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Richards Celebrates Return as World of Outlaws Late Model Series Regular with Victory, Runner-Up Finish in Season-Openin


Feb 12, 2013

SHINNSTON, WV – Feb. 12, 2013 – Josh Richards’s return as a World of Outlaws Late Model Series regular could scarcely have gone any better.

With a victory and runner-up finish in the national tour’s season-opening Winter Freeze doubleheader weekend at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga., the 24-year-old from Shinnston, W.Va., made it clear that he’s primed and ready to chase a third career circuit championship.

“It’s awesome to come back and start the season like this,” said Richards, who is planning to follow the WoO LMS in 2013 while continuing to pursue opportunities on the NASCAR Nationwide Series that he competed on last year. “We have great help – my dad, Matt (Barnes), Cody (Duncan) – and we’ve been working really hard over the winter building some new cars and trying to get our stuff better.

“After all that work and having Valvoline come on board (as a primary sponsor), starting the season with a win and a second is really cool. Hopefully we can keep it up the rest of the year.”

Sitting behind the wheel of a brand-new Roush Yates-powered Rocket Chassis machine from the Mark Richards Racing Enterprises stable, Richards ushered in the 2013 WoO LMS campaign with a solid second-place finish in Friday night’s 40-lap season opener at the three-eighths-mile Peach State oval. He moved up from the third starting spot to second at the initial green flag and stayed there behind eventual winner Shane Clanton for the entire distance.

“Clanton was definitely better,” Richards said after Friday’s feature event. “I was just a little free. We experimented with a lot of stuff (on Friday) and I feel like we had a really good car, but it’s hard when you try new things and don’t know how far to go. It’s a brand-new car and it felt great, but we just kind of maintained where we were all race, just held onto our track position.”

Richards turned the tables on Clanton on Saturday evening, finding that extra bit of speed necessary to reach Victory Lane. He passed Mike Marlar for the lead on lap six and never looked back, holding off a furious late-race challenge from Clanton to pocket $10,150 for his 40thcareer WoO LMS triumph. His final margin of victory over Clanton was a scant 0.405 of a second.

“I knew Clanton’s been really, really good and we had a lot of tire chatter the last five or six laps, so I knew he was gonna be trying to come,” said Richards, whose victory moved him within one checkered flag of tying Darrell Lanigan for the lead on the all-time WoO LMS win list. “We just had to try to stay on the infield and try to keep the right-rear out of the black – and just try to hold on. I think a few more laps he probably would’ve gotten us, but it was just enough.

“(On Friday night) we ran second but we just didn’t feel that great, so we just kind of went back with what we know for the heat race. From that point on the car just picked up and I knew we had something to try to win tonight.”

Richards ended the weekend tied for the WoO LMS points lead with Clanton. He will attempt to continue his strong burst out of the gate when the tour goes to Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla., for the Bubba Army Late Model Winter Nationals on Feb. 15-17 and Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., for the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment on Feb. 21-23. Richards will also enter three DIRTcar UMP-sanctioned Late Model shows on Feb. 18-20 at Volusia.

Everyone’s picked up the pace (on the WoO LMS this year) and we’re just gonna have to get after it and see what we can do,” said Richards, whose last four seasons as a WoO LMS regular have resulted in two championships (2009-10) and a pair of runner-up points finishes (2008, 2011). “This is definitely a great start toward accomplishing our goal, though.”

For more information on Josh Richards, visit www.joshrichards.com and follow him on Twitter at @Josh_Richards1 and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/JoshRichardsRacing.

Josh Richards’ No. 1 team carries support from Valvoline, Seubert Calf Ranches, Ernie D's, Ace Welding, Petroff Towing, Sallack Well Service, Tony Stewart Racing, Rocket Chassis, Roush Yates Engines, Hoosier Racing Tires, Sunoco Racing Fuels, Keyser Manufacturing, Integra Shocks, Sweet Manufacturing, Slavic Custom Tee Shirts And Graphics, Brown and Miller, Brazwell Carburetors, Bazell Racing Fuels, Butlerbuilt Seat, Beyea Headers, Performance Rod and Custom, Wilwood Disc Brakes, Frankland Rear Ends, Simpson Safety Equipment, J E Pistons, Strange Oval, Wrisco Aluminum, R2C Filters, Aurora Rod Ends, Snap On Tools, Scott Wires, Trick Carbon Fiber Driveshafts, Five Star Bodies, Jones Racing Products, Howe Racing, Performance Bodies, Turbo Start Batteries, Brinn Transmissions, Eagle One, Car Brite, ATL Fuel Cells, Dohm's Cycles, Weld Wheels, Barnes Oil Systems, Tel-Tac, MSD Ignitions.

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