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Almost-Perfect Memorial Day Weekend for Richards Features First-Ever Victory in West Virginia & Two Runner-up Finishes


May 29, 2013

SHINNSTON, W. Va. - May 28, 2013 - Josh Richards enjoyed an almost-perfect Memorial Day weekend of action on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series.

 

With a dramatic victory on Saturday night at Tyler County Speedway in Middlebourne, W.Va., sandwiched by runner-up finishes on Friday evening at NAPA Auto Parts Wayne County Speedway in Orrville, Ohio, and Sunday night at Tyler County, the holiday triple header was extremely satisfying for the 25-year-old from Shinnston, W. Va.

 

"I guess anytime you're in contention for a win and don't get it, you're frustrated - and that happened to us twice," Richards said of his weekend performance. "But it was still a great weekend for us. A win and two second-place finishes - it's hard to have a weekend any better than that. We were in contention to win every race and just came up short in two of them - we'll take it."

 

After kicking off the swing with a solid second-place run behind first-time WoO LMS winner Dave Hess Jr. in Friday night's Buckeye 50 at Wayne County, the highlight of Richards' weekend came with his triumph in Saturday night's 30-lap A-Main that kicked off the two-day Jackpot 100 Presented by NAPA at the quarter-mile Tyler County oval. He recorded his long-awaited first-ever victory in his home state in truly memorable fashion, sliding his Valvoline-sponsored Mark Richards Racing Enterprises Rocket Chassis No. 1 underneath Tim Fuller for the lead exiting turn four with the checkered flag flying.

 

Richards beat Fuller to the finish line by a slim margin of 0.154 of a second for a win worth $6,150. It was his third WoO LMS victory of 2013 but first since Feb. 17 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla.

 

"If we could have stayed away from lapped traffic he would have won," Richards said of Fuller. "He was out in clean track and he could pick some speed up, so it was hard to gain any ground. I just kept watching the lapped cars and watching the dirt off their tires and tried to stay low.

 

"Once we got a run there (on the last lap) I just had to go for it. I tried to do it one last corner and it finally worked out."

 

Richards was smiling after finally reaching Victory Lane in the Mountaineer State, where he's actually raced only sparingly during a 10-year dirt Late Model career focused on national events.

 

"It's cool to finally get one in front of the home crowd," said Richards, who registered his sixth overall victory of the 2013 season. "It's been pretty hard to do. I think we counted up - in 10 years we only raced in the state seven or eight times."

 

Richards appeared primed to sweep the Jackpot 100 by NAPA weekend on Sunday night after he ripped off the evening's quickest lap in qualifying at 12.620 seconds (his series-leading fourth fast-time award of 2013), won a 10-lap heat race and drew the pole position for the 70-lap, $15,000-to-win A-Main. He fell just short of the win, finishing a close second in the weekend's finale to Darrell Lanigan.

 

There's no doubt that Richards gave it his all in pursuit of the big-money win at Tyler County. Though he didn't lead a lap, he found himself in second place behind Lanigan on lap 41 after Fuller relinquished the lead due to a flat tire and he spent the remainder of the distance challenging Lanigan relentlessly.

 

"I think we were better than (Lanigan) was, and I was just kind of riding for a little bit trying to make something happen," said Richards. "Once I found my sweet spot and ran a little bit wider I could run up over top of him, but there just wasn't anywhere to go.

 

"I'd get a run off the corner and then he'd back out to the outside wall, and that would kind of block my entry back into one. But he did what he had to do. He did a great job. I'm just more frustrated at myself than anything. Actually, I thought we had more laps left. It just kind of shocked me when I saw the white (flag)."

 

The three podium finishes were very important in another respect: they helped Richards extend his lead in the WoO LMS points standings to a season-high 48 points over Shane Clanton. He will attempt to add even more to his edge this weekend when he enters World of Outlaws events on Thurs., May 30, at Delaware International Speedway in Delmar and Sat., June 1, at Stateline Speedway in Busti, N.Y.

 

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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