Richards Collects Two Runner-Up Finishes
At Screven Motorsports Complex and Bubba Raceway Park
SHINNSTON, W.Va. (Feb. 15, 2016) – Josh Richards continues his dominant start to the season with two second-place finishes at Screven Motorsports Complex in Sylvania, Ga., on Friday and Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla., on Sunday. Richards also collected an impressive seventh-place finish at the Georgia-based track on Saturday after having to start deep in the field.
Entering the first World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series Race of the season at Screven Motorsports Complex, Richards had his sights set on a victory. The 27-year-old driver began the evening by qualifying fifth in Group A. His effort lined him up in third for Heat Race 1. Richards quickly drove to the front and never looked back, capturing the first heat race win of the night. With the top-two drivers from each of the four heat races going to the redraw, Richards drew the first starting position for the 40-lap showdown. Shortly after the drop of the green flag, second-place driver Jason Covert jumped to the lead and Richards settled into second. Knowing he had a faster car, he stayed glued to his back bumper waiting for the right time to pass. On Lap 15, Richards saw an opening and went to the low-side at the same time the third-place car of Shane Clanton drove to the high-side. The two drivers completed the pass on Covert, but Clanton was able to slide high as they approached lap traffic and take the lead. Never leaving his back bumper, Richards challenged Clanton on multiple occasions throughout the remainder of the race, but was unable to take the lead on a track that had narrowed and was difficult to pass. The West Virginia driver finished second marking his seventh top-three finish in as many races.
Richards began Saturday evening by qualifying in the 12th position. His time trial result lined him up in 6th for the fourth and final heat. Richards was able to advance two positions in the 10-lap event which saw virtually no passing. With the top-four transferring into the main event, Richards started the 50-lap Feature in the 16th spot. Knowing the track was narrowing and it would be difficult to get to the front, the three-time World of Outlaws Champion had his work cut out for him. Richards methodically made his way through the field throughout the event, ultimately finishing seventh, an impressive feat for a race with little passing. Richards was the biggest mover, advancing nine positons throughout the race.
After Friday and Saturday’s World of Outlaws events, Richards returned to Bubba Raceway Park for the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series race on Sunday. Having won a crate race earlier in the month at the Ocala, Fla., track, the Valvoline driver was ready to try for another shot at Victory Lane. Richards started the evening by turning the second fastest lap in qualifying. His time trial effort put him on the pole for Heat Race 2. When the green flag flew, Richards drove hard into the corner with fellow Rocket Chassis driver Eddie Carrier Jr., but Carrier Jr., got the advantage with Richards dropping to second. Although the driver of the No.1 machine was unable to regain the lead, he didn’t let Carrier Jr., out of his sight, finishing a close second. Richards lined up in fifth for the start of the 50-lap Feature and it didn’t take long to show he was on the move, making his way to second by Lap 7. Richards remained in second until a Lap 16 restart when he was shuffled back to fifth. The young driver didn’t waste any time driving back to second just four laps later. A restart at the halfway point shuffled Richards back to third and he remained there until Lap 37, when he regained control of the second spot. With the laps winding down the race was shaping up to be a shootout between Richards and Jonathan Davenport. Davenport got the jump on a late race restart and Richards stayed within striking distance, but was unable to pass in dirty air, ultimately crossing the stripe second.
With nine races under his belt, Richards has collected four wins, four top-three finishes and one top-10 finish. The Valvoline driver now heads to Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla., for the final six races of Speedweeks, Feb. 15-20.
Qualifying – 5th Heat Race – 1st Feature Start -1st Feature Finish – 2nd
Qualifying – 12th Heat Race – 4th Feature Start – 16th Feature Finish – 7th
Qualifying – 2nd Heat Race -2nd Feature Start – 5th Feature Finish- 2nd
JOSH RICHARDS QUOTES: "We definitely had a good enough Valvoline machine to win on Friday at Screven (Motorsports Complex). We got stuck on the bottom in lap traffic and Clanton got by us on top. I feel like by the end of the race we were better than him, but with how the track narrowed and lap traffic played out we couldn’t get by him.
“Saturday was a tough night, we worked on adjustments throughout the evening and I feel like I had a really good car. There just wasn’t much passing. I feel fortunate to have been able to get up as far as we did with the track the way it was. After starting 16th, we’ll take a seventh-place finish.
“I love racing at Ocala (Bubba Raceway Park). The new Rocket XR1 has been exceptional since we have been down here. We raced the crate car here a couple of weeks ago and won, so that definitely helped with our preparation. The track was a little bit different tonight (Sunday) than we have seen in the past, but we made the right choice on tires and I was able to contend for a win at the end. All-in-all, I’d say we had a good night.”
Josh Richards’ No. 1 team carries support from Valvoline, Seubert Calf Ranches, Ace Welding, Petroff Towing, Sallack Well Service, Rocket Chassis, Durham 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, Lithionics Batteries, Brinn Transmissions, Eagle One, Car Brite, ATL Fuel Cells, Dohm’s Cycles, Weld Wheels, Barnes Oil Systems, Tel-Tac, MSD Ignitions.