Former rivals now Mr. and Mrs. are IMCA winners in Nebraska Dirt Crown at Deshler

The husband and wife team of Dillon and Kaylee Richards were both IMCA feature winners, during the Nebraska’s Dirt Crown show at Thayer County Speedway. (Photo by Ronda Mewes)

WYMORE, Neb. (April 12, 2022) – Dillon and Kaylee Richards started as rivals. Now they’re each other’s biggest fans, on and off the track. 

The husband and wife race team from Wymore both made trips to victory lane during the Nebraska’s Dirt Crown event at Thayer County Speedway, Kaylee in the Mach-1 Sport Compacts and Dillon in the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stocks.

It was the third time since they became a couple when both have won features on the same night, and the first time since they got married last November.

Dillon was in staging for Kaylee’s race and had enough of a view of the front stretch to see her take the checkers at the end of a flag-to-flag run; Kaylee was still in the infield post-race tech area at Deshler and stood on the trunk of her car to watch Dillon get the best of Jet Racing co-worker Nick Ronnebaum in a back-and-forth battle. 

“I was super happy when Kaylee won. I want to see her drive hard every night,” Dillon said. “And I wanted to get a trophy as much as she did.”

Both grew up in racing families. The former Kaylee Diekman had already won track championships at Thunder Hill Speedway and at Beatrice, where they met in the claim area in 2016. 

“He was fast. Why wouldn’t I claim him?” asked Kaylee. “He’s a good driver and does his best every night.”

Racing, she adds, “is a way we bond outside of home life. It’s how we met and it’s something we both enjoy.” 

While there’s some disagreement as to whether Dillon intentionally took Kaylee out the following week, amends were made and the two eventually became a couple. The hashtag for their wedding, incidentally, was #claimedtobearichards. 

National champion in the 4-cylinder class in 2017, Dillon moved to the Hobby Stocks the following season and is running a partial schedule as a rookie in the IMCA Northern SportMods this year. He does most of the work on their stable of cars, including the claimed ride that Kaylee’s mother Ronda Mewes now drives, as well as her brother Brandon Carmichael’s Sport Compact. 

Both will race weekly this season at Beatrice, where they first won on the same night while dating two years ago. They were engaged when they won Gage County Fair races last summer. 

Their Dirt Crown trophies will eventually be displayed in the trophy room downstairs and the Richards will have the opportunity to enjoy their first wins as Mr. and Mrs. 

“We didn’t get a chance to celebrate that night. We both had a beer and that was it,” Dillon said. “The race was on a Sunday and Kaylee had Monday off, but I had to work the next day.”