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Biography

Jump to: Overview (2) | Mini Bio (1) | Trivia (5)

Overview (2)

Born in Ashland, Ohio, USA
Died in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA  (AIDS)

Mini Bio (1)

The inspiration for the movie Days of Thunder (1990), Tim Richmond earned the nickname Hollywood Tim because of his passion to become an actor, a bug that bit him during a cameo appearance in the movie Stroker Ace (1983) with Burt Reynolds.

But Richmond became most famous for his explosive rise and tragic fall in NASCAR racing. The 1980 Indianapolis 500 rookie of the year, Richmond was involved in an Indycar crash where his car was sliced in two at Michigan International Speedway, and was persuaded by Pocono Raceway's Joseph Mattioli to try stock cars.

Richmond drove the 1981 season for some five different teams and finally achieved stability in 1982, winning his first two races. But his greatest success came when billionaire Charlotte car dealer Rick Hendrick slotted him into one of his racecars with crew chief 'Harry Hyde(II)'.

After a stormy opening quarter of 1986, Hyde and Richmond reached an understanding of each other's abilities and from late May onward were all but unstoppable, winning seven races, most of them in a ten-race span from mid-June to early September; only late-season engine failures cost Richmond a shot at the season title. His most spectacular win came at Pocono in July 1986; after crashing with 'Richard Petty' Richmond made up a lap and beat Geoff Bodine and Ricky Rudd in a three-wide photo finish.

But Richmond's health was deteriorating - he suffered a near-fatal bout with double pneumonia after the 1986 season and was literally begging doctors to save his life. Unknown to the sport at the time, Richmond also contracted AIDS (his doctor later said that Richmond, universally known in the sport as a playboy, contracted the disease via heterosexual intercourse, but there is still doubt in that regard), and despite his illness, he returned to NASCAR circles for an eight-race run in 1987 that saw victories at Pocono and Riverside, California.

Unaware of his illness other drivers suspected Richmond was a drug user, and persuaded NASCAR to test him. Two tests resulted during Speedweeks 1988, with contradictory results. NASCAR asked to see his medical records; Richmond refused and filed a defamation suit against NASCAR that was settled out of court when it was ruled that his medical records were relevant to the case.

Richmond was badly injured in a motorcycle accident in 1989 and finally succumbed to AIDS that August.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Michael Daly (fanstp43@aol.com)

Trivia (5)

Tim Richmond was one of NASCAR's most flamboyant drivers. The 1980 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year had converted to stock cars by 1981 and was a winner by 1982. From 1983-1985 Tim drove the #27 Old Milwaukee Pontiac for NHRA Funny Car Champion Raymond Beadle and his Blue Max Team. In 1986 Tim left Beadle for Rick Hendrick's #25 Folger's Chevy (crew chiefed by the legendary Harry Hyde) and over the final 17 races won 7 races and 7 poles to finish a strong 3rd in points. During the off season doctors had mistaken Tim's AIDS for pneumonia and while recovering missed the first 3 months of the 1987 season. Like something out of Hollywood in his return Tim won his first 2 races back only to be dragged down by the virus in August and having to leave the sport. One of NASCAR's greatest talents, AIDS claimed Tim in August of 1989.
Before Tim Richmond died, his last NASCAR race win was at the now-defunct Riverside International Raceway in Riverside, California in 1986.
First Nascar win: Riverside International Raceway, Riverside, California, June 13, 1982
Last Nascar win: Riverside International Raceway, Riverside, California, June 21, 1987
Out of all of the NASCAR tracks he loved, his favorites were Riverside International Raceway in Moreno Valley, California (closed in 1989 for a shopping mall), and Pocono Raceway in Pocono, Pennsylvania.

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