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Mansfield to host Tim Richmond tribute June 20

MANSFIELD, Ohio (June 15, 2009) – With personality and talent that shook the world of NASCAR, Tim Richmond made his own impression on Hendrick Motorsports in the mid-1980s. Heads certainly turned when he showed up to the 1986 race weeks at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway wearing a silk suit and toting a walking cane.

“Tim was Hollywood and way ahead of his time,” team owner Rick Hendrick once was quoted as saying of the vibrant newcomer. “He looked like he had stepped off the cover of GQ magazine.”

Simply put, Richmond was a character.

Granted the nickname “Hollywood,” Richmond’s full-faced grin and magnetic presence exuded charm and kept him in the spotlight. To celebrate his racing success and life, engines will rev up under the lights on Saturday at Mansfield Motorsports Park for the Inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA 200. The race will kick off after a 50-lap ARCA Truck Series race.

Richmond’s racing career started in 1976, but it was the 1980 Indianapolis 500 that put the Ashland, Ohio, native in the spotlight. He scored Rookie of the Race honors and went on to capture the Indy Racing League’s Rookie of the Year award. The following year, he switched from open-wheel competition to stock car racing, where he won his first-ever ARCA event in 1981 at Daytona.

Richmond continually climbed his way through the racing ranks, and in 1986, he joined Hendrick Motorsports. Richmond flourished during his first year driving Hendrick’s No. 25 Chevrolet. He earned seven wins, 13 top-five finishes and 17 top-10s in 29 NASCAR Winston Cup Series (now Sprint Cup) events, ending the season ranked third in the championship standings. His eight pole positions that season combined with the eight of teammate Geoffrey Bodine to give Hendrick Motorsports a team record 16, which still stands today.

“Tim brought legitimacy to our program,” Hendrick said. “He was a natural behind the wheel. He showed raw talent and car control while being aggressive. With Tim, we were a threat to win the championship.”
But sickness cut short Richmond’s career. He ran in eight races in 1987 for Hendrick, winning at Pocono Raceway and Riverside (Calif.) International Speedway. In 37 total Cup events with Hendrick Motorsports, Richmond scored nine of his 13 total Cup wins as well as 16 top-five finishes, 21 top-10s and nine pole positions.

For more information on the Tim Richmond tribute, please visit http://mansfieldmotorsportsonline.com.