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Two Nights, Two Tracks, Two Series and Two Strong Runs for Josh Richards

Apr 24, 2013

SHINNSTON, W. Va. - April 23, 2013 - Over a weekend that saw him race with two national series at two different tracks, Josh Richards added two more podium finishes to his spectacular 2013 dirt Late Model results.


Richards, 25, of Shinnston, W.Va., kicked off back-to-back nights of competition with a solid third-place finish in Saturday's 50-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main at 311 Motor Speedway in Pine Hall, N.C. He then stopped at West Virginia Motor Speedway in Mineral Wells on Sunday night for a Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series event and put on a show, rallying from an opening-lap wall-slap and pit stop for servicing to claim a hard-charging runner-up finish in the 50-lap feature.


"You can't complain about the weekend we had," said Richards, whose scheduled Friday-night visit to Fayetteville (N.C.) Motor Speedway for a WoO LMS program was called off that morning by track officials due to approaching severe storms. "I was a little disappointed with 311 because we started on the pole (in the A-Main) and had a shot to get out front to try to win another race, but we couldn't capitalize. We just weren't good enough, but we'll take a third any day because those are the kind of runs that help you win a championship.


"And we came up just short in the Lucas race at West Virginia, but considering the way the race started out I never would have expected to finish second. It's never easy to come from the back in any race and it's especially hard when the car's bent up, but we were able to get up through there and challenge for the win."


Richards very nearly pulled off an unforgettable win at the four-tenths-mile West Virginia Motor Speedway (WVMS), which was shortened from its former five-eighths-mile length in 2012. He started eighth in the feature but got into the outside wall in turn three on the opening circuit, forcing him to pit on lap two and then restart at the rear of a talent-laden field.


"Getting into turn three there is really, really deceiving," Richards said of WVMS. "There were a couple drivers who told me that, but until you go out there and run a little bit it's really hard to tell.


"Early in the night when the track was faster and had grip in it, (turn three) was really no issue because we had been running lower through three and four. But we started eighth in the feature, and we made a bunch of changes to the car and I felt really good through one and two. But in the feature I just drove in on the outside of a couple guys in three, and when you think you're at the top, you're already two lanes past the top where you need to be turning in. The track just loses banking right there and has no grip, and I got up there and got just a little bit tight. I went to throttle out of it and didn't realize I was already in the wall.


"We bent the right-front suspension pretty bad," he continued. "I thought we were actually done. I pulled into the pits thinking I would have to get out of the car, but I said, 'Well, I'll go back out and see if it's any good, and if it isn't I'll just pull because we've got nothing to lose.' We just decided to start in the back, and the next thing you knew we were picking cars off one at a time. It felt really, really good."


Despite the bent right-front suspension on his Valvoline-sponsored Rocket Chassis house car, Richards fought his way forward to sit fifth on a restart with just over 10 laps remaining. He advanced to second with six laps remaining and quickly slashed into leader Eddie Carrier Jr.'s edge, but Carrier hung on for the victory.


"Towards the end of the race we were right there," said Richards. "We were fifth on a restart with 15, 20 laps to go, and I felt like we had a really good shot at it. We got to second and were right on Carrier at the end. I felt like a few more laps we might have had something for him, but he did a really good job and we ran out of time."


The runner-up finish left Richards continuing to chase his first-ever victory in his home state.


"We're still working on that," Richards said with a smile. "Winning a race in West Virginia is definitely on the bucket list. I haven't raced a lot in West Virginia in my career, but I really want to win one in my home state. I'd like to get one - one of these days."


Richards will carry the WoO LMS points lead into the tour's triple header in Tennessee this weekend. His schedule shows World of Outlaws shows on Friday (April 26) at Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Saturday (April 27) at Tazewell Speedway and Sunday (April 28) at Duck River Raceway Park in Wheel.


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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