Josh Hill (left) and Justin Hill both ride for Team Tedder. (Align Media photo)

Josh & Justin Hill: The Comeback Tour

The last time Josh Hill won a Monster Energy AMA Supercross race in the 450SX class was 15 years ago. It’s also been six years since his little brother, Justin Hill, stood atop the podium in the 250SX class.

Over the last decade, both Hills have left racing at various times to dabble in other fields of employment — Josh to work behind a desk at Monster Energy and Justin served as a law enforcement officer. But eventually, the world of dirt bike racing called them back.

Josh made a quiet return in 2018 and Justin re-emerged at the starting gate this season.

While the facts of the matter suggest that both riders are well past their prime — considering time spent off the bike, out of race shape and so forth — what’s miraculous about the Hill brothers and their story is that it’s still being written.

“If you would have told 18-year-old me that I would be 33 years old and circulating out here, getting 11th and 12th and being pumped about it, 18-year-old me probably would’ve smacked me upside the head,” Josh said with a laugh. “But as you get older, things change.”

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Josh Hill finished 10th in Detroit. (Align Media photo)

The two brothers may be older and wiser, but they’ve seemed to find new life aboard their Team Tedder Monster Energy Mountain Motorsports machines. This also marks the first season in their professional careers they’ve raced for the same team.

Though Justin and Josh haven’t been quite close enough, competitively speaking, to be involved in the championship conversation, they’ve still managed to make history on their joint comeback tour. 

On March 18, at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich., the Hills became the first brothers in nearly 50 years to finish inside the top 10 of a 450SX main event. The last siblings to do so were Jim and Ron Pomeroy in 1974.

The Oregon natives have repeated the performance twice since then — once at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tenn., on April 29 and again at Empower Field in Denver, Colo., on May 6.

“It’s been done before, but literally in the first years of the sport. For us to be the ones to do it, not even the Stewart brothers or other brothers who have been unreal, is pretty neat,” Justin said. “It doesn’t happen for 50 years and then we do it three times in one year.”

Aside from the records, the duo has continued to chip away at their personal goals — an effort that reached its peak last Saturday in Denver.

Josh finished seventh on his No. 751 Yamaha, signifying his best result since 2014 when he finished sixth at the Supercross finale in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Justin climbed to fourth and secured a second consecutive top-five finish — a career-best result for the No. 46 rider.

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Justin Hill is coming off two consecutive top-five finishes. (Align Media photo)

Justin’s streak has contributed to a slight shift in mentality for the 27-year-old, as he’s left feeling like he can be more than just “a solid, top-10 guy” on a regular basis.

“It’s going to be really hard for it not to change things. It feels like it’s time for me to push,” Justin said. “But I think I’m going to play it by ear and see how I feel. If I feel like I got it, then I’m going to try to take it.”

On the other side of the team awning, while enthralled by his results, Josh is also cognizant of his reality.

“I’m in good conditioning to ride the pace that I want to ride for 20 minutes. But those guys are just pushing the limits as hard as they can,” Josh said, referring to the rest of the 450SX class. “I really do believe I can be closer to the top five.”

As the elder Hill brother, the 33-year-old has an extra spark lighting his fire when it comes to on-track competition.

“I want to beat Justin again,” Josh said. “I’ve only beat him once (in Oakland), so I’ve got to get a little bit on him.”

His last chance to finish ahead of Justin will be this Saturday’s season finale at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City, Utah. But regardless of how it ends, both brothers will still have a list of reasons to walk away from the season with their heads held high.