Friday, May 21, 2010

Richie Zimmerman is 91 and still racing cars - ESPN Los Angeles

Richie Zimmerman is 91 and still racing cars - ESPN Los Angeles

IRWINDALE, Calif. -- When Richie Zimmerman was 75 years old, he set the track record during a qualifying race at the Orange Show Speedway in San Bernardino, Calif.
That was 16 years ago.
Back then, he was known as R.C. Zimmerman. He started going by Richie -- a tribute to modified racing legend Richie Evans -- when he decided to start racing again at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale in March.
At 91 years old, Zimmerman is the oldest driver by three decades racing at Toyota Speedway. He's older than NASCAR by three decades.
He drives a Ford Pinto in the NASCAR Mini Stock division. The number on his car matches his age, 91. He recently was awarded "hard charger" for passing the most cars in a recent race and earned a $91 bonus from the track.
Zimmerman is not as spry as he once was. He took a couple of years off from racing after he broke his hip and needed surgery on his knee. He has had cataract surgery on both eyes and wears a hearing aid. He doesn't go to the driver autograph sessions at the track before races because he says it's too hard to get in and out of his car.
"It's amazing that he's out here," said Jacob Rogers, a 21-year-old driver from Riverside in the Mini Stocks division at Irwindale. "It gives me a little bit of inspiration. It's really cool that he's out here. It's fun to be around him."

Photo: Richie Zimmerman is 91 years old and racing in the NASCAR Mini Stock division at Toyota Speedway at Irwindale. 

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