Tim Richmond Survives
Tim Richmond never contracted AIDS, and as a result, he was able to race in 1987. The #35 Folgers Chevrolet of Benny Parsons ran alongside him until Parsons' retirement at the end of 1988.
Ricbmond won 7 races in 1990, including both Talladega races, the later race at Pocono and the final race of the year at Atlanta, battling with Dale Jarrett in the closing laps. Richmond came in 5th in points.
Richmond started 1991 by winning the Daytona 500, his first win in the event. He went on to have 6 more wins, including the Pepsi 400, and finished second in points to Dale Earnhardt. Richmond signed a lifetime deal with Hendrick Motorsports keeping him in the #25 Chevy.
Richmond won five races, including North Wilkesboro. Richmond finished third in points behind Bill Elliott and Alan Kulwicki. Richmond would have won at Atlanta if not for a determined Dale Earnhardt spinning him in a controversial move that let Earnhardt win the race, one of Earnhardt's few 1992 wins. Earnhardt would be fined post race for the event.
Tim Richmond was beginning to feel a need for a championship. He'd come so close in 1991, and still had a chance even in '92. But Richmond needed more, he needed a true championship. Richmond drove hard in 1993, but he still came 3rd in points, winning 11 races, however, his highest win count for a single season in his career.
Richmond began the low of his career in 1994, winning just 2 races in the entire season, one at Pocono and the other at Watkins Glen.
Richmond's low peaked with absolutely no wins in 1995 at all. He had 1 top 5 finish at Charlotte and 7 DNFs.
Richmond was furious at himself. "The hell is wrong with you Rich?" he could be heard asking himself all year. Kodiak dropped sponsorship, being replaced with Skoal as the primary sponsor.
Richmond had a slight improvement over the previous 2 years, winning 4 races. He came in 14th in points in 1996, denying him any shot at a championship. Speculation arose that Richmond was about to retire, due to his lack of performance.
Richmond had little hope at the end of '96 for what '97 would hold, but it turned out to be the comeback season he needed oh so desperately. He won 9 races, shocking the entire NASCAR community. He came 3rd in points.
Dale Earnhardt's win at the Daytona 500, after 20 years of trying, denied Richmond a shot at winning the event, but he still had a good enough car to come in 3rd, with Bobby Labonte battling him for 2nd and inching by him at the last second with Rick Mast being used as a pick. Richmond went on to win 5 races in 1998, a pretty mild season, and came 5th in points.
The season to end the century saw Richmond have another mild season, winning 6 races and coming 9th in points. He did get his second Daytona 500 victory to start the season. UAW-Delphi began sponsoring and Skoal eventually pulled sponsorship completely near the end of the season.
Richmond had another great season in 2000. He had 5 wins, and finished third in points.
Richmond had a pretty mild season in 2001, scoring three wins. During the last lap of the Daytona 500, coming off of turn 4 Dale Earnhardt slid up the track and hit the wall head-on, killing him instantly and leading to his car collecting Ken Schrader and Richmond in the infield grass. Richmond and Schrader walked over to "shoot the shit with Dale." but instantly saw his condition and waved over the paramedics with the universal sign of hurry. Post-race, upon hearing of the death of Dale Earnhardt, Richmond decided he would run a special scheme at the Pepsi 400 to honor Earnhardt. He ran an all-black scheme for the Pepsi 400, with a little "3" logo on the bottom-right of his rear windscreen. However, despite the heartache of the season, Richmond remained consistent enough to finally win his first title.
2002 wasn't as good for Richmond, as he only won two races, and finished 10th in points.
Richmond's season was a bit better in 2003, with three wins and fifth in points.
2004 only got Richmond one win, at the fall Texas race, which turned out to be his final win. However, he remained consistent enough to make the inaugural Chase and narrowly lose the championship to Kurt Busch.
2005 was the worst year for Richmond, with only one top 10 scored, and that was at Indy. He also had 11 DNF's and finished a disappointing 15th in points. Richmond announced plans to retire in the next few years. Richmond's final sponsor, National Guard, coming over from the #16, began sponsorship post-season after UAW-Delphi left.
Richmond had an eerily good final season, as if in his last years fate wanted him to have one last real strong run. He had 10 top 5s, shocking everybody; nobody thought he had it left in him. In his last race at Homestead, he finished it in 7th. After his last race he thanked Rick Hendrick for sticking with him for all those years, saluted the fans, and then packed up for his big retirement party in New York.
By the end of 2006, PPI Racing was fledgling and was no longer economically viable. The company was put up for sale, and Richmond decided he wanted to try out being a team owner, so he bought the assets after the season. He renamed the company Tim Richmond Racing and got the last PPI Racing driver, Travis Kvapil, who Richmond mentors and now has made a successful race car driver. Tide decided to come back as the main sponsor for Kvapil in 2007. Richmond Racing still drives Chevrolets and has close ties to Rick Hendrick.
The team decided to expand to two cars for 2008, adding