DAVID RAGAN - 12/24/1985 - is an American stock car driver.  Ragan was born in Unadilla, Georgia, the son of former racer Ken Ragan, and began his racing career racing in the Bandolero Series at age 12.  Four years later, he began competing in the Goody’s Dash Series with Cam Strader.  After one year, he moved to the Legends Pro-Division to race for Mark Martin.  He concluded the season by finishing fourth in the point standings. At age 18, Ragan began racing in the Camping World Truck Series, Nationwide Series, and the ARCA Racing Series.  In 2007, he moved the Sprint Cup Series, driving for Roush Fenway Racing. He drove the AAA sponsored Ford in 2007 and 2008.  In 2009 Roush picked up UPS sponsorship to field Ragan's Ford.  UPS remained the sponsor through 2011 when Ragan left to go to race for owner Bob Jenkins.  Between 2007 and 2011, he recorded 30 top-tens in the series.  On July 2, 2011, David Ragan won his first career 

NASCAR Sprint Cup series race, the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.  When he was 19 he participated in Roush Racing: Driver X as the co-driver of the number 6 Roush Fenway Racing Ford F-150 in the Truck Series.  After participating in 19 events in the series, he recorded one top-five, eight top-ten finishes, and earned one pole position.  Also in 2005, Ragan participated in three Busch Series events, as well as 19 ARCA Racing Series events, where he managed to win one race, and record three pole positions, eight top-five and 11 top-ten finishes.  During the 2006 season, he participated in three Busch Series events, and two Sprint Cup Series events.  He also participated in 19 Truck Series events, where he recorded two pole positions, one top-five and eight top-ten finishes.  For the 2007 season, Ragan also participated for the NASCAR Rookie of the Year standings in both Sprint Cup and Busch Series, where he managed to finished 

second in the Nextel Cup Series, while winning the award in the Busch Series.  During the Cup season, Ragan recorded two top-five finishes, with one being in the 2007 Daytona 500, and three top-tens, finishing 23rd in the point standings.  In 2008, he raced in the Sprint Cup Series, the Nationwide Series, as well as in two ARCA Racing Series events.  During 2010, he only participated in the Sprint Cup Series.  He recorded only three top-five finishes and finished 24th in points once the season concluded.  In 2011, he began the year almost winning the Daytona 500, but he got penalized for moving lanes before he crossed the line on the restart with two laps to go.  On May 21, 2011, he won the Sprint All-Star Showdown at Charlotte Motor Speedway, passing Brad Keselowski with two laps to go.  He won the Coke Zero 400 on July 2, 2011 for his first career Sprint Cup win. He was eligible to compete in the 

"wild card" to get himself into the chase.  After bad finishes a few weeks before the final race before the chase at Richmond, he finished 4th but was 54 points away from 13th to put himself into a chase position. At the end of the 2011 season UPS, Ragan’s primary sponsor on the Roush Fenway Racing No. 6 Ford, announced that they would no longer sponsor the #6 and that the company would scale back it’s racing program next season.  Leaving the number 6 team without sponsorship and ultimately forced the camp to shut down, making Roush Fenway Racing a 3 car team for the 2012 season.  In January 2012, Ragan signed with Front Row Motorsports to drive the No. 34 Ford for the team in 2012.  Ragan was an upset winner at Talladega in 2013 as he and team mate David Gilliland hooked up and moved their cars to the front on the last lap as Ragan and Gilliland passed Carl Edwards to finish one-two. This was Ragan's second win so far; and the first win for the fledgling Front Row Motorsports team and owner Bob Jenkins.  Ragan stayed with Jenkins through the 2015 season.  Ragan got the opportunity to drive some quality equipment for the first time in

his career in 2015. Due to Kyle Busch's early season injury, Ragan was tabbed to fill the seat in the Joe Gibbs car for nine races. After that he went to the Michael Waltrip race team; drove the #55 Aaron's car and finished the season there.  Ragan finished a surprising fifth at Martinsville in the Gibbs machine; while his best finish for Waltrip was 12th at Daytona. The failure to finish well in competitive cars had Ragan looking for a ride going into the 2016 season.  As was suspected he did find a ride, but in lower level equipment.  He landed at BK Racing driving the #23 Dr Pepper machine; a two car operation with limited funding.  He was only able to post two finishes inside the top 20 and at the end of the  

season was released for the team.  Ragan will return to Front RowMotorsports for the 2017 season driving the #38 car.  Info from WikiPedia

 

KEN RAGAN - 9/12/1950 -  is a former NASCAR Winston Cup driver and the father of NASCAR Sprint Cup driver David Ragan. What many may fail to realize is that Ken Ragan was a second generation racer who brought much skill, determination and drive to all his racing efforts.  It’s those attributes that has carried over to the third generation of Ragan racing with Ken’s son, NASCAR Sprint Cup racer David Ragan.  His father, Hugh, owned race cars that raced on Daytona Beach and at the famed Lakewood Speedway in Atlanta, among many others, in the 1940s and 1950s, picking up an eighth place finish on the beach in 1948.  Ragan began his racing career piloting high-speed go carts, winning the World Karting Association Championship in 1978 after finishing as 

runner-up in 1977.  In 1985, Ragan made it an all Georgia sweep of the Speedweeks pole at Daytona.  With fellow Georgian Bill Elliott on the pole for the Daytona 500.  Later that year, a serious wreck at Talladega would sideline Ragan with a neck injury.  Ken made 50 Cup starts from 1982 to 1990, mostly for his brother Marvin, but also drove in the 1985 season for Roger Hamby.  Ragan's best finish was an 11th place that he recorded at Talladega Superspeedway in 1984. He also made five Busch Series starts in 1982 and 1983.  Ken travels with his young son to all of his races with his race team and manages his career. David Ragan won the 2011 Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway.  Later that same month, the Ragan family scored a second big win, when Ken was named as a 2011 inductee into the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in Dawsonville, Georgia.  After retiring from driving, Ragan worked to help establish Legends Cars of Georgia in 1997 and in 2001

would move to Charlotte, North Carolina to manage 600 Racing, which manufactures and sponsors Legends cars around the world.  Ragan was instrumental in opening the door for many drivers to have the opportunity to race, including several current NASCAR stars.  Info from WikiPedia

 

DICK RATHMANN - 1/6/1924 - 2/1/2000 - (born James Rathmann) was an American race car driver.  He drove in the AAA Championship Car series in the 1949 and 1950 seasons with 4 starts, including the 1950 Indianapolis 500. That year he finished 5th behind winner Pat Flaherty.  He ran a total of 37 Indy car events with seven top five finishes.  Dick sat on the pole for the 1958 Indianapolis 500. On the first lap, he and fellow front-row starter Ed Elisian raced into turn 3 and started a chain-reaction accident which involved 15 cars and cost the life of Pat O'Connor. With that accident, Rathmann became the first Indy pole-sitter to complete no laps.  Dick was the elder brother of 1960 Indianapolis 500 winner Jim Rathmann. Jim and Dick switched names in 1946 so that his younger brother could enter a race while underage.  For what was supposed to be a short time, he adopted the name "Dick" and his brother adopted the name "Jim."  The name change stuck for life.  Rathmann ran 41 AAA?Indy Car series events.  he had a best finish of third opn three occasions.  His best finish in the Indy 500 was a fifth in 1956.  The picture here is from his 1964 Indy 500 car where he placed seventh.  Rathman would race five seasons in the CUP series; from 1951 through 1955.  He won his first race at Martinsville on April 6, 1952 driving a 1951 Hudson.  In fact all of his wins would come wheeling a Hudson.  He would go on to win 13 times in 

128 starts.  His last win coming at Santa Fe Speedway in Willow Springs IL in July of 1954.  Rathmann's last win came driving for car owner John Ditz.  It was his last win as a car owner.  Rathmann finished third in the CUP points in 1953; fourth in 1954, and fifth in 1952.  Info from WikiPedia

 

 

DAVID REUTIMANN - 3/2/1970 - is an American NASCAR driver from Zephyrhills, Florida.  He drove first for Michael Waltrip racing in the State Fair sponsored Chevy driving his first race in 2005.  Reutimann didn't compete in any CUP races in 2006, but came back to Michael Waltrip Racing in 2007 and would remain there from 2007-2011.  David's livery carried a variety of sponsors during his tenure with Waltrip; including State Farm Hot Dogs; Domino's Pizza;  UPS and Aarons. In 2004, he won NASCAR Rookie of the Year honors in the Craftsman Truck Series. He is the son of Buzzie Reutimann, who made one NASCAR start in 1963.  Reutimann, a third-generation racer, began his racing career in dirt-track modifieds and late models before moving up to the Slim Jim All Pro Series in 1997. He was named Rookie of the Year, 

finishing in the  top-ten eight times and had a fifth-place points finish. The next season, he dropped to seventh in points, but received the Sportsmanship award at season's end. After several years, Reutimann got his first three wins in 2002 and finished second in the overall championship standings.  That same year, Reutimann made his Busch Series debut at Richmond International Raceway. Driving the No. 87 Geico Chevrolet Monte Carlo for NEMCO Motorsports, Reutimann started thirty-fourth but finished sixteenth. He led twelve laps at his next race at Memphis Motorsports Park, and finished in the top-fifteen in 

each of his next two races. The following season, he ran seven Busch races for NEMCO, finishing fifth at Nashville Speedway USA and The Milwaukee Mile.  In 2004, Reutimann signed on with Darrell Waltrip Motorsports to race the NTN Bearings truck in the Craftsman Truck Series. Winning the pole in his second race at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Reutimann had four top-fives and finished 14th in points, garnering Rookie of the Year honors. Reutimann won his first career race in 2005 at Nashville Superspeedway,  Reutimann moved up to the Nextel Cup Series in 2007 with Waltrip Racing, carrying sponsorship from Burger King and Domino's Pizza and a Raybestos Rookie of

the Year Candidate. Late in the season, he won the 2007 Sam's Town 250 at Memphis Motorsports Park for his first career Busch Series win.  In 2008 Reutimann ran the first five races of the season in the No. 00 car, before taking over for the retiring Dale Jarrett in the No. 44 UPS ride and handing the No. 00 ride over to rookie Michael McDowell.  For 2009, Reutimann moved back to the No. 00 Aaron's Dream Machine. Reutimann competed a limited schedule in the Nationwide Series, splitting time with MWR's #99 Camry and Braun Racing's #10 Camry. On May 25, Reutimann scored his first Sprint Cup win in the Coca-Cola 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway. With this victory, David became the 20th different driver to win a race in all three of NASCAR's top series (Winston/Sprint Cup series, Busch/Nationwide series, and 

Craftsman/Camping World Truck Series). This race was the 50th Coca-Cola 600 at Lowes Motor Speedway.  He also became the first driver in NASCAR Sprint Cup Series history to win a race without leading a lap under green.  Reutimann won his second career race at the 2010 LifeLock.com 400 at Chicagoland Speedway in the No. 00 TUMS Toyota, after chasing down Jeff Gordon and passing him for the lead. Reutimann would pull away and lead the rest of the race, after a late charge by Carl Edwards died off.  2011 was a disappointing year for both Reutimann and MWR. David and #00 team only scored one top five finish and two top ten 

finishes. At Watkins Glen on the final lap, Boris Said turned David Ragan entering the esses. Ragan came back onto the track and hit Reutimann, hit the ARMCO outside barrier and he rolled over spectacularly after the hard hit.  Reutimann was released from his MWR contact, which was a sponsor decision. He finished out the season, but would not return in 2012.  On January 3, 2012, Reutimann signed a one year contract to drive for Tommy Baldwin Racing replacing Landon Cassill in the #23 Dr Pepper machine.  As part of an alliance with Stewart-Haas Racing that TBR agreed to on January 31, Reutimann will share the SHR No. 10 entry, which will be fielded by TBR, with Danica Patrick.  Reutimann started the season a high note, finishing 16th in the Daytona 500. However the team would struggle through the season, not recording another top-20 finish.  Reutimann finished 33rd in points. Following the season Reutimann and the team parted way.  Reutimann began the 2014 season without a ride in any of 

NASCAR's top three divisions, however in March it was announced that he would drive the Sprint Cup No. 35 Ford for Front Row Motorsports at Bristol Motor Speedway.  He failed to qualify for the event.  Reutimann only made the field in three of the six Cup races he attempted.  His contract was not renewed the following year; and as of 2017 hasn't raced in the CUP series since.  It appears his last start was at Richmond driving the #35 MDS Ford. To date, Reutimann has 235 starts, and the two CUP wins.  He also started 127 Xfinity series races, winning once.   David is the son of Buzzie Reutimann.  Primarily a Short track racer, he made one NASCAR start on November 11, 1962 in Tampa, Florida at Golden Gate 

Speedway. He was given the nickname "Buzzie" at birth after several nurses noticed he made buzzing sounds as an infant.  He drove the number #00, and so did his son David in the Sprint Cup Series.  Info from WikiPedia 

 

BILL REXFORD - 3/14/1927 - 4/18/1994 - was the only child of Kermit and Edith Rexford. Kermit owned a small Chevrolet sub-dealership in the village.  Young Bill grew interested in cars as he helped around his dad's shop.  At the age of sixteen, his passion for cars led him to attempt jalopy racing at the Penny Royal race track, a half-mile dirt oval in nearby Leon, NY.  Bill's fledgling racing career was put on hold when he joined the Navy.  He served as a control tower operator in Rhode Island.  Following his discharge in '46, Bill resumed jalopy racing at the local bullrings.  Although his cars were crude and the prize money minimal, Rexford loved the fun and excitement of the sport.  In late summer of 1949, while attending a party, Bill heard that Jamestown used car dealer, Julian Buesink, had entered a car in the NASCAR sanctioned race at the one-mile circular dirt track at Langhorne, PA and was looking for a driver. Rexford approached Buesink with an offer to drive and a deal was struck.  On September 11, 1949, Rexford drove Buesink's 1949 Ford #59 from the 23rd staring position in a field of 45 entries to a 14th place finish. He completed 177 laps, 13 laps in arrears to the winner, Curtis Turner of Roanoke, VA.  Although Turner and the car owner of his '49 Oldsmobile,  

Hubert Westmoreland were rewarded handsomely with $2250, the Rexford-Buesink team netted just $50.  1949 was the first year of existence for the newly formed NASCAR organization.  In total, the Bill France led group sanctioned eight events with Red Byron of Atlanta, GA, driving a '49 Olds 88 owned by Raymond Parks, being declared its first national champion.  Despite racing in only three races, Rexford ended up in 12th place in the final points tally.  For 1950, Buesink had added Lloyd Moore as a team mate to Rexford, and he continued his two-car team of Rexford and Moore on the expanding NASCAR circuit. Rexford  competed in 17 of the 19 events, recording one win, 5 top-five finishes, 11 top-tens in his #60 numbers 1950 Oldsmobile.  Bill's victory came 

in the "Poor Man's 500" at Canfield, OH.  The race was so named because it was held the same day, May 30, 1950, as the other more notable Memorial Day race in Indianapolis.  Rexford, driving a '50 Olds #60, took the lead from Curtis Turner on the 121st lap and led the remaining 80 circuits to score a two-lap victory over Glenn Dunnaway and teammate Lloyd Moore.  Bill received $1000 in prize money and another $400 in lap money, the first time bonuses for leading laps had ever been offered in a NASCAR race.  Rexford's average finishing position of eleventh and just three DNFs (did not finish) were good enough to make him the 1950 NASCAR Champion, edging out Fireball Roberts of

Daytona Beach, FL, and Lee Petty for the honor.  Teammate Moore completed the season in fourth place marking a very successful year for car-owner Buesink.  To date Rexford is still the youngest driver to even win a CUP Championship (at the age of 23 years, 229 days)  As champion, Rexford received $2000, a Bulova wristwatch, and a 1951 Nash Rambler convertible.  As agreed upon in their deal, and as they had been doing all year, Bill split the money with Buesink.  However, a dispute arose between the two men regarding the car. Julian believed Bill should compensate him for half its value, whereas Rexford felt that he had earned the exclusive right to the car.  Is this picture Rexford can be seen receiving the keys to his new Nash.  Rexford ultimately traded the Nash 

convertible for a hardtop model that he raced on quarter-mile tracks. The disagreement that developed over the car eventually led to the demise of the Rexford-Buesink team.  The following year, Buesink promoted Moore to lead driver status giving him 22 NASCAR starts.  Julian also employed seven other drivers to drive 24 other entries. Meanwhile, Rexford got just five rides in Buesink cars that season.  The Buesink-Rexford relationship continued to sour in 1952 as Bill got just two NASCAR starts in Julian's #60 Ford resulting in an 8th and a 16th 

place finish.  Meanwhile Moore and Jim Paschal combined for 14 races in Buesink machines.  Similarly in 1953, Rexford got two NASCAR starts for Buesink, however with much better results, a 5th at Rochester and a 10th at Langhorne.  1953 also marked the debut of a new sanctioning body, MARC (Midwest Association for Race Cars) that was organized by a former NASCAR official, John Marcum, and headquartered in Toledo, OH. MARC offered new racing opportunities for Bill.  He drove a car co-owned by Bob Duell of Frewsburg, NY in the new circuit's races.  Although complete historical records for the full 1953 MARC season are lacking, Rexford drove to 5th place finishes at Akron, OH and Canfield.  He completed the season in sixth place in the final points tally behind champion Jim Romine from Youngstown, OH.  His MARC participation did not go unnoticed by NASCAR czar Bill France who viewed MARC as a threat to his racing empire.  France suspended Rexford from NASCAR competition and fined him $1000, a penalty Rexford refused to pay.  He would never race in the NASCAR series again.  In 1954 Rexford moved to Ohio and from 1954-1956 he raced with limited success in the MARC series.   MARC was the forerunner to the ARCA series.  He drove for several car owners (each operated auto dealerships).  You can see in one picture the Car number is actually the address of the car dealeship "500 East Street" Shortly after he had completed his first two rides his driver replacements were killed.  Those deaths along with other factors changed his viewpoint and he decided to give up racing.

 

TIM RICHMOND - 6/7/1955 - 8/13/1989 - was an American race car driver from Ashland, Ohio. He competed in IndyCar racing before transferring to NASCAR's Cup Series.  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 winning seven races, and 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. The disease drastically shortened his life. (complete story below)  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 a banned substance; after NASCAR insisted on access to his entire medical record before reinstating him, Richmond withdrew 

from racing.  NASCAR later stated their original test was inaccurate.  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.  Tim's driving days started as a toddler when he was given a go-kart that he often drove inside buildings and across his lawn.  

Richmond grew up in a well-to-do family, and was sometimes therefore treated differently by his classmates, so his parents enrolled him in Miami Military Academy in Miami, Florida. During his years in Miami, Tim and his mother moved to Florida and his father stayed in Ohio. While home in Ohio over a summer break, he met local drag racer Raymond Beadle through lifelong friend Fred Miller.  Richmond excelled in sports; he set a conference record in high hurdles and his high school football career was stellar enough that the academy retired his sports jersey after his gridiron days 

were over.   Miami Military Academy named him Athlete of the Year in 1970.  Richmond's other interests included flying, and he earned his private pilot license at age 16.  A friend of Richmond's father co-owned a sprint car and Richmond joined the team as a crew member for Dave Shoemaker. In 1976, 21-year-old Richmond took the car onto Lakeville Speedway at Lakeville, Ohio for some practice laps. "Somebody put a stopwatch on me," Richmond said. "I was running laps faster than Dave had been. It was the first time I had ever driven a race car.  Richmond raced in sprint cars in the United States Automobile Club's (USAC) national sprint car tour in 1978.  Competing in 12 races, he was the series' Rookie of the Year.  Richmond's father bought an Eagle Indy Car chassis and an Offenhauser engine for the 1979 race at Michigan International Speedway. Richmond qualified 21st fastest with a 175.768 mph lap, significantly slower than Bobby Unser's 203.879 mph pole position speed.  After crashing during the first day of qualifying for the 1980 Indianapolis 500, Richmond recovered and was able to qualify in the 19th starting position for the race.  He worked his way up to the top 10 during the race, led a lap, and finished ninth as he ran out of fuel at the end of the race.  To the delight of the crowd, winner Johnny Rutherford gave him a ride back to the pits.  He was named the 1980 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year. "I busted up a few Indy cars right after that," he said.   

 

"Milwaukee, Mid-Ohio. . . at Michigan I cut one in two. I was afraid my racing career would come to a halt. So when I got an offer to drive stock cars, I took it, and it turned out I liked driving them better.  Pocono Raceway owner and founder Dr. Joseph Mattioli convinced Richmond to make the change to stock car racing on the NASCAR circuit.  Richmond made his first NASCAR start two months after winning the Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year award.  He debuted at the Coca-Cola 500 Pocono on July 27, 1980, finishing 12th in a D. K. Ulrich-owned Chevrolet.  In 1981 he had his first career top 

10 finish, taking sixth place at Talladega Superspeedway, soon followed by a seventh place finish at Texas World Speedway.  In 1982 Richmond was hired to drive J.D. Stacy's #2 car. In his first race for the team, Richmond earned his first career top 5 finish when he placed fifth at Darlington Raceway. Returning to Pocono, he finished second, before winning his first race on the road course at Riverside, California the following week.  The tour returned to 

Riverside for the final race of the season where Richmond won his second race, sweeping both events at the track.  For the season, Richmond had twelve top 10s, two wins, and one pole to finish 26th in points.  In 1983, Richmond began racing for Raymond Beadle whom he had known before he started racing.  He returned to the three-cornered Pocono racetrack, earning his first oval victory.  In 1985, the final season that Richmond competed for Beadle, his best finish was a second place run at Bristol.  He ended the 

season 11th in points with 13 Top 10's.  Richmond joined Hendrick Motorsports in 1986, where he teamed up with veteran crew chief Harry Hyde. It took the team until the middle of the season to gel.  Richmond had suffered a 64-race win-less streak that was finally broken at the Van Scoy Diamond Mine 500 at Pocono in June 1986. After two straight second place finishes at Charlotte and Riverside, Richmond started the Pocono event in third.  That race saw a caution for rain with five laps left before the halfway point.  NASCAR wanted the cars to get to the halfway point to make the race official, so the sanctioning body had the drivers slowly circle the track. It took the drivers 26 minutes to complete the laps, and the rain was so heavy that some drivers had to look out their side windows because they could not see out their windshields. Two hours later, the track had dried and the race resumed with Richmond in third.  Richmond took the lead with 30 laps to go, Dale Earnhardt made up three seconds on Richmond's five-second lead. With four laps to go, Buddy Arrington spun in a three-car accident. The remaining laps of the race where completed slowly under caution and 

Richmond took the checkered flag for the victory. He had led 97 laps, including the final 30, taking his first victory in a Rick Hendrick car.  The tour returned to Pocono a month later, and Richmond battled for another victory in a fog-shortened event. In the final 8-lap sprint, Richmond competed in a three-car battle with Geoff Bodine and Ricky Rudd. Richmond crossed the finish line beside Rudd, winning the race by 0.05 seconds.  He notched four more victories that season, and over a span of twelve races, Richmond earned three second place finishes, and six wins.  Here is 

an interview a reporter did with Tim Richmond.  The National Motorsports Press Association named him Co-Driver of the Year with Earnhardt after Richmond accumulated 13 top 5 finishes and 16 in the top 10.  He had a career-best third place finish in points after winning seven events in 1986, in what was his last full NASCAR season.  Richmond fell ill the day after the 1986 NASCAR annual banquet during a promotional trip to Chicago.  He was not well enough to begin the 1987 NASCAR season despite lengthy hospitalization in Cleveland and further rest at home; when Richmond missed the Daytona 500, his condition was reported as double pneumonia.  Media later reported that he had tested positive for acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).   He returned to Pocono for the Miller

High Life 500 during the middle of the year. Starting third, he led by the fifth lap and ultimately led 82 laps, including the final 46, to win the race by eight car-lengths over Bill Elliott.  Richmond was emotional after the victory, saying, "I had tears in my eyes when I took the checkered flag. Then every time anyone congratulated me, I started bawling again.".  Richmond earned his last victory in the next race at Riverside, and made his final 1987 start at Michigan International Speedway's Champion Spark Plug 400 that August.  He resigned from Hendrick Motorsports in September 1987.  Although Richmond attempted a comeback in 1988, NASCAR suspended him for testing positive for banned substances.   NASCAR had developed its first drug-testing policy, which Richmond felt was designed with him in mind. He stopped taking his AIDS medication, AZT, six weeks earlier so it wouldn't be detected. He also asked his doctor to give him a drug test to make sure he was clean. He sealed the sample in a safe deposit box in Daytona

 

Beach Shores. He knew when he was clean when he signed NASCAR's drug-testing consent form in the Daytona garage area, so he asked to take the test right then.  Two days later, NASCAR announced Richmond was suspended indefinitely for testing positive for substances on its list of banned drugs.  Richmond met with Les Richter, told him there was a mistake and demanded another test.  Five days later, NASCAR announced Richmond's first test actually showed nothing more than over-the-counter cold medicine. The second test was clean.  "We were 

under a certain amount of pressure to release some sort of information as soon as we reasonably could," says Williams, the former NASCAR spokesman, of the initial suspension. "Tim Richmond wasn't going to be there (for the race). He was suspended. There had to be a reason.  "And a few hours later, we released that," Williams said. Dr. Forrest Tennant, NASCAR's drug testing consultant, says no scientific mistakes were made in analyzing Richmond's drug test.  France wouldn't discuss Richmond, saying  

through a spokesman that a court order prohibits it. Meanwhile, Richmond was front-page news and holed up in the Daytona Hilton with a personal manager.  On the legal front, Richmond tried hiring F. Lee Bailey but settled on Barry Slotnick, who had defended New York subway gunman Berhard Goetz. Slotnick wanted $15,000 in advance. Richmond agreed to pay if he'd come to Daytona for a press conference. Hendrick offered his airplane and pilot to pick Slotnick up. Semas can't recall any NASCAR drivers coming to see Richmond that week. But IndyCar champion A.J. Foyt did. So did drag racer Don "The Snake" Prudhomme, movie director Hal Needham, who hired Richmond for a bit part in "Stroker Ace," and Linda Vaughn.  It was confirmed that Richmond could of filed a suit against NASCAR and have the race(s) canceled until such time the matter could be resolved, and if NASCAR had broken and laws or suspended Richmond illegally.  Richmond released a public statement says that " It wasn't fair to the fans 

 

that his problems with NASCAR should so much inconvenience for others.  Fans had taken many days off work, traveled great distances, bought tickets, paid for motels, and he just didn't feel it was fair to the Fans, so he would not file the suit, and let the race events proceed.  He settled on hiring a plane to pull a banner over the Daytona 500 that read, "Fans, I Miss You. Tim Richmond."   Richmond filed his lawsuit against NASCAR and Tennant in April 1988, seeking $20 million in punitive damages for defaming him through the drug test. NASCAR countered by demanding reams of information: Richmond's tax returns from 1980-87; the results of every test of his urine, blood or other bodily fluids since 1980; records of every visit to a doctor, psychologist or counselor since 1980; and his medical records from the Cleveland Clinic and his personal doctor in Florida. Next, NASCAR's lawyers went after his partying past, putting Richmond's friends under oath to find out more. "They wanted me to tell them that Tim did drugs," says Magovern, among those NASCAR deposed. "That's what they were looking for - to tear up Tim Richmond." Richmond's own deposition 

was taken in Charlotte in October. He gave his name, address, grew confused over where he had gone to grade school and the interview was postponed. Before leaving, he signed an autograph for the court reporter's son. He withdrew the suit three weeks after U.S. District Judge James B. McMillan ordered his medical records be produced.  Shortly before he died, Richmond talked with Hendrick about making his AIDS diagnosis public - a question he struggled with to the end. "He always said maybe I should take a positive step and try to warn people," Hendrick said, "but the country really wasn't ready for it. We all prayed there would be a cure. We chased everything we could find. And if he did come forward, it might have been even worse for him." His last months were filled with pain. "He suffered," Hendrick says.  Richmond died as dawn broke over West Palm Beach on Aug. 13, 1989 about two years after his final NASCAR race.  Ten days after his death, on August 23, the Richmond family held a press conference to reveal that Richmond died from complications from AIDS, which he acquired from an unknown

woman.  Punch later claimed that more than 90 drivers and personnel underwent HIV testing in the wake of Richmond's death.  Each January since, Jimmy Johnson turns his new desk calendar to that date and copies the words, so he won't forget: "Tim died, 5:12 a.m."  Many of Richmond's friends still struggle with thoughts of his final months."I think if he would have shared what he was going through, then people would have been supportive," says Ed Clark, Atlanta Speedway executive.  Driver Kyle Petty talked to Richmond by phone that last year, but he and his wife, Patti, wish they had done more. "We had regrets the year before he died," Patti Petty said. "I think everyone should feel a touch of regret. They dropped the ball. They really let him down. It goes back to NASCAR did not want that. It was like at some point, his name was white-washed from the list. "...We're as guilty as the next. But if you went to see him, made a friend out of this guy, is NASCAR going to let you through inspection? They wanted it swept under the carpet at that point." Kyle Petty says, "It all boils down to AIDS. I don't care what anybody tells you. Nobody knows how to handle AIDS - especially in a sport as backward-thinking on so many things as this sport is."  In 1990, a few months after Richmond's death, Washington television station WJLA-TV and reporter Roberta Baskin reported that Dr. Forest Tennant, who was then the National Football League's drug adviser, "falsified drug tests" that ultimately helped shorten Richmond's NASCAR career. Baskin reported that sealed court documents and interviews showed Tennant and NASCAR used "allegedly false drug-test results in 1988 to bar Richmond from racing". Baskin also stated that NASCAR had targeted Richmond. requesting that Tennant establish a substance-abuse policy with Richmond in mind. A series of drug tests and falsely reported positive results shortly before the 1988 Daytona 500 kept Richmond from driving in what was to have been his last big race...", the report said. The New York Times published the findings.  In 1998, NASCAR named Richmond one of its 50 greatest drivers of all time.  He was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame in 2002.  For his career Richmond ran in the Indy 500th twice, with a best finish of 9th.  He ran in 10 Nationwide races, winning twice.  He competed in 185 CUP events and won on 13 occasions.  He won the 1986 Southern 500, and won five times on the road courses of Riverside or Watkins Glen.He also had four wins at Pocono, and won once at Daytona in the July 400 miler.  Although we will never know, many driver agree that Richmond had so much talent, he would of won several CUP championship, probably taking away a few that Jeff Gordon, and Dale Earnhardt Sr won.  Info from WikiPedia

 

JODY RIDLEY - 5/19/1942 - is a former NASCAR driver. He won the 1980 NASCAR Winston Cup Rookie of the Year award and followed that with his only win the following year at Dover International Speedway.  In May 1981 The Mason Dixon 500 had David Pearson on the pole.  There would be a yellow on lap 21, but when the race restarted it ran green all the way to the end.  Neil Bonnet was by FAR the class of the field.  He was leading by over two laps when he blew up on lap 459 after leading 404 laps.  Cale Yarborough then took the lead and led for 21 laps before his motor also blew up.  Suddenly Ridley found himself out from with just 20 laps to go, and would cruise to a 22 second win over Bobby Allison.  It would be the only win for car owner Junie Donlavey.  Ridley drove for Donlavey through the 1982 season before starting to drive part time for car owner Robert McEntyre with Cumber Mills as the sponsor in 1983 and 1984. Ridley did not compete in any CUP events in 1985; but returned to racing part-time in 1986 driving for RahMoc Enterprises.  He posted a best of tenth that season.  Ridley ran in 

140 CUP races having the one CUP win and seven top five finishes.  He had just three starts in the Nationwide series and finished second two times.  He was a short track ace, as he was the NASCAR Slim-Jim All Pro series (Now K&N) champion every season from 1987 through 1993.  He was also the 1985 SnowBall Derby winner.  His first CUP race was at Atlanta in the 1973 Dixie 500.  His final event was in the 1986 FireCracker 400 at Daytona.  He was inducted in the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in 2007.  Info from WikiPedia  

 
 
 
 
 

 

MARTY ROBBINS - 9/26/1925 - 12/8/1982 - Marty loved NASCAR racing and as he had the funds to do so, he raced occasionally. His cars were built and maintained by Cotton Owens. Marty Robbins ran typically at Talladega Superspeedway, Daytona International Speedway, and many other tracks. In 1983, one year after Robbins' death, NASCAR named the Nashville Fair Grounds race the Marty Robbins 420 in honor of him.  Robbins was born in Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix, in Maricopa County, Arizona. He was reared in a difficult family situation. His father took odd jobs to support the family of ten children. His father's drinking led to divorce in 1937.  Robbins left the troubled home at the age of 17 to serve in the United States Navy as an LCT coxswain during World War II. He was stationed in the Solomon Islands in the Pacific. To pass the time during the war, he learned to play the guitar, started writing songs, and came to love Hawaiian music.  After his discharge from the military in 1945, he began to play at local venues in Phoenix, then moved on to host his own show on KTYL.  After Little Jimmy Dickens made a guest appearance on Robbins' TV show, Dickens got Robbins a record deal with Columbia Records. Robbins became known for his appearances at the Grand Ole 

Opry in Nashville, Tennessee.  In addition to his recordings and performances, Robbins was an avid race car driver, competing in 35 career NASCAR races with six top 10 finishes, including the 1973 Firecracker 400.  In 1967, Robbins played himself in the car racing film Hell on Wheels.  Robbins was partial to Dodges, and owned and raced Chargers and then a 1978 Dodge Magnum. His last race was in a Junior Johnson-built 1982 Buick Regal in the Atlanta Journal 500 on November 7, 1982, the month before he died.  He ran many of the big super speedway races including Talladega Superspeedway in 1972, when he stunned the competition by turning laps that were 15 mph faster than his qualifying time. (The video above also covers this story)  After qualifying what happened was that they told NASCAR they had carburetor trouble and got permission to switch them. Then they pushed the car to the starting line to get it past inspection on race morning. When they fired it, it blew all kinds of black smoke for a few seconds. When it cleared, the car began to roar.  Robbins would motor up through the field, and as he passed the big name drivers like Yarborough, 

Petty, Allison, etc..   He would see the shock and surprise on their face to see him running up front with them.  Then he'd wave and motor on up ahead.  David Pearson and Buddy Baker were running away with the race.  Robbins took the lead.  He would run hard a few laps, and then back off a few laps.  In the middle of the tri-oval Baker passed Robbins, by the time Baker was in turn #1 he was 400 - 500 yard lead on Marty.  All of a sudden Robbins floored it and by they entered turn 33 Robbins was all over Bakers back bumper.  Robbins had never driven that fast before and has stated in 

several interviews that he wanted to pass the leaders on the front stretch so everyone could see it. - But he had never driven that fast and wasn't sure if the car would turn at that speed, and if he didn't make it he'd end up at Daytona Beach.  After the race, NASCAR tried to give him the Rookie of the Race award, but Robbins would not accept it, admitting he was illegal because he "just wanted to see what it was like to run up front for once."  Any funny story involving Robbins happened when he was racing in the Nashville 420 CUP race.  By now Robbins was a headliner on the Grand Ole Opry, and made regular appearances.  Often being the shows closing act.  One Saturday night Robbins was running very well in the CUP race and being competitive.  He suddenly pulled into the pits and reporters rushed to see what malfunction he had with his car.  One 

reporter ask "Marty, Marty, what put you out of the race.  Did the motor blow up".  Robbins just looked at him and smiled saying, "Oh the car, nothing wrong with it at all.  I have to close out the show at the Grand Ole Opry, and if I don't leave now I will be late".  Robbins typically ran purple and yellow cars bearing either number 42 or number 22. He typically ran Dodge Daytona's or Fords. His final race car, a 1978 Dodge Magnum, was superbly restored and donated to the Talladega Museum by his family, and was displayed there from 1983 to 2008.  Robbins raced because he wanted to. He obviously did not need the money. He needed the enjoyment. But the pedestrian nature of his racing career did not mean he was not respected as a driver.  Perhaps Buddy Baker paid him the 

extreme compliment.  "I never thought of Marty Robbins as a country and western singer," Baker said. "I thought of him as a driver."   Robbins was often herd to say, "I'm not a singer who races. I'm a racer who sings."  As a CUP competitor Robbins ran in 35 CUP events, most all of them on Superspeedways.    He had seven top 10 finishes, with a seventh place finish in the Southern 500 in 1971, and a ninth place finish in 1972.  He finished eighth in the 1973 FireCracker 400, with a career best finish of fifth in 1974 in the Motor State 360 at Michigan in 1974.  (During the fuel crisis NASCAR races were shortened by 10% to save fuel... so this is why this is a 360 mile race instead of the usual 400 mile event)  .As a musician and songwriter, Marty Robbins had almost 100 songs that made the country charts. More than a dozen made it to No. 1. His first No. 1 in 1956, was Singing the Blues. And it stayed at the top of the charts for 13 weeks.  For old-time country music fans, Robbins is best known for his hits: “El Paso,” "My Woman, My Woman, My Wife," "Devil Woman"and “A White Sport Coat.”  Robbins won the Grammy Award for the Best Country & Western Recording 1961, for his follow-up album “More Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs,” and also scored a Grammy Best Country Song in 1970, for "My Woman, My Woman, My Wife.” Robbins was named "Artist of the Decade" (1960-69) by the Academy of Country Music, was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1982, and was given a Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1998 for his song "El Paso." He had a total of more than 30 Number 1 country hits.   Info from WikiPedia  

 

WILLY T RIBBS - 1/3/1955 -  was a race car driver who competed in many forms of auto racing. After retiring, he became a sport shooter in the National Sporting Clays Association.  Following his graduation from high school in 1975, Ribbs moved to Europe to compete in the Formula Ford Series. He won the Dunlop Championship in his first year of competition, then returned to the United States.  Charlotte Motor Speedway president Humpy Wheeler entered Ribbs to drive a Winston Cup car owned by Will Cronkite in the 1978 World 600 at the Charlotte track. After Ribbs skipped two practice sessions and was arrested for evading police when he drove the wrong way down a one way street, Cronkite replaced him with Dale Earnhardt.  Ribbs went on to race Formula Atlantic cars, winning the pole in the Long Beach Formula Atlantic race in 1982. The following year, Ribbs won five races in the SCCA Trans-Am Series and was honored as Pro Rookie of the Year. Ribbs would attempt NASCAR again in 1986, running three races in the #30 Red Roof Inns car owned by DiGard Motorsports. His best finish came at his debut, a 22nd at North Wilkesboro Speedway.  In 1990, Ribbs joined the CART circuit in a car funded in-part by 

comedian Bill Cosby.  Ribbs had one top-10 event that season. Also in 1990, Ribbs was involved in an unfortunate incident during the Molson Indy Vancouver where a track marshal was killed. The track worker, Jean Patrick Hein, was pushing another car off the track when he darted in front of Ribbs' car, was run over, and killed.  In 1991, he became the first African-American to qualify for the Indianapolis 500.  He raced there a second time in 1993. In 1994, he continued in the CART series with the team, finishing in the top 10 at 

the Michigan International Speedway and New Hampshire International Speedway races.  In 1999, Ribbs raced in an Indy Racing League IndyCar Series event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for McCormack Motorsports as a try-out to join the team full-time in 2000.  However he crashed on lap four and finished in 26th and last place. After three top-10s the Trans-Am Series in 2000, Ribbs signed to drive the #8 Dodge Ram for Bobby Hamilton Racing in the Craftsman Truck Series. Driving 23 out of 24 races, Ribbs had a best finish of 13th, and finished 16th in points.  In May 2006, a newspaper column by Jason Whitlock of Knight-Ridder quoted Ribbs detailing his criticism of NASCAR and his lauding of the  

Indianapolis 500. Ribbs created controversy by referring to NASCAR as Al-Qaida, "Neckcar", and WWE.  Ribbs always seemed to run mid-pack in the Truck series, even thought Hamilton supplied him with competitive equipment.  The majority of his finishes were between 15th and 25th.  He did seem to take care of his equipment as he only had one blown motor and two crashes in his 23 starts. (but here is a video of a 1986 spin at North Wilkesboro)  He had a best qualifying attempt of third in 2001 at Daytona.  For his career driving Indy cars he had 47 starts, never posting a top 10 finish.  He career best was a 7th place finish at Michigan Speedway in 1994.  In May 2011, Ribbs announced he had formed Willy T. Ribbs Racing to campaign former NASCAR driver Chase Austin in the Firestone Indy Lights' Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, which would coincide with Ribbs' 20th anniversary of breaking the color barrier at Indy.  Info from WikiPedia 

 

 

EDWARDS GLENN "FIREBALL" ROBERTS - 1/20/1929 - 7/2/1964  nicknamed "Fireball", was one of the pioneering race car drivers of NASCAR.  he was interested in both auto racing and baseball. He was a pitcher for the Zellwood Mud Hens, an American Legion baseball team, where he earned the nickname "Fireball" because of his fast ball, not his driving style.  He attended the University of Florida and raced on dirt tracks on weekends. In 1947, at the age of 18, he raced on the Daytona Beach Road Course at Daytona for the first time. He won a 150-mile race at Daytona Beach the following year. Roberts also competed in local stock and modified races at Florida tracks such as Seminole Speedway.  Roberts continued to amass victories on the circuit, despite the changes in NASCAR as it moved away from shorter dirt tracks to super speedways in the 1950s and 1960s.  He won his first CUP race in 1950 at Hillsboro, NC in a 1949 Oldsmobile.  From 1951-

1955 Fireball raced only occasionally.  1956 and 1957 saw him run the most races in a season.  In 1956 he ran in 33 of the years 56 races and won five times.  1957 saw Roberts visit victory lane on eight occasions.  IN 1958 he scaled back his racing efforts and only raced ten times; but won six of those; including the Daytona Beach course, and the Southern 500 at Darlington.  He won at least once each season starting in 1956 through his untimely death in 1964.  In his 206 career NASCAR Grand National races, he won 33 times and had 32 poles. He finished in the top five 45 percent of the time. He won both the Daytona 500 and Firecracker 250 events in 1962 driving a black and gold 1962 Pontiac built by legendary car builder Smokey Yunick.  On May 24, 1964, at the World 600 in Charlotte, Roberts had qualified in the eleventh position and started in the middle of the pack. On lap 7, Ned Jarrett and Junior Johnson collided and spun out and Roberts crashed trying to avoid them. Roberts' Ford slammed backward into the inside retaining wall, flipped over and burst into flames. Witnesses at the track claimed they heard Roberts screaming, "Ned, help me!" from inside his burning car after the wreck. Jarrett rushed to save Roberts as his car was engulfed by the flames. Roberts suffered second- and third-degree burns over 80 percent of his body and was airlifted to a hospital in critical condition. Although it was widely believed that Roberts had an allergic reaction to flame-retardant chemicals, he was secretly an asthmatic and the chemicals made his breathing worse.  Roberts was able to survive for several weeks, and it appeared he might pull through. But Roberts' health took a turn for the worse on June 30, 1964. He contracted pneumonia and 

sepsis and slipped into a coma by the next day. He died on July 2, 1964.  Roberts' death, as well as the deaths of Eddie Sachs and Dave MacDonald at the Indianapolis 500 six days later, led to an increase in research for fire-retardant uniforms. It also led to the development of the Firestone RaceSafe fuel cell, and all race cars today use a foam-backed fuel cell to prevent severe fuel spillage of the massive degree that Roberts had. Also, fully fire-retardant coveralls would be phased in leading to the now mandatory Nomex racing suits. They also instituted the five point safety harness, and the special, contoured drivers seat, all three of which are still requirements on all NASCAR entrants.  Roberts had just lost close friend Joe Weatherly in the January Motor Trend 500 at 

Riverside, California, making 1964 a black year for American major league auto racing.  Prior to his death, there were many sources that Roberts was retiring, since he had taken a prominent public relations position at the Falstaff Brewing Company and the race in which he was killed was to be one of his final races of his career.  Ned Jarrett speaks about his part in the event Here is video of Roberts crash.  Ned Jarrett's car #11 can been seen in the photo here; Roberts is hidden by the flames.  For his career Roberts ran in 206 CUP events and claim 33 wins.  He won the Southern 500 in 1958 and 1963.  He won the Daytona 500 in 1962,

and the July Daytona race in 1959, 1962 and 1963.  He finished second on the Championship points in 1950 despite running less than half of the races.  He never had a year where he competed full time for the Championship, but when he raced he was competitive.  Of his 206 starts 90 were top five finishes, with 122 being top 10.  Despite having his career cut short and having never won a Grand National title, Fireball Roberts was named one of NASCAR's 50 Greatest Drivers.   Other career awards he won include induction into the International 

Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1990, and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 1995.  Info from WikiPedia  

 

SHAWNA ROBINSON - 11/30/1964 -  Robinson began her racing career in 1984 in the GATR Truck Series, winning rookie of the year honors in 1984 as well as a race at Flemington Speedway in 1987. She began racing NASCAR in 1988, when she was named Rookie of the Year in the now-defunct Dash Series, and won Most Popular Driver in 1988 and 1989. At the end of her Dash Series career, she had three wins and twenty-one top-tens.  Robinson made her Busch Series debut at Orange County Speedway in 1991, in the #77 Sparky's Famous Hot Dogs Buick, starting 26th and finishing 15th. She drove the #25 Polaroid Oldsmobile, posting two eleventh-place finishes. Despite her abbreviated schedule, she finished runner-up to Ricky Craven for Rookie of the Year honors.  Robinson came back to run 24 races in the #35 for Mike Laughlin in 1993. Her best finish came at Indianapolis Raceway Park, where she finished 12th.  In 1994, Robinson qualified second at Rockingham Speedway, but finished 36th after a wreck. Two races later, 

Robinson won her first career pole position at Atlanta Motor Speedway.  he also posted her first career top-ten that year at the Fay's 150, but was released after the next race at The Milwaukee Mile. She returned to make an aborted attempt at the 1995 Daytona 500, and also had two top-twenty finishes in the #36 Ford Thunderbird, but retired during the season to start a family.  In 1999, she returned to racing in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, after the birth of her son and daughter and moved to the #8 Kmart Ford Taurus for Michael Kranefuss. She set a track record in a pole-winning qualifying run at Michigan International Speedway, and finished sixth in points, the first female to finish in the top-ten in points standings in the series. She ran in eight CUP races in her career. She also became the first woman in ARCA history to lead a race when 

she led several laps at Toledo Speedway. Robinson ran three races for Michael Waltrip Racing in 2001, her best finish being 19th at Talladega Superspeedway, with her other two races ending in wrecks.  She and Kranefuss attempted four Winston Cup races in 2001 in the #84 with sponsorship from Aaron's and Tropicana.  After Tropicana pulled out, Robinson signed to drive 24 races for Beth Ann Morganthau and BAM Racing in 2002.  After her best finish was a 24th at Daytona, she was released.  In 2003, she ran three races for Team Texas in the #49 Aaron's Chevrolet Silverado with an all-female pit crew.  Her best finish was 18th at Texas Motor Speedway.  For her career, she ran in eight CUP events with a best qualifying effort of 16th at Texas.  In her Nationwide career she ran in 61 races with one pole, and a best finish of 10th at 

Watkins Glen in 1994.  Robinson was the thirteenth woman to have competed in NASCAR's top division and the first since Patty Moise in 1989.  Info from WikiPedia 

 

SHORTY ROLLINS - 4/3/1929 - 12/28/1998 - born in Granbury, Texas was the first official NASCAR Rookie of the Year.  He began stock car racing in Corpus Christi, Texas. The great success achieved there led him to Fayetteville, North Carolina and to NASCAR Grand National (now Sprint Cup). His rookie year 1958, he had one win, 12 top five finishes and 22 top ten finishes in 29 starts with car owner Spook Crawford. He won the first stock car race at the Daytona International Speedway, a 100-lap qualifying race in the NASCAR Convertible Division, which gave him a second place start in the first Daytona 500 in 1959.  His lone win came at State Line Speedway in Busti, NY.  It was 150 laps around a tight 1/3 mile dirt track.  Rollins would outrun Bob Duell to claim the checkered flag.  He posted 12 top fives in his 43 starts, and had 27 top 10's, finishing fourth in the CUP points that season..  He also ran in nine races in NASCAR's 

convertible series.  As stated previously stated he won the first qualifying race for the Daytona, which at that time counted as official career series wins.  He posted two top fives, and four top 10's.  He made 43 starts in three professional seasons and earned $17,018.  He left racing in 1960 with just 43 starts and settled in Pensacola, Florida.   Info from WikiPedia 

 

TONY ROPER - 12/23/1964 - 10/14/2000 - was a NASCAR driver. He was born in Springfield, Missouri, to Dean Roper and Shirley Medley. Growing up his family was heavily involved in auto racing. Roper started racing in 1986. For the next six years Tony raced in IMCA Modifieds and late models on Midwest dirt and asphalt tracks. In 1992 he finished in second place for the American Speed Association Rookie of the Year award. He started racing in the Craftsman Truck Series in 1995, and the Busch Series in 1999.  He ran in 60 Trucks series events, with a best finish of second at Indianapolis Raceway Park in 1998. (Now O'Reilly Raceway Park).    He qualified 19 but made a strong run to get to the front and compete for the win.  Jack Sprague edged out Roper for the win by two seconds.  This was Roper's only top five finish.  He also competed in the Nationwide series racing in 19 events driving the #50 Dr Pepper sponsored vehicle.  He posted three top 10 finishes with a best finish of eighth at South Boston VA.  On October 13, 2000, Roper was racing and crashed in the Craftsman Truck Series O'Reilly 400 at Texas Motor Speedway when he attempted to go three wide to pass Steve Grissom. However, another truck veered up the racetrack in the tri-oval, forcing Roper to evade, turning him into Grissom's front bumper. The contact caused Roper's #26 Ford to take a sudden hard-right turn, which then caused the truck to 

slam head-on into the concrete wall of the tri-oval. Roper died the next day as the result of the injuries he sustained from the crash.  Roper was the third NASCAR driver to perish from racing related injuries in 2000, the first two being Adam Petty and Kenny Irwin, Jr., respectively.  Info from WikiPedia

 

 

JACK ROUSH - 4/19/1942 - see under 'owners' 

 

RICKY RUDD - 9/12/1956 - is a former American NASCAR driver. He is the uncle of actor Skeet Ulrich and former NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Jason Rudd. Rudd is known as the "Iron Man" of NASCAR; holding the record for most consecutive starts in NASCAR racing. At the conclusion of the 2005 season, Rudd had made 788 consecutive starts. He retired in 2007 with 23 career wins under his belt.  He began racing as a teenager in karting and motocross, but did not attempt stock car racing until he was eighteen years old, when he made his NASCAR debut at North Carolina Speedway in 1975, driving the #10 Ford for family friend Bill Champion.  Qualifying twenty-sixth, he finished in eleventh place despite running fifty-six laps down. He ran an additional three races for Champion, his best finish being a tenth at Bristol Motor Speedway. He drove another four races in 1976 for his father, posting another tenth finish at the Firecracker 400. He went full-time in 1977, again driving the #22 for his father. He had ten top-ten finishes and was named Rookie of the Year.  In 1979, he signed with Junie Donlavey to pilot the #90 Truxmore car, garnering four top-

fives and a ninth place points run.  In 1981, Rudd signed with DiGard Motorsports to drive the #88 Gatorade car. Although he had no victories, he won his first three pole positions, and began his lengthy streak of consecutive race starts. In 1982 Ricky Rudd stepped into the #3 Piedmont Airlines Pontiac for Richard Childress Racing.  He was able to get his first two wins of his career in 1983, at Riverside and Martinsville Speedway Martinsville Speedway respectively, but stayed at 9th in points. He also ran the only three Busch Series races of his career that season, winning in his debut event at Dover Downs.  In 1984, Rudd and Dale Earnhardt swapped rides with Rudd moving over to the #15 Wrangler Jeans Ford for Bud Moore. Rudd was involved in a horrific crash in the Busch Clash at Daytona.  Rudd's car became airborne, and he suffered a concussion.   If you watch the video replay closely you can see Rudd's arm flying out of the window as he flipped.  Luckily that area never landed on the ground when 

fives and a ninth place points run.  In 1981, Rudd signed with DiGard Motorsports to drive the #88 Gatorade car. Although he had no victories, he won his first three pole positions, and began his lengthy streak of consecutive race starts. In 1982 Ricky Rudd stepped into the #3 Piedmont Airlines Pontiac for Richard Childress Racing.  He was able to get his first two wins of his career in 1983, at Riverside and Martinsville Speedway Martinsville Speedway respectively, but stayed at 9th in points. He also ran the only three Busch Series races of his career that season, winning in his debut event at Dover Downs.  In 1984, Rudd and Dale Earnhardt swapped rides with Rudd moving over

to the #15 Wrangler Jeans Ford for Bud Moore. Rudd was involved in a horrific crash in the Busch Clash at Daytona.  Rudd's car became airborne, and he suffered a concussion.   If you watch the video replay closely you can see Rudd's arm flying out of the window as he flipped.  Luckily that area never landed on the ground when his arm was out.  On the picture at the left you can see his window net has already come lose, and he head is titled out the window.   Here is an interview about the crash with Rudd, and his car owner Bud Moore. His eyes were swollen so badly, that he taped his eyes open in order to be able to race in the Daytona 500. After learning of this long after the fact, NASCAR instituted the policy of examining all drivers involved in wrecks in order to assure that they will be able to race safely the next week.  He won his first race for this team in only his second start at Richmond and improved to seventh in points. Motorcraft became the team's new sponsor the following season, and he moved up one spot in points in that season, and then a career-best fifth in 1986. Despite an additional two victories in 1987, Rudd left Moore at the end of the season.  Rudd joined King Racing beginning in 1988 in the #26 Quaker State Buick Regal owned by drag racing legend Kenny Bernstein. He struggled with engine failures all season long and finished 11th in the standings, his worst points finish in eight years. After his only win of 1989 came at the inaugural Sears Point event, Rudd departed the operation, and signed with Hendrick Motorsports to drive the #5 Levi Garrett Chevrolet Lumina. He was able to win The Bud at the Glen and finished seventh in the final standings. He was involved in a fatal pit road accident at the season-ending Atlanta Journal 500, when he spun into Bill Elliott's pit, crushing Elliott's tire changer Mike Rich.  At that time there was no pit road speed limit and cars drove on pit road as fast as possible.  As Rudd was coming in to pit his rear brakes locked up causing the car pit spin into Elliott's car that was already being serviced.  Elliott was leading at the time of the accident, but took the car to the garage and quit for the day after being told of Rich's condition.  In 1991, Tide became his new sponsor, and Rudd won his only race of the year at Darlington Raceway.  Later in the year at Sonoma, Rudd crossed the finished line first, but had his win taken away after he spun Davey Allison on the last lap.  You need to look closely at the video and see the old  (and in my opinion better) configuration the races used to be held on... This is when they still raced the entire course, before they cut out turns 5, 6 and the carousel.  He finished the year a career-best second in points. The following season, he won the Peak Antifreeze 500.  In 1993, he left Hendrick.  Rudd took Tide and formed his own race team in 1994, Rudd Performance Motorsports, and drove the #10 Ford Thunderbird that season. His first win as an owner/driver came at New Hampshire 
International Speedway, which led to a fifth-place points finish. 1995 saw his consecutive winning streak almost end before he won the Dura Lube 500 at Phoenix, the second-

to-last race of the season. He had another near miss in 1996, but won at North Carolina Speedway.  In 1997, Ruddhad two wins, one of them coming at the Brickyard 400 and the other at Dover, his highest win total since 1987.  His lone of win in 1998 came at Martinsville Speedway, dealing with high air temperatures and a faulty cooling system. As a result, Rudd suffered burns and blisters over most of his body, and gave his victory lane interview lying on the ground breathing from an oxygen mask. This would be the last win of his consecutive victory streak.  Tide left his team, Rudd chose to liquidate his equipment and close his team.  

After many rumors and speculation, Rudd was hired to pilot the #28 Texaco/Havoline Ford Taurus for Robert Yates Racing for 2000. Although he still did not win that season, he had two poles and moved to fifth in the points standings.  In 2001, Rudd got his first win in three years at Pocono Raceway, followed by another victory late in the season at Richmond. He also matched a career-high 14 top-five finishes. He won his most recent race at Infineon in 2002, but dropped to tenth in the standings. Rudd left Yates at the end of the 2002 season.  Rudd was hired in 2003 to drive the #21 Motorcraft Ford for Wood Brothers Racing, and he responded with four top-fives.   In 2004, he won his final career pole at 

Talladega Superspeedway.  He was able to earn nine top-tens in 2005.  At the end of the season, Rudd announced he would"take a break" from racing, although not effectively retire.  Rudd spent most of 2006 out of racing, racing only at Dover, where he filled in for the ailing Tony Stewart.  Late in the season, it was announced he would return to Yates to drive the #88 Snickers Ford full-time. His best finish since his return to the sport was a seventh at the Coca-Cola 600. As he missed the Chevy Rock & Roll 400.  Rudd finished his career with a 21st place finish at the Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami.  For his career Rudd ran in 906 CUP events, starting an amazing 788 consecutive races earning him the nickname of "the Iron Man".   As of 7/25/2012 Jeff Gordon is the closest to breaking Rudds consecutive start streak.  Gordon has 672 consecutive starts, but still trails Rudd by 116 starts  It would take over three additional years for Gordon to catch Rudd.  Rudd Notched 23 wins and was a road course specialist.  Of his 23 wins he got six of them on road courses, and finished second an additional five second times.  He also won five times on short tracks, and had 15 second place finishes.  His most prestigious win came at Indy in the BrickYard 400 in 1997.  He posted 194 top five finishes, and 374 top 10's.  He finished second in the
CUP points in 1991. 
Rudd did win the 1992

IROC Championship.   In the final photo here you can see Rudd being presented an "Iron Man" award.  It is being presented by Terry Labonte, the driver whose record he broke.  Info from WikiPedia  

 

JOHNNY RUTHERFORD - 3/12/1938 - was also known as "Lone Star JR" is a former U.S. automobile racer known for being one of nine drivers to win the prestigious Indianapolis 500 mile race at least three times. Rutherford won that race in 1974, 1976, and 1980.  Rutherford began racing Modified stock cars in 1959 and he also dabbled in stock car racing, making 35 NASCAR Winston Cup starts from 1963 to 1988. Rutherford won in his first start, at Daytona International Speedway driving for Smokey Yunick.  This was the second 100 mile qualifying race for the Daytona 500. This made him one of the youngest drivers ever to win in NASCAR history, in a full points-paying NASCAR race.  (Until 1971, the qualifying races were full points-paying races.)  He joined the International Motor Contest Association sprint car circuit in 1961 leading it for most of 1962. Rutherford later joined the United States Auto Club (USAC) starting in the Hoosier Hundred and later winning his first championship.  Rutherford set a world record for speed in his first qualifying effort in a stock car during qualifying for the 1963 Daytona 500. Later that year he also had his first start in the Indianapolis 500. Rutherford's first Indy car race took place at the Atlanta 250. He won the USAC National Sprint Car Championship in 1965.  Rutherford won pole position at the Indy 500 in 1973, 1976, and 1980. Wins at the Indy 500 for him came in the years 1974, 1976 and 1980. In 1984, at Michigan International Speedway, Rutherford set an all time Indy car qualifying lap speed record of 215.189 mph. He became the first driver to win all three 500 mile races, in 1986, by winning the Michigan

International Speedway, Rutherford set an all time Indy car qualifying lap speed record of 215.189 mph. He became the first driver to win all three 500 mile races, in 1986, by winning the Michigan 500. Rutherford recorded 9 straight seasons with a victory making him one of just 6 drivers in Indy Car history to do so.   In 1981, Rutherford drove twelve races, the most he ever raced in a single NASCAR season.  In 1982 at Pocono Speedway Rutherford had a terrible crash entering turn #1.   He took a hard hit, and it broke the car in two.  He also had a flip, landing upside down at Phoenix in 1980.   In addition, Rutherford competed in five running's of the International Race of Champions – 1975, 1977, 1978, 1980, and 1984.  

Rutherford's 24th and final start at Indianapolis would be 1988. By that time he was running only a part-time schedule, and was splitting time working as a television analyst on NBC, ABC, CBS and ESPN. He also served as the pace car driver for the PPG Indycar series for most of that period. He failed to qualify at Indy in three attempts (1989, 1990, 1992).  He was never able to achieve his milestone 25th Indy start.  During the month of May 1994, Rutherford officially retired from racing. Here is a nice driver bio on JR.  For his INDY car career, Rutherford made 316 total starts.  He won a total of 30 times, and posted 93 top five finishes.  At its inception in 1996, Rutherford took a full-time position as an official with the IRL, serving as pace car driver and driver coach.  As for his NASCAR career he would make 35 starts.  His first start 

was driving the #13 car owned by Smokey Yunick.  He would win in his first start; a Daytona 500 qualifying race. His lone win would come in that Daytona qualifier, and he would finish ninth in that years Daytona 500.  Much like AJ Foyt and several other Indy Car series stars, Rutherford only ran NASCAR racing on the bigger tracks like Daytona, Atlanta, Michigan etc. when they had a good shot at winning.  Rutherford finished seventh in the 1964 Fire Cracker 400 at Daytona.  He would finish 13th in this #61 car at Rockingham.  His second best career NASCAR finish would come in the 1981 Fire Cracker 400 at Daytona.  In 1964 he flipped on the back stretch at Daytona.  Video here - (notice how 'empty' the back stretch looks in the video.)  He drove for such famous car owners as Smokey Yunick, Bud Moore, and Holman-

Moody; but drove 12 of his last 13 race in the Levi Garrett Pontiac owned by Ron Benfield.  Info from WikiPedia

 

JOE RUTTMAN - 10/28/1944 -  was an American former race car driver. He currently lives in Franklin, Tenn. He actively competed in NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series, Nationwide Series, and Camping World Truck Series and is a 13 time winner in the Truck Series, the seventh most wins by any driver in the Truck Series.  He made his Grand National debut in 1963 at Riverside International Raceway, running just that one event.  The following year he also ran just one race, also at Riverside.  Then he sat out of racing until 1977 when he ran one race at Ontario, and in 1980 he again ran just one race, also at Ontario.  He ran most or all of the Winston Cup schedule from 1981 through 1986, and then again in 1991; the remainder of the years he only ran a partial schedule through 1996.  He finished 12th in series points in 1983, his best cup season result.  Ruttman almost won his 

first Cup race in the 1982 Richmond race, Ruttman was leading comfortably until his Rod Osterlund owned car's power steering went out and hit the wall ending his chances.  The caution handed Dave Marcis the win when it rained and Marcis stayed out when all of the leaders pitted.  He was one of the drivers in the first Craftsman Truck Series season and won 2 races that year on his way to finishing second in the inaugural championship.  He continued to be a full time driver in the truck series until 2001, winning 11 more series races and made his last truck series start at Texas Motor Speedway in 2002.  He made seven Nextel Cup starts in 2004 and one Busch Series start in 2005 and retired from racing all together after 2009.  In 2004, car owner James Finch failed to hire a crew, and was forced to park by NASCAR after completing just one lap.  In 2009, he attempted a limited schedule in the Xfinity Series.  He has one 

win in the Xfinity Series, and a best finish of second in Cup.  He returned to NASCAR after a three year retirement period in the 2007 Craftsman Truck Series, driving the #18 Fastenal Dodge in four races for Bobby Hamilton Racing.  He ran in 225 CUP events with a best finish of second on three occasions.  1981 at Riverside, 1986 at Richmond, and 1986 at Martinsville.  He had more success in the Nationwide series running in only 21 events, but getting at win in his first season in 1982 at Dover driving the light blue colored #75 machine sponsored by Rahilly and Grady Engineering and 

owned by Butch Mock.  He made his name racing in the NASCAR Truck series.  He competed in 172 races, winning 13 events, and finished second in the points in 1995.  He posted 68 top five finishes.  One of Ruttman's wins came at Infineon in 1997 in the Kragen/Exide 151.  Ruttman is the younger brother of Indianapolis 500 winner Troy Ruttman.  Troy also ran a handful of CUP events.  He raced in seven events, and had a best finish of third in 1963 at Riverside, CA.  His father, Ralph "Butch" Ruttman, was an award winning mechanic on top Indy teams.  Info from WikiPedia