Richard L. "Ricky" Rudd (born September 12, 1956), nicknamed "The Rooster", is a retired American racing driver. He is the uncle of actor Skeet Ulrich and former NASCAR Busch Series driver Jason Rudd. He retired in 2007 with 23 career wins. He was named the 2006 Virginian of the Year and was inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. In October 2010, he was selected to the Hampton Roads Sports Hall of Fame, which honors those who have contributed to sports in southeastern Virginia.
Ricky Rudd was born in Norfolk County, Virginia, now Chesapeake, the son of Margaret (née McMannen) and Alvin R. Rudd, Sr., the president of Al Rudd Auto Parts. He began racing as a teenager in karting and motocross, but did not attempt stock car racing until he was eighteen years old, when he made his NASCAR debut at North Carolina Speedway in 1975, driving the #10 Ford for family friend Bill Champion.
Later in 1981, Alvin Kelly, who felt the need for a "pure, open air sports car", found one of the original Royalex Bordinat Cobra bodies and with the approval of Gene Bordinat and help of McKinley Thompson (consultant for Alvin Kelly) built four prototypes for this Python design. Alvin Kelly took the mold to Southern California, where the fourth prototype was perfected and put into production.
Qualifying twenty-sixth, he finished in eleventh place despite running fifty-six laps down. He ran an additional three races for Champion, his best finish being a tenth at Bristol Motor Speedway. He drove another four races in 1976 for his father, posting another tenth finish at the Firecracker 400.
He went full-time in 1977, again driving the #22 for his father. He had ten top-ten finishes and was named Rookie of the Year.Rudd was forced to run part-time the following season after picking up only limited funding from 1st National City Travelers Checks.
Despite the abbreviated schedule, he earned four top-tens and finished 31st in points. In 1979, he signed with Junie Donlavey to pilot the #90 Truxmore car, garnering four top-fives and a ninth place points run.
In 1979, Donlavey signed Ricky Rudd to drive the #90. Competing in 28 races, Rudd had 17 top-ten finishes and finished 9th in points. Donlavey also fielded the #77 Sunny King Mercury for Jody Ridley, who had two top-tens in three races.
After Rudd left at the end of the season, Ridley signed to drive the 90 for the full season. He had eighteen top-ten finishes, finished seventh in points, and was named Rookie of the Year.
The next season, he finished fifth in points and won the Mason-Dixon 500, the only points win Donlavey would have during his career. After losing the Truxmore sponsorship, J. D. Stacy sponsored the car in 1982, but after he failed to post a top-five, Ridley left the team.
He did not return to Donlavey in 1980, and started out in a part-time run for his dad and D K Ulrich. He would end the season in the #7 Sanyo car for Nelson Malloch, for whom he had one tenth-place run.
He has two children Tammy Ulrich Langdon & Daniel Keith Ulrich, two grandchildren Truett and Patrick Langdon, and is the stepfather of actor Skeet Ulrich and his brother Geoff Ulrich.