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Richards Toughs Out 12th-Place Finish In Illini 100 to Maintain World of Outlaws Late Model Series Points Lead

Apr 11, 2013

SHINNSTON, WV - April 10, 2013 - Josh Richards wasn't happy with his 12th-place finish in last Saturday night's World of Outlaws Late Model Series Illini 100 at Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway, but even he had to admit there were some positives to take from his weekend at the quarter-mile oval.


For starters, Richards won a 15-lap heat race during last Friday night's qualifying program. He also was well on his way to contending for a top-five finish - perhaps even a $20,000 victory - in the 100-lap headliner until a loss of power-steering in his Valvoline-sponsored/Roush Yates-powered Rocket Chassis dive-bombed his hopes.


And above all else, the 25-year-old from Shinnston, W.Va., managed to tough out a finish high enough in the rundown to maintain his lead in the WoO LMS points standings.


"I honestly feel like we had a car good enough to run up through there and maybe challenge for the win," said Richards, who made his first WoO LMS start since the tour's season-opening eight-race swing through Georgia and Florida in February. "I know (winner Jason) Feger was good, but we had a real good car. It took us a few laps to get going, but we were really starting to come on when we lost the power steering."


Indeed, Richards, who started seventh in the Illini 100 but slipped back a couple spots at the initial green flag, had just moved into sixth place and was knocking on the door of the top five when his machine's rare mechanical malfunction occurred just as the race's first caution flag flew on lap 25. He pitted during the caution period and returned, but he spent the remainder of the distance struggling to manhandle his car around the fast bullring, ultimately finishing one lap down in 12th place.


"As soon as that caution came out we lost the power steering," said Richards. "It was tough to drive after that. I pulled in (to the work area), but there wasn't anything they could do. I was just holding on after that. I was just trying to stay out of the way. I couldn't run the way I needed to run - if I hit a hole, it would just jerk the wheel out of my hands.


Richards failed to register a top 10 finish for the first time in his five career Illini 100 starts, but leaving Farmer City with a 12th-place run on his record mitigated what could have been a very bad night. He remained atop the WoO LMS points standings after nine events, leading Shane Clanton by two points.


"It's disappointing that we had to be out there just trying to salvage what we could when I felt like we had a car that could win," said Richards. "But when you're running for a championship, sometimes you'll have nights where things don't go right. You just have to keep digging and get the best finish you can and that's what we did."


With this weekend's WoO LMS action at Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio, wiped out by unfavorable weather (after the originally scheduled multi-day Buckeye 100 was condensed to a single 50-lapper on Sat., April 13, by poor forecasts, track and series officials decided on Thursday to postpone the Saturday program to May 24 due to heavy rain saturating the grounds), Richards and his Rocket Chassis house car team plan to enter this weekend's inaugural National Dirt Racing League doubleheader. The NDRL will conduct 75-lap, $20,000-to-win events on Fri., April 12, at Paducah (Ky.) International Raceway and Sat., April 13, at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo.


The WoO LMS action for Richards will be a doubleheader in North Carolina, on April 19 at Fayetteville Motor Speedway and April 20 at 311 Motor Speedway in Pine Hall. 

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 Drive Shafts, 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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