this article is about the racing driver who competed in the nascar cup series in the 1980's. for the racing driver who currently competes in arca, see tim richmond (racing driver, born 1998).
for the english photographer, see tim richmond (photographer).
(1955-06-07)june 7, 1955 ashland, ohio, united states
august 13, 1989(1989-08-13) (aged 34) west palm beach, florida, united states
cause of death
named one of the 50 greatest nascar drivers of all time (1998) international motorsports hall of fame inductee (2002)
nascarcup series career
185 races run over 8 years
1980coca-cola 500 (pocono)
1987champion spark plug 400 (michigan)
1982budweiser 400 (riverside)
1987budweiser 400 (riverside)
nascarxfinity series career
10 races run over 4 years
1983kroger 200 (indianapolis)
1986gatorade 200 (darlington)
1985winn-dixie 300 (charlotte)
1986winn-dixie 300 (charlotte)
timothy lee richmond (june 7, 1955 – august 13, 1989) was an americanrace car driver from ashland, ohio. he competed in indycar racing before transferring to nascar's winston cup series. richmond was one of the first drivers to change from open wheel racing to nascar stock cars full-time, which later became an industry trend. he won the 1980 indianapolis 500 rookie of the year award and had 13 victories during eight nascar seasons.
richmond achieved his top nascar season in 1986 when he finished third in points. he won seven races that season, more than any other driver on the tour. when he missed the season-opening daytona 500 in february 1987, media reported that he had pneumonia. the infection most likely resulted from his compromised immune system, which was weakened by aids. despite the state of his health, richmond competed in eight races in 1987, winning two events and one pole position before his final race in august of that year. he attempted a comeback in 1988 before nascar banned him for testing positive for excessive over-the-counter drugs, ibuprofen and pseudoephedrine; nascar later announced they gave richmond a new test and tested negative. richmond filed a lawsuit against nascar after nascar insisted they wanted access to his entire medical record before they would reinstate him. after losing the lawsuit, richmond withdrew from racing. nascar later stated their original test was a "bad test."
richmond grew up in a wealthy family and lived a freewheeling lifestyle, earning him the nickname "hollywood". in describing richmond's influence in racing, charlotte motor speedway president humpy wheeler said, "we've never had a race driver like tim in stock car racing. he was almost a james dean-like character." when richmond was cast for a bit part in the 1983 movie stroker ace, "he fell right in with the group working on the film," said director hal needham. cole trickle, the main character in the movie days of thunder, played by tom cruise, was loosely based on richmond and his interaction with harry hyde and rick hendrick.
Richmond achieved his top NASCAR season in 1986 when he finished third in points. He won seven races that season, more than any other driver on the tour. When he missed the season-opening Daytona 500 in February 1987, media reported that he had pneumonia. The infection most likely resulted from his compromised immune system, which was weakened by AIDS. Despite the state of his health, Richmond competed in eight races in 1987, winning two events and one pole position before his final race in August of that year. He attempted a comeback in 1988 before NASCAR banned him for testing positive for excessive over-the-counter drugs, ibuprofen and pseudoephedrine; NASCAR later announced they gave Richmond a new test and tested negative. Richmond filed a lawsuit against NASCAR after NASCAR insisted they wanted access to his entire medical record before they would reinstate him. After losing the lawsuit, Richmond withdrew from racing. NASCAR later stated their original test was a "bad test."