Richard’s career of Figure “8” Late Models and Super Six racing changed Michigan’s racing. He was known primarily for his abilities in the Figure “8” Events. Richard was a dominate personality in changing Figure “8” racing from a novelty to a action packed event of skill and daring.
Richard Simmons brought national recognition to Michigan’s Figure “8” racing drivers. His win on September 29, 1968 at Islip Speedway in New York on ABC Wide World of Sports showed a nation wide audience that Michigan was in the forefront of this division. At home his skill and style became the one to copy.
He became “the man to beat”. He upgraded the standards of the Figure “8” cars and his mechanical ability in car construction became what others would follow. He moved the cars from “junkers” to very specialized racing cars.
In Super Six Racing action one season, Richard did the impossible as he won every feature race he started at Lansing’s Spartan Speedway, Jackson Motor Speedway, and Owosso Speedway. He took his nickname “Lil Richard” and became a crowd favorite.