Tim Richmond was, fellow NASCAR driver Kyle Petty said, "a stranger in time." In one regard, the flashy, flamboyant driver from Ashland, Ohio, was years ahead of the trends in a sport that would soon enjoy explosive growth in popularity. Women who were NASCAR fans loved him - and so did their husbands and boyfriends. Richmond believed he could use his stardom in racing as a springboard to a second career as an actor, and he had the Hollywood good looks to make that a realistic dream. At the same time, Richmond was also a throwback.
He pushed his race cars hard, too hard at times, driving every lap like he was hauling moonshine through the mountains of the Carolinas with a revenuer on his rear bumper. Those who saw him drive still compare him to veterans like Curtis Turner and Joe Weatherly, who ran as hard off the track as they did off of it.