most out of myself I needed to make a clean change,'' he said. ``We've had a lot of good runs the last month-and-a-half, so I am really proud of what we've done. There's no guarantee of success, but I feel good about it, though, what we've got done and what we have to come.''
HORNISH LOOKING: Sam Hornish Jr. is no longer discounting a potential return to IndyCar racing now that Penske Racing has given him permission to look for a new ride.
The three-time open-wheel champion is in danger of losing his Sprint Cup Series ride because sponsor Mobil 1 is leaving at the end of the season. If sponsorship can't be found, Hornish could be out of a Cup seat with owner Roger Penske.
``They asked what my preference was, and my preference was to stay in the Cup Series,'' he said. ``They're not going to stand in my way if I get the opportunity to be able to do that.''
Hornish had previously been opposed to open-wheel, insisting that he'd stay in NASCAR no matter what. But he seemed to soften at New Hampshire, particularly now that Dan Wheldon has announced he'll leave Panther Racing at the end of the season.
Hornish drove for Panther Racing in open-wheel before he was signed by Penske.
``I need to see how everything plays out,'' Hornish said. ``I've said a lot of times I don't have a lot of interest to go back. But I'm not going to say never. My goal is to try to stay in the Cup series, and if I have to take a step back and run Nationwide, that's a possibility. I'll have to wait and see how it plays out, I guess.''
The Nationwide Series is a real possibility for Hornish because Penske is in the middle of trying to organize its lineups and sponsorship issues could also play into who drives which cars next season. The team currently fields Dodges for Hornish, Kurt Busch and Brad Keselowski in the Cup Series, and Keselowski and Justin Allgaier in Nationwide.