Inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA-RE/MAX 200
Richmond, a native of Ashland, Ohio, is often referred to as one of the most talented race car drivers who set foot on a track. From go-carts to NASCAR,
he could drive anything!
Tim Richmond's path to stardom began on Ohio short tracks
Tim Richmond was blessed with gifts that made him destined for greatness
on and off the race track. With the support of a loving family, father - Al, mother - Evelyn and sister - Sondra, it was not long before that greatness was revealed.
He demonstrated he had star quality from an early age. He was a star athlete at his high school, Miami Military Academy. He set a conference record in high hurdles and was such an outstanding football player that his high school retired his jersey and named him Athlete of the Year in 1970.
The life and times of Richmond
Tim would have turned 54 on June 7. As a youth, Richmond had an interest in things that went fast starting with go-karts, as a boy and graduated to cars and airplanes as a teen. His parents gave him a Pontiac Trans Am for his
Surely an occasional street race or zipping up and down nearby Interstate 71 wasn't enough to satisfy his need for speed and performance. Still, it wasn't until age 22 when he got into his first real racecar owned by a friend in 1976.
He first drove a dirt Sprint car at Lakeville, Ohio. He showed some talent that season, but wrecked several times, too.
The next season, his dad purchased a Supermodified, a unique pavement open-wheel race car featured at few tracks. One track in Ohio ran them on a weekly basis, Sandusky Speedway on Ohio's "north coast" near Lake Erie. Richmond went on to be the division's champion and rookie of the year.
1978: Richmond switched to USAC Sprint Cars and won a Mini-Indy Series event at Phoenix which grabbed the attention of IndyCar owners. Richmond made his first IndyCar start at Michigan in 1979 but finished last due to a blown engine. But his path had taken him into the major leagues of open-wheel racing.
1980: Richmond entered his first Indianapolis 500, and in a story book finish, Richmond finished ninth despite running out of fuel in the final laps. Johnny Rutherford won the race and had Richmond jump on the side-pod of his car for a ride back to the pits as he was completing his victory lap. Both drivers were elated, and Indianapolis' sophisticated IndyCar crowd vocally celebrated both drivers' accomplishments.
A series of wrecks in the following races didn't discourage Tim, but his parents agreed they would be happy if he stopped racing altogether.
It's fitting that the Tim Richmond Inaugural - the brainchild of co-promoter Joe Mattioli, III - is being held. It was Joe, son of Pocono Raceway's owners Drs. Rose and Joe Mattioli, who brokered the deal that brought Richmond to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing, and the deal with ARCA and MMP.