SONNY "KING" RICHARDS MEMORIAL AWARD
TO BE PRESENTED AT THOMPSON WORLD SERIES
This weekend the friends of
Sonny Richards will proudly present the 7th Annual Sonny “King” Richards
Memorial Award. This honor, presented in memory of one of Modified Racing’s
most beloved personalities, is bestowed on the individual who has best
represented the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour, both on and off the track. The
winner has been selected by members of the media from nominees that were
determined by a panel of esteemed motorsports journalists and close friends
of the King.
Previous winners have included Art Barry, Tony Ferrante, Sr.,
Ralph Solhem, posthumously Tom Baldwin, Sr., and Jerry Marquis. The most
recent recipients, photographers Howie & Mary Hodge, continue to represent
the Tour with a pride and dignity reminiscent of the King himself.
“This is a very emotional time of year,” said Award Administrator, Dale
Wolbrink. “We pause to remember a real racer, a great man and a better
friend. Although he has been gone for some time now, the spirit of Sonny
Richards lives on in our fondest recollections. We continue to make new
memories as we pay tribute to the man we loving called the King”.
In pre-race ceremonies on Sunday morning, October 14, 2007,
the name of the 2007 Sonny “King” Richards Memorial award winner will be
announced. The recipient will be presented with a plaque to commemorate the
occasion. Like those who have come before, this year’s honoree will surely
cherish the award. The winner’s name also will be added to the perpetual
plaque that hangs in the Thompson Speedway office.
In the twilight of his life, Sonny’s first love was for
people, followed by his love for Auto Racing, most notably the Modified
Tour. The King was a mainstay in Modified racing, the staunchest supporter
of the division and its owners, drivers, and crews. The Memorial Award has
been established to help keep his spirit alive within the racing community.
Known to many as the “King”, Sonny Richards was a longtime
supporter of Modified racing and friend to the entire Motorsports community.
A fan since the days of the coupe, Sonny was a fixture at Modified races
throughout the decades. He began his love affair with auto racing as a
journalist covering the sport for a local Connecticut daily newspaper and
later as the field representative for Speedway Scene. Sonny passed away at
his home in Hartford, CT in July of 2001 after having enjoyed an
action-packed Modified race at New Hampshire International Speedway.
Shortly after his death, in a further effort to honor this
great man, the Sonny Richards Memorial Fund was formed at the Rockland Trust
Company to provide a scholarship fund for the children of the Whelen
Modified Tour. Any active participant in the Modified Tour or their
families, who is currently enrolled in a collegiate program is eligible to
receive the “Education is King” Sonny Richards Memorial Scholarship.
Previous recipients include Megan Clifford.
For more information regarding the scholarship or to make a
contribution to the Sonny Richards Memorial Fund, please contact:
Dale Wolbrink at (508) 847-0565 or via e-mail at
Wolbrink/Sonny Richards PR
October 7, 2007