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Consistent Weekend In Wolverine State Keeps Richards In Charge Of World of Outlaws Late Model Series Points Battle

Aug 21, 2013

SHINNSTON, WV – Aug. 21, 2013 – Josh Richards continued his laser-focused pursuit of the 2013 World of Outlaws Late Model Series championship with a steady-as-she-goes weekend of action in the Wolverine State.

With a second-place on Aug. 16 at Winston Speedway in Montague, Mich., and a sixth-place run on Aug. 17 at Merritt Speedway in Lake City, Mich., Richards not only registered the best combined finishes in the doubleheader but also extended his WoO LMS points lead.

“We had a good weekend,” said Richards, who is chasing his third career World of Outlaws title. “If we had done a couple things differently I think we could have had a shot to win both races, but we’ll take it. This is such a competitive sport that you can’t be off even a little bit and we just didn’t quite hit it right both nights.”

Richards, 25, of Shinnston, W.Va., had his best performance in last Friday night’s NAPA Auto Parts Winston 50 Presented by Keyser Manufacturing. He moved up quickly from the fifth starting spot to second place in his Valvoline-sponsored Mark Richards Racing Enterprises Rocket No. 1 and finished there, vainly chasing home-state winner Jeep VanWormer to the checkered flag.

“He was good,” Richards said of VanWormer. “On that (lap-16) restart we fired off that middle (groove) real well and stayed with him for a few laps. I couldn’t keep running there, though. Me and (third-place finisher Rick) Eckert were talking after the race about how you could run four or five laps good there, and then the tires would get greasy and you couldn’t move around as much.

“Jeep was really good on the long greens. His car was just rolling through the corners so well.”

On Saturday night at Merritt, Richards started and finished sixth. He ran in the top five early in the race, but three caution flags between laps 35 and 41 slowed his progress and left him with a finish just outside the top five.

“I did not need a caution,” Richards said of his Merritt outing. “We had a harder tire – and ours wasn’t even hardly grooved or siped – so we were going for longevity thinking we were gonna have a lot of tire wear. But after the first couple laps I knew we were in trouble because all the cars in front of us had softer tires or tires that were cut up more than ours.

“After the cautions, I was just trying to make my car wide and hold everybody off. We just didn’t have the right tires for the way the track changed.”

The pair of solid runs gave Richards 23 top-five and 32 top-10 finishes in 36 WoO LMS A-Mains this season. He leads the tour in top-fives and is tied with Shane Clanton for the most top-10s.

Richards ended the weekend leading the WoO LMS points standings by 62 points over Clanton and 68 points over Darrell Lanigan. He entered the twin bill leading Clanton by 48 points and Lanigan by 64 markers.

The weekend in Michigan came one week after Richards traveled to the state’s Upper Peninsula for a short vacation with his girlfriend Andrea Cleveland. During the couple’s trip Richards proposed to Cleveland, who happily accepted. Richards and Cleveland have not seat a wedding date but plan to marry sometime next year.

Next up on Richards’s agenda are WoO LMS events on Thursday night (Aug. 22) at Little Valley (N.Y.) Speedway and Saturday evening (Aug. 24) at Winchester (Va.) Speedway.

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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