Atkins came up in sprint cars and won the Turkey Night Grand Prix in 1965 and was rewarded by race promoter J. C. Agajanian with a chance to race in the USAC National Championship in 1966. He failed to qualify for the 1966 Indianapolis 500, but finished fourth at Trenton Speedway in September then won on the dirt oval at Sacramento in October, for his first "big car" win. However, he was killed in a sprint car crash at Ascot Park in California just a month later in a wreck that also killed Don Branson. He finished 12th in 1966 USAC National Championship points.
- Richard C. Atkins, FindAGrave, Retrieved 2013-09-03
- Dick Atkins at Champ Car Stats
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