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Richards Still on Top of World of Outlaws Late Model Series Points Standings after Four-Weekend Stretch in South

May 15, 2013

SHINNSTON, W. Va. – May 15, 2013 – Josh Richards ended a four-weekend stretch of World of Outlaws Late Model Series action in the south exactly the way he started it: sitting atop the national tour’s points standings.

After scoring a solid third-place finish in last Saturday night’s 50-lap A-Main at I-30 Speedway in Little Rock, Ark., Richards returned to his Valvoline-sponsored Mark Richards Racing Enterprises team’s home base in Shinnston, W.Va., with a slim six-point edge over Shane Clanton in the battle for the circuit championship.

“We’re doing what we have to do right now,” said Richards, who is chasing his third WoO LMS title. “There’s still a long way to go this season, but we got another top-three finish (at I-30) and that’s what you have to do to win championships.”

The 25-year-old finished outside the top four just once in four WoO LMS A-Mains over the past four weeks – and that blemish came in a race that he dominated until a late-race tangle with a lapped car ended his bid for a third 2013 World of Outlaws victory in heartbreaking fashion. On April 28 at Duck River Raceway Park in Wheel, Tenn., Richards took the lead at the initial green flag and appeared to be cruising to the checkered flag in the 50-lapper when contact with a lapped machine spun him into the outside wall on the homestretch, forcing him to restart at the rear of the field and settle for a ninth-place finish.

Prior to the disappointment at Duck River, Richards registered finishes of third on April 20 at 311 Motor Speedway in Pine Hall, N.C., and fourth on April 26 at Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, Tenn. Five additional WoO LMS events over the past four weather-plagued weekends were rained out: April 19 at Fayetteville (N.C.) Motor Speedway; April 27 at Tazewell (Tenn.) Speedway; May 3 at Lavonia (Ga.) Speedway; May 4 at Swainsboro (Ga.) Raceway; and May 11 at Whynot Motorsports Park in Meridian, Miss. Only the Lavonia event has been rescheduled, for Tues., Nov. 5.

Actually, even last Saturday night’s event at I-30 Speedway was affected by rain. The tour’s first-ever visit there was scheduled for last Friday night, but grounds saturated by heavy prevented racing that evening and then track and WoO LMS officials moved the event to Saturday night after Whynot officials decided to cancel their Saturday show due to extremely wet grounds and a wet race-day forecast.

Richards was strong in his first career start at the quarter-mile Arkansas oval known as Hammer Hill, winning a heat race and advancing from the sixth starting spot to place third in the 50-lap A-Main behind winner Clanton and Darrell Lanigan.

“The (feature) draw definitely bit us tonight,” said Richards, who redrew sixth – the worst starting spot possible among the top-two finishers from each heat – for the A-Main. “We had a good car, but sometimes it’s hard to overcome starting sixth. With all good guys in front of you, that makes it hard to get up through there and get in the mix for the win.

“It was a tough track to pass on too. It was just so slippery that you just couldn’t carry enough speed through the middle to get by the guy running the bottom. I tried running up there a little bit and it was good for a lap or two on the restarts, but then you had to get back down.

“It was definitely the slickest track I’ve been on in the south. It was more like a Northern track. It was fun to drive on, but you just need a little bit of something to make a speed difference between the top and bottom so you can move around and pass cars.

“We’re happy, though,” he concluded. “It was a good night for us. We’ll take it and move on.”

Richards plans to take this weekend off from competition as he gears up for the coming heart of the racing schedule. His next action will come over Memorial Day weekend when he enters WoO LMS events on May 24 at Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio, and May 25-26 at Tyler County Speedway in Middlebourne, W.Va. (Jackpot 100 featuring a $6,000-to-win 30-lapper on May 25 and a $15,000-to-win 70-lapper on May 26).

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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