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Unexpected Weekend Off from WoLMS leads to Victory at Paducah for Richards


Apr 16, 2013

SHINNSTON, W. Va. - April 16, 2013 - Josh Richards certainly made the most of his unexpected weekend off from World of Outlaws Late Model Series competition.

 

After his scheduled trip to Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Oh., for WoO LMS action last weekend was halted when poor weather prompted track and series officials to postpone the event on Thursday morning, the 25-year-old and his Valvoline-sponsored Rocket Chassis house car team quickly changed their plans to enter the inaugural National Dirt Racing League (NDRL) doubleheader at Paducah (Ky.) International Raceway and Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 in Pevely, Mo. The decision paid off as Richards drove to a convincing $20,000 victory in Friday night's Let's Get Dirty 75 at Paducah and was in contention to win Saturday evening's 75-lapper at I-55 until a flat tire doomed him to a 13th-place finish.

 

"I can't complain at all about our weekend," said Richards. "Considering we had no intention of going to the NDRL races until the (World of Outlaws) show at Wayne County was called off (the Buckeye 50 was rescheduled for May 24), it was awesome to end up with a win at Paducah and run up front at Pevely."

 

Making his third career start at the three-eighths-mile, high-banked Paducah oval, Richards stood out as the class of the field in the historic first-ever NDRL event. He took the lead from Jared Landers on lap three and dominated the remainder of the 75-lap distance, mastering the track's fast, physical surface to build edges of more than a straightaway before a late caution flag shrunk his final winning margin over Jimmy Owens.

 

"We were one of the fastest cars in hot laps, qualified second and won our heat," said Richards, who earned his second $20,000 triumph and fifth overall checkered flag of the young 2013 season. "Then we had a good enough car to stay up front the whole race and pull it off.

 

"Any race you win makes you feel good, but there are some that are definitely a little more special," he continued. "It's not really about what it pays - although that's nice - but more a matter of who all is there. Like, when you go to Volusia (Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., for the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals in February), some of those races only pay $7,000 (to win), but you still got so many great cars there that it makes winning one of those races so much more prestigious. That's kind of what I felt winning at Paducah.

 

"Not that a normal World of Outlaws race isn't hard to win. It's just that for some races, like at Paducah, you have a broader band of competition. You're running against guys you don't normally race with so you don't know as much about how they race, and that makes it exciting to come out on top."

 

Richards flirted with pulling off an amazing sweep of the NDRL weekend at I-55, the high-banked, one-third-mile oval where he's won a WoO LMS A-Main in the past. He grabbed the lead from Billy Moyer on lap 23 of the 75-lapper and appeared stout for the second consecutive night, but he was overtaken for the top spot on lap 46 by eventual winner Owens and three circuits later slowed with a flat right-rear tire that ended his chances at victory.

 

"We did everything we could to win both races but we just had a little bad racing luck on Saturday," said Richards, who pitted and returned but rallied to 13th at the finish. "My car kept freer and freer after that restart (before losing the lead), but I didn't know if my tire was going down or what. Finally it went down and that was it for us.

 

"I know (Owens) was really good on the bottom (groove), but I feel like if we wouldn't have had the flat I still could have run that line up high and at least had a shot at running with him. We needed to be a little bit tighter, but we still had a great racecar and were still in contention. We still definitely had a shot at winning, so that makes me feel good."

 

While the weekend could have been downright spectacular with a Pevely checkered flag, Richards was more than satisfied with his results.

 

"We worked hard to do what we did," said Richards. "We had the car on the jig at one point during the week checking things out, and right before we left for Paducah we decided to pull the motor out and do some work to the front end. Then we got it all back together, drove out to Paducah, unloaded solid and kept it up the whole night. It was a lot of work, but it was good to go there and know that we could get the job done.

 

"This is a humbling sport," he added. "You could win one night and not make the race the next night, so we're just trying to enjoy everything, have fun and try to get better for the next race. It's been a great year already, but everyone else is working to try and catch up so we're doing everything we can to try and stay on top of it."

 

Richards will return to WoO LMS action this weekend, carrying the tour's points lead into a doubleheader in North Carolina on April 19 at Fayetteville Motor Speedway and April 20 at 311 Motor Speedway in Pine Hall. He owns two career WoO LMS wins at Fayetteville but will make his first-ever start at 311.

 

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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