In the fall of 2010, a London-area race car driver was awarded one of the highest achievements a high school student can earn that relates to the field of stock car racing, as ‘Smiling’ Stephen Richmond (#24) of Appin, became the first Canadian to receive the Alan Kulwicki Memorial Scholarship to attend the Motorsports Engineering program at the University of North Carolina – Charlotte.
In 2012 Richmond, who has been racing since 1999, will be stepping up to the FT Garage Late Model division full-time. He has won features, first in the Krown Junior Racing League, before adding checkered flags in the Coca-Cola Super Stocks, and the Open Wheel Modifieds. When he’s not in one of his cars, he’s also driving a GAW Recycling Enduro car whenever he has the chance.
Richmond became a gearhead as an eight -year old, all on his own, and introduced the sport to his parents. He explained, “I was sick one day and turned on the NASCAR race while I was lying on the couch. My parents had never followed the sport, but after that, I made them bring me to the track, and told them that I wanted to race.”
The first Junior Late Model hit the shop a short while later, and the Richmonds have been a racing family ever since.
As for the thrill of jumping in the Late Models and rubbing fenders with Steve Robblee, and Andrew Gresel, he explained, “I’ve had a couple of starts over the past few years, through Jesse Kennedy’s team, so I’m not really in awe so much anymore, and they are just more guys to pass.”
Richmond is backed by Reality Dreams Financial, Designs – Your Sign Source, and Gerdau Steel