Monday, April 20, 2009

Tim Richmond Memorial Countdown Continues...

Reserved Seat Tickets for the Inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200 are now available online at or by calling 419-525-RACE (419-525-7223). Tickets purchased in advance are priced at only $20 per person and include ARCA Garage Area Access and free weekend camping for self-contained RVs


MANSFIELD, Ohio (April 19th, 2009) – Jim Yates, now 72, of Sarasota, Fla., served the fledgling CART IndyCar Series as assistant starter in 1980. He was a witness to the adoration Tim Richmond received from fans and the media during the “Month of May” at Indianapolis Motor Speedway when the 27-year-old Richmond finished ninth and was named the race’s Rookie of the Year. Richmond’s spectacular 1980 Indy performance and his transition to NASCAR racing and all accomplishments will be celebrated with the inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200 at Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Park June 20.
It was Yates, who in the months following the Indianapolis race, introduced Richmond to Pocono (Pa). International Raceway General Manager Joe Mattioli, III, son of the track owners, Doctors Joe and Rose Mattioli.

“Tim didn’t get the best rides,” Yates said of the equipment the Richmond team could afford. “They were running an Offenhauser when everyone for the most part had Ford engines. But Tim hung in there and got the most out of whatever he had to drive.”

Racing talent wasn’t the only thing Yates noticed about the young driver.

“Tim was a social guy. He was nice to everyone. And he was a real character,” Yates said. Young Mattioli, a promoter at heart, knew getting Richmond in a NASCAR stock car would help him sell tickets for Pocono’s upcoming NASCAR race. He put Richmond and his sponsor UNO, a card game, together with Creasers Pocono Resorts, a local sponsor and a car owner, and Richmond had his first NASCAR ride.

The owner was veteran D.K. Ulrich, who by the time he sold his operation of Jasper/Penske Racing in 1996, had made 274 starts as an owner/driver, and was owner for 274 starts made by a large number of other drivers. His experience and equipment was a good match for the rookie Richmond.

“I had seen Tim at Indy and thought he was a good prospect. We had a lot of conversations at Pocono. He was outgoing, educated, and could generate sponsorship. He had the talent to make he transition to NASCAR.” Ulrich said. “Tim was a good learner. He was all over it. He wanted to race in NASCAR. You could see it in his face. He was quick to learn and always fast. We had an upper level independent team. With Tim, he brought the talent and the sponsorship that let us step up our performance as a whole,” Ulrich said.

He also noted that the team had his team had five cars at the most: a superspeedway car, one for intermediate track, one for short tracks, one for road courses, and maybe one backup car. Today’s engineering and geometry was non-existent.

“We’d practice for a full day, feeling out the car and tuning it. With sponsorship, we could buy the new tires and the parts we needed. Tim had the talent and with the sponsorship money, we could give him what he needed to go fast.”

Richmond qualified 23rd and finished 12th in his NASCAR Sprint Cup Series debut at Pocono, and posted two more 12th place finishes in four more 1980 starts.

Richmond and Ulrich re-teamed for a full-season campaign in 1981. Their deal called for Richmond to miss the May races at Dover and Charlotte so he could enter and compete in the Indianapolis 500. Despite top- 10 finishes at Bristol (10th) and Talladega (sixth), their relationship work wise was to come to a pre-mature end.

While Richmond was qualifying at Indianapolis in May, Ulrich drove the UNO NASCAR stock car at Dover and posted his career best finish of fourth, outshining his hired driver. According to Ulrich, Richmond was incensed that the team picked up its performance without him. Richmond returned to the Ulrich car for two more races that produced a seventh-place finish at Texas World Speedway, and a 33rd at Riverside, Calif., before splitting permanently. Later, when Richmond scored his first NASCAR win a year later at Riverside, Ulrich was among the first to congratulate Richmond, and the two renewed a friendship that did not end again.

Richmond finished the 1981 season driving for Kenny Childers and then Bob Rogers. He didn’t return to the series until the fifth race of 1982. Still, it would be a season that saw him score his first two career NASCAR wins, and his first pole award.

To be continued…

Left to Right at Pocono
Dr. Rose Mattioli, Dr, Joe Mattioli, grandchildren Ashley and Nick, and Tim Richmond

Tim Richmond Memorial Countdown Continues....

Count Down to the June 20th Inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA-RE/MAX 200

Tim Richmond, Trailblazing from Indy Cars to NASCAR

MANSFIELD, Ohio (April 2nd, 2009) – Twenty years after his passing, people who knew him well universally use two words to describe Tim Richmond: “a natural.”

Richmond had a natural gift of star power, of race car driving abilities and of attracting friends and fans to his ultra competitive and happy universe.

Richmond, one of the first persons of notoriety to face the challenges of living with AIDS in the mid-1980s, would have turned 54 on June 7th. To celebrate Richmond’s life, he will be honored near his hometown of Ashland in Mansfield, Ohio on June 20th. The inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200 will be presented at Mansfield Motorsports Park. Richmond was a winner in ARCA competition in the ARCA 200 at Daytona in his first series start in February of 1981.

Richmond burst onto the national motorsports scene in 1980 with his spectacular Rookie of the Year title and ninth-place finish in the Indianapolis 500. Richmond’s exuberant “ride-along” with the race winner Johnny Rutherford further cast the net of both drivers popularity. Near the conclusion of his victory lap, Rutherford stopped to pick up Richmond from his stalled car to save the rookie the long walk back to the garage. The popular winner and the popular rookie brought wild cheers from the fans.

By mid-1980, however, Richmond’s on track performances were unfortunately spectacular in some of his accidents.

Richmond wrecked his car at Milwaukee, the third race of the 1980 IndyCar season, and had no car to enter for the fourth race of the season at Pocono. Still, he showed up at the 2.5-mile triangular track, in case his services were needed. It ended up Richmond was pressed into service, but he was holding a microphone, not a steering wheel.

“CART’s assistant starter, Jim Yates, said he had somebody he wanted me to meet,” said Joe Mattioli, III, who was General Manager at his parents’ Pocono track in 1980. It was Tim Richmond. He didn’t have a car for our race. I thought a minute, and told him I’d see if MRN Radio – who broadcast our IndyCar races and NASCAR races – needed a color commentator. That’s what Tim ended up doing, and he did it well. He knew the series so he was comfortable in talking about it, and he added some excitement to the broadcast.

“Afterward, we talked about our upcoming NASCAR Sprint Cup race, and how it would be neat for Tim to come back and race stock cars,” Mattioli said.

“I didn’t think Tim would do it,” Yates said. “But I talked to his dad, Al, and he said he didn’t know if Tim would do it either, but he really hoped he would. Al talked to Timmy about it, and then Timmy called me. The first thing he said was ‘When do you want me there?’ So I called Joey to see if he could put something together, Yates concluded.

It didn’t take Mattioli long to help broker a deal with car owner D.K. Ulrich, Richmond’s IndyCar sponsor, Bob Tezak of the UNO card game, and enlist sponsorship help from Caesar’s Pocono Resorts to get Richmond entered into the July 27th Coca-Cola 500 at Pocono.

Like his first Indianapolis 500 performance only two months earlier, Richmond was fast on the track. He qualified 23rd and finished 12th and suddenly Richmond was on a fast track in NASCAR. He ran four more races for Ulrich that year and posted two more 12th place finishes at Martinsville and Charlotte (now Lowe’s Motor Speedway).

1980 Pre-Race Pocono reception at Caesar’s Pocono Resorts
Left to Right….UNO representative, D. K. Ulrich, Tim Richmond and Caesar’s Dario Belardi (Photo Courtesy of D. K. Urlich)

Left to Right Tim Richmond and D.K. Urlich at Pocono with Ricky Rudd in the background (Photo Courtesy of D. K. Urlich)

Reserved Seat Tickets for the Inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200, purchased in advance, are priced at only $20 per person and will include ARCA Garage Area Access and free weekend camping for self-contained RVs. Tickets will be available beginning April 11th online at or by calling 419-525-RACE (419-525-7223). For more information about the ARCA RE/MAX Series, visit

To be continued…

Tim Richmond Memorial Countdown Begins

Count Down to the June 20th Inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA-RE/MAX 200

Tim Richmond’s path to stardom began on Ohio short tracks

MANSFIELD, Ohio (March 27, 2009) – Tim Richmond was blessed with gifts that made him destined for greatness, both 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.

He had a competitive streak that drove him to challenge himself when he wasn’t in some type of competition with others, that included learning to fly at 16. He was also born with good looks and grew into a handsome young man. He could do just about anything he put his mind to without fail, and often without formal training. He exuded the attitude of success and confidence, and yet, for all his talent and charisma, he could be humble.

The life and times of Richmond, who would have turned 54 on June 7, will be celebrated with a major stock car race near his hometown on June 20th. The inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200 will be presented at Mansfield (Ohio) Motorsports Park. The track is in the heart of “Tim Richmond Country,” less than 15 miles from his one-time Ashland, Ohio hometown. Richmond passed away due to complications from AIDS on August 13, 1989, nearly 20 years ago.

Richmond came from a successful family in Ashland. His father, Al, built a company that manufactured boring machines used for buried pipeline installation and coal mining. Mr. Richmond designed and built the machines himself, and became a highly successful businessman. That success allowed him to dote on the only son he and wife, Evelyn, had.

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 16th birthday. 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 race car owned by a friend in 1976. He first drove a dirt Sprint car at Lakeville, Ohio. He showed some talent that season, but he 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.

In 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.

In 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 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.

But his Indy performance had impressed many people, including Joe Mattioli, III, son of Pocono Raceway’s owners Drs. Rose and Joe Mattioli. It was the younger Mattioli who brokered the deal that brought Richmond to NASCAR Sprint Cup Series racing.

Tim’s fans keep his memory alive with a 2005 sign dedication at Evergreens Restaurant in Ashland, OH, one of his favorites. Left to Right….Judy Mack, Terry Mack, Amy Snodgrass, Sandy Richmond Welsh (Tim’s sister), Linda Garman, Harley Garn, Jerry Garman, Chuck Grissinger and Todd Welsh. Linda & Jerry Garman are the owners of the Evergreens.

For more information about the ARCA RE/MAX Series, visit For more information about the Inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200, visit

Tim Richmond Memorial

Inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200 set for June 20 at Mansfield
MANSFIELD, Ohio (March 12, 2009)—Mansfield Motorsports Park officials announced today that the June 20 ARCA RE/MAX Series race will be named in honor of the on-track accomplishments of the late Tim Richmond, a notable racecar driver and Ashland, Ohio, native who died of AIDS in 1989. The Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200, race No. nine of the 22-race ARCA RE/MAX Series, will roll off at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 20.

“2009 marks the 20th anniversary of Tim’s death and I believe it is time to share his memory with new fans and give his still-existent fan base an opportunity to remember many of his great and precious moments,” said Richmond’s sister, Sandy Welsh. “This celebration will also provide us the opportunity to draw attention to AIDS, the disease that cut Tim’s life short, and assist those that are suffering from this cruel disease. We want to do what we can to motivate the discovery of a cure for AIDS and give Tim’s life even more meaning.”

Richmond’s racing career, which included open wheel and stock car competition, began in 1976 when he turned some laps in a Sprint Car at Lakeville Speedway in Lakeville, Ohio. He went on to earn Rookie of the Year honors in the 1980 INDY 500 and later became one of the first drivers to successfully make the switch from open wheel racing to stock car competition. He posted 13 wins, 42 top-5s, 78 top-10s and 14 pole awards in just 185 career starts in NASCAR’s premier division, the Sprint Cup Series, before his untimely death in 1989.

Like many aspiring stock car racers, Richmond’s racing resume included a stint in the ARCA RE/MAX Series, where he won the ARCA 200 at Daytona International Speedway in February of 1981 in only his career first Series start.

The June 20 Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200 at Mansfield Motorsports Park marks the Toledo, Ohio-based national stock car tour’s first appearance to the .5-mile short track. ARCA’s regionally-touring ARCA Lincoln Welders Truck Series made appearances to Mansfield in 2003 and 2005.

“Tim Richmond won the 1981 ARCA 200 at Daytona, and he won in supermodifieds at our Toledo Speedway track,” said ARCA President Ron Drager. “We’re proud to have played a role in the development of Tim’s amazing racing career, and we look forward to helping make the inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200 at Mansfield a success.”

For more information about the ARCA RE/MAX Series, visit For more information about the Inaugural Tim Richmond Memorial ARCA RE/MAX 200, visit

Note: Beginning on Monday, April 13th, weekly event updates will be provided along with a chronology of Tim Richmond's career.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Track Rules

We do not allow the following to be brought into the track:

  • NO Coolers of any kind
  • NO Video Cameras
  • NO Food or Drinks
  • NO Drugs or Alcohol
  • NO Pets

We allow the following to be brought into the track:

  • Blankets, may be brought in a bag but the bag may be subject to be searched
  • Seat Cushions
  • Lawn Chairs for general admission seating
  • Still picture cameras

If you will be camping or tailgating please do not bring glass bottles if you have any further questions please call our office at 419-524-0183 or toll free at 800-424-0688 Monday - Friday 8am to 5pm. You may also email any questions to

Friday, March 14, 2008

NASCAR Camping Information

Ohio Graceway Ministries

Hello Campers!
We are happy to continue our In-Tents hospitality for the NASCAR Truck Race!

We will again offer Complimentary coffee, popcorn, food in the Hospitality Tent

Kids’ crafts and games, including our Timothy Cup downhill racers
Ice -- 22-pound bags, $5 a bag

Fire rings -- $10 deposit (You’ll get $5 back)
Water -- For campers, by John’s Water Supply.

Firewood -- For campers to take whatever they need.
Showers -- We expect them to be complimentary as they were last year

Tank clean-out -- Arranged through Porta-Kleen

Doughnuts, daily Mansfield News-Journal, trash bags, incidentals as needed.

Trash collection

We have three causes we want to support:

We will give you bags for recycling aluminum cans (separate from trash)
and will collect them for a Make-a-Wish child from the area.

Any donations you give us for services provided will be given to Samaritan’s Feet, which provides shoes for schoolchildren across the country.

We will have special collectible NASCAR pins which support
The Petty Foundations camp for special needs children.

Register by calling Mansfield Motorsports Park @ 419-524-0183 Mon – Fri 8am to 5pm

Monday, February 4, 2008

NASCAR VIP Parking and Camping Passes available

Prices will increase soon.

Save money and get yours today!

VIP Parking Pass - $25.00
Camping Pass - $50.00

Call 419-525-RACE to reserve your spot or send a check or money order payable to:

Mansfield Motorsports Park

100 Crall Rd Mansfield Ohio 44903

Email Inquiries: