The Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame offers our sympathies and condolences to the family of Terry Richards Sr. on Terry’s passing. Terry was inducted into the Nebraska Auto Racing Hall of Fame in 2019.
DRIVER / TRACK OWNER
Terry Richards Sr.
Terry Richards, Sr. began his racing career in 1963, driving in the Jalopy Class at Skylark Raceway in Columbus. He picked up the first of his many career feature race wins during that first season at Skylark. Richards piloted a Studebaker during the 1964 and 1965 seasons, before sitting out a couple of years following a serious motorcycle accident.
The David City native returned to dirt track racing for the 1968 season behind the wheel of a home-built Ford Star Liner, which he raced at numerous Nebraska race tracks. He won the track championship at David City that season.
In 1970, Richards forged a relationship with Chuck and Darrell Swanson of Ceresco, wheeling the number-18 Swanson Body Shop 1957 Ford to feature race wins at Midwest Speedway in Lincoln, as well as Albion and Norfolk, Nebraska, and Audubon and Harlan, Iowa.
Richards is most notably remembered for the yellow 1970 Ford Mustang he campaigned during the 1972, 1973 and 1974 seasons. He scored numerous feature race wins in the popular Mustang at Midwest Speedway, Eagle Raceway, and Beatrice Speedway, and won back-to-back Late Model track titles at Midwest in 1973 and 1974. He picked up one of the biggest wins of his career in the yellow Mustang at the North Central Kansas Free Fair on the Belleville High Banks in 1972.
Richards stepped away from the sport in the mid 1970s and turned his attention to truck pulling. He also helped his son, Terry, Jr. get his start in racing and was involved in the building and promotion of Ymada Speedway, a successful go-kart track located in David City.
In 1985, when the IMCA (International Motor Contest Association) Modified Division emerged in Nebraska, Richards built one of the first Modifieds in the state. That year, he pulled the car to Florida helping the sanctioning body promote the concept of the low-cost IMCA Modified.
Richards co-owned, built, and promoted Thunder Lake Speedway in Rising City in the early 1990s and later raced in Nostalgia shows throughout the Midwest. His final race was the Hillbilly Nationals Nostalgia event in Fayetteville, Arkansas in 2004.
During his racing career, Richards piloted Jalopies, Hobby Stocks, Street Stocks, Drag Cars, Modifieds, Late Models and Nostalgia Cars at 61 race tracks in nine different states, including Alabama and Florida. He scored numerous feature race and Championship Race wins, as well as many special event victories.