Dick May was not know for his winning races but instead for his ability to get any car qualified for a race. The Owners liked him because of this and so he was a favorite of the Owners when it came time to get a back-up driver for their car. Dick drove five different cars for five different owners during the 1975 Mason Dixon 500 at Dover Downs International Speedway. Oh, by the way, he never did finish that race because the throttle linkage broke when he was five laps from the finish line.
May has an ability to avoid wrecks and making sure the car was running at the end of the day. Because of the way he could handle the cars he became the top relief driver in Winston Cup history during the '70s and early '80s. May's feat of driving five cars in one race will probably be in the history books for a long time.
May is credited with starting 185 races on the Winston Cup circuit but as May puts it, "I must have been in more than 500". May said that a lot of times he has jumped into someone's car to finish a race and never get mentioned because the points always went to the driver who started the race.
May's first car owner was a sergeant in the motor pool where he was stationed in the Military in the '50s. May ended up running a few races with his owner until he got shipped out. May was able to connect with another car owner in the motor pool and ended up driving for several owners the next couple years. After the Military May connected up with a big electric repair business who had a driver that kept crashing their car. Finally they asked May to drive for them and he won a couple of track championships and a lot of races. During the five or six years that May drove for this team he worked for a trucking company and started training to be a fireman.
Finally his opportunity cam along for him to be a fireman full time but he turned it down because he would have to work weekends. May said," I don't know to this day if I did right or wrong. That would have been a great career, I would have been a heck of a fireman, I enjoyed it , it was fun. Besides very few firemen get fired until they do something really bad".
May's first NASCAR race was in 1967 at the Permatex 300 in Daytona Beach, Florida. He was able to pick up a ride once driven by Marvin Panch for the Wood's Brothers. May continued in NASCAR's top series until 1985, posting eight career top-10 finishes and his best finish in the point standings was 15th in 1978.
May did a lot for NASCAR, he hung banners, drove a truck, worked for Companies like STP, Sears and R.J. Reynold's Tobacco Co., he was a man of all seasons, if something needed to get done, people knew who to call.