Tim Richmond’s career began at the age of three when he raced go-carts at a track in Moreland and New Pittsburg, Ohio. He would also run back and forth to the mail box, calling to his father to “time him” and see if he could shave a little time off his efforts each day.
He attended grammar school in Ohio, but his high schools days were spent at Miami Military Academy in Florida, where he was Athlete of the Year in 1970 for his football and track prowess. He also attended Ashland University for one year. At the age of 16, he soloed and earned his Aviation Rating in Instrument, Multiple Engine and Helicopters.
Tim’s auto racing began in 1976 as he was proclaimed Track Chairman at the Sandusky Speedway, running Super Modified and Sprints. In 1977, he won the Ohio State Champion Series driving Super Modified cars. In 1978, Tim was the USAC Rookie of the Year. 1979 saw time win his first Mini-Indy at Phoenix. Tim’s big break came in 1980 at Indy as he finished ninth. His can ran out of gas on his last lap, and Johnny Rutherford, who won the Indy 500, stopped his car and Tim a lift to the winner’s circle.
Ashland promoted a TIM RICHMOND DAY parade and program at Myers Memorial Band Shell after his Indianapolis 500 race. Although Tim lived between North Carolina and Florida, he continued to call Ashland home. On and off camera, he would frequently mention family, friends, and his hometown of Ashland, Ohio.
In the latter part of 1982, Tim began his NASCAR career by winning two races at Riverside, California, while driving for J.D. Stacey. In 1983, Tim and Raymond Beattle got together and raced 30 events for the BLUE/MAX MILWAUKEE TEAM. In 1984, he was named as one of “the best of the new generation” by Esquire Magazine.
1986 became Tim’s “magical year” as he acquired car number 25 owned by Rick Hendrick and went on to win seven races and capture eight poles; truly a tremendous feat. He was named Co-Driver of the year with Dale Earnhart by the National Motorsports Press Association for his 13 top-five and 16 top-ten finishes. In all, Tim had 13 victories and 14 pole positions in his Winston Cup Career. Again, he never forgot to thank his parents, Al and Evelyn Richmond, and his sitter, Sandy, his car owner, Rick Hendrick, and his crew chief, Harry Hyde.
Although Tim Richmond’s rather flamboyant lifestyle and tragic circumstances surrounding his death case many eyebrow to raise, his outstanding accomplishments and talent as a race car driver cannot be questioned, and will not be forgotten in Ashland, Ohio.
Nominator: Gary Drebelbis & Diana White