Saturday, October 18, 2008

NHRA: Tim and Kim Richards To Retire at Season's End


Budweiser/Lucas Oil Top Fuel team owner Kenny Bernstein has announced that crew chiefs Tim and Kim Richards will retire from the sport of drag racing at the end of the 2008 NHRA season.

"We are deeply indebted to Tim and Kim for their dedication and talent," said six-time champion Bernstein. "When Tim and Kim joined our team in 2001 we enjoyed a record-setting year filled with eight race wins and 12 final round appearances culminating in our sixth NHRA championship, our second in Top Fuel.

"Also in 2001, our Budweiser team won 61 rounds of competition which set a Top Fuel record for the most rounds won in one season. That record held until Dallas of this year.

"Through the years Tim and Kim have tuned our team to a total of 33 Top Fuel victories. That is an enviable record for a tuning duo. Beyond that, their work ethic, integrity, and friendship means more to us than all of their victories combined. Obviously, they will be severely missed."

Kenny scored 16 wins, while Brandon tallied 17.

"When you've been around the sport as long as we have," said Tim, "all the years start to run together and the physical and mental stress takes its toll. Kim has been working in this sport full time since 1982 and I've been in the sport maybe 10 years more than that.

"The sport consumes you but that's what is required to be successful, and we won't continue in the sport without a 100 percent commitment. There's no way to shortcut the job. For us it's all or nothing. We're worn out and it's time to stop.

"I'll be 65 in January and I don't want to keep working until I'm 70 or 75. Kim and I want to enjoy life and do some of the things we dream about."

Kim, who has many responsibilities on the race car, says the years have taken a physical toll.

"We have completely enjoyed the time we have spent working with and for Kenny," said Kim.

"As a place to work and a team to race with, it offered us the best chance of winning," continued Tim. "Kenny has been good to us as an employer and we couldn't think of a better place to work.

"We also want to thank everyone at Budweiser, Lucas Oil, Mac Tools and all those sponsors who have supported this team. They represent premiere companies in each of their categories and they have wholeheartedly backed our team.

"We still have a job to do and we will pour our heart and soul into the job for the remainder of the season. After that, we look forward to some rest and relaxation."

Tim Richards has a career total of 81 race wins and six NHRA Top Fuel championships. Kim has partnered with Tim for 50 of those victories. Kim began her racing career working with her father Dick LaHaie on his Top Fuel car. She helped tune him to his 1987 NHRA Top Fuel championship.


David Powers Motorsports and Rob Flynn, crew chief on the Rod Fuller-driven Caterpillar Top Fuel dragster, have reached a mutual agreement to part ways following the conclusion of the 2008 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, and Kenny Bernstein has confirmed that Flynn, who will be accompanied by assistant crew chief Mike Guger, will take over as crew chief on the Budweiser/Lucas Oil dragster for 2009. "I think it's a wonderful opportunity," said Flynn. "I feel I have some big shoes to fill coming in after Tim and Dale [Armstrong] before him. But we're very motivated."

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