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Tough Luck for Josh Richards’ NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Debut at Kentucky Speedway

Jul 10, 2011


Sparta, Ky. (July 8, 2011) – Josh Richards made his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) debut on Thursday night before an estimated crowd of 30,000 at Kentucky Speedway. Richards’ sponsor, Joy Mining Machinery, was also making its NASCAR debut and the Warrendale, Pa. based company had employees and guests at the track who were as excited as the rookie driver to be at the long awaited race. As luck would have it, Richards’ night came to an abrupt end after being collected in a spin involving series veteran Ron Hornaday just past the midway point of the race. The night didn’t end the way Richards would have wanted, but the 23-year-old driver felt like he learned a lot in his first series start.


Richards participated in three practices leading up to the 150-mile race. “Practice was fun, but I was ready to get out on track for the race. Kyle (Busch) was really helpful both before and after practice on Wednesday; we were able to sit down and talk about the truck and the track and how it felt out there at speed. Rick (Ren) and the team made several changes to the truck from the first day of practice to the second. We were able to pick up speed and I got a lot more comfortable in the truck by time we got to qualifying.”


Qualifying 24th, the rookie from Shinnston, W. Va. was eager to get behind the wheel of the No. 15 Joy Mining Machinery Toyota Tundra for his first start. Gaining positions by lap 10 Richards said the truck felt loose on entry before pitting for the first time under caution on lap 19, where he was scored in 21st position. His team made an air pressure adjustment, replaced four tires and filled the Joy Tundra with fuel when Richards returned to the field in 23rd position.


Richards was forced to serve a pass through penalty for passing on the restart on lap 22. Richards rejoined the field, now a lap down, but still making good lap times. The rookie reported that the air pressure adjustments had helped some; his truck was good at the beginning of a run but became free late. The track stayed green from lap 21 to 59 when the team called Richards to pit road under caution for four tires and fuel.


By lap 77, Richards was in the lucky dog position when an accident happened in front of him bringing his night to an early end. Ron Hornaday collided with several trucks after an accident on the front stretch. Richards appeared to be well out of danger when the veteran’s truck slid down the racetrack and into the Joy Mining Machinery Toyota Tundra. Richards wheeled the machine directly to pit road where the team judged the rear end housing on the No. 15 Joy Mining Machinery Tundra too damaged to continue the race and returned to the garage. Richards was scored in 29th position at the conclusion of the race.


Disappointed by the results, Richards is ready to go to Nashville to get back on track, “I hate that we leave Kentucky with a wrecked truck, but I did learn a lot out there and it was really a lot of fun. Working with Rick (Ren) and the entire Kyle Bush Motorsports team was great. Once we got out there to race I realized how different and how much fun it was in traffic. I learned a lot from the time I was out there and I can’t wait to get to Nashville.”


Richards will return to the series in two weeks driving the No. 18 Joy Mining Machinery Toyota Tundra fielded by Kyle Busch Motorsports when the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series visits Nashville Superspeedway for the Lucas Deep Clean 200. All track activity will take place on July 22. Qualifying will be broadcast at 5 P.M. on SPEED With the race to follow at 8 P.M. ET.


About Joy Mining Machinery

Joy Mining Machinery has over 90 years of experience as a global leader in the development, manufacture, distribution and service of underground mining machinery for the extraction of coal and other bedded materials. Headquartered in Warrendale, Pennsylvania, Joy Mining Machinery employs over 8,000 employees worldwide. For additional information, visit www.joy.com.    

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