CHICAGO — Chicago area stock car champion George Hill, 69, passed away in Florida on April 15.
Hill got involved in racing at Raceway Park near Blue Island, becoming a crew member for a number of drivers, including Raceway front runner Bill Cornwall. By the mid 1960s, Hill was regular competitor himself, competing at Raceway Park in the track’s Amateur division, winning seven features in 1966.
In 1970, Hill teamed with car builder/mechanic Rich Kuhn and purchased a ’65 Chevelle that Kuhn had put together for former Raceway Park champion Harry Simonsen to drive. Because of business interests, Simonsen decided to “semi retire” from racing with Simonsen selling the car to Hill. Never having won a feature race before in late model action, Hill got off to quick start at Raceway Park and won a total of 17 main events during the season and grabbed track championship honors at the “World’s Busiest Track.”
With his title-winning mount reskinned to a ’71 Buick Skylark, Hill begin racing a little “here and there” in 1971 — testing his skills at tracks like the Grundy County Speedway in Morris, Santa Fe Speedway near Willow Springs, and Indiana’s Illiana Motor Speedway, in addition to Raceway Park, where he finished 10th in the points with one feature win. By 1973, Hill became pretty much a regular at Santa Fe, competing on the speedway’s quarter-mile and half-mile dirt ovals, where he won a number of feature races over the years. 1972 saw Hill score a 100-lap victory on the dirt at Eastern Illinois Raceway in Danville, Ill.
Hill closed out his racing career back on paved tracks in the late 1970s.
Hill is survived by his wife, Joyce (Kuhn), two sons, Josh and Zach, and one grandchild.