Richards Starts 2016 in Winning Form
Capturing Two Victories at Golden Isles Speedway
SHINNSTON, W.Va. (Feb. 8, 2016) – Josh Richards and the No. 1 Rocket Chassis team made a statement last weekend at Golden Isles Speedway, showing they are a force to be reckoned with this season. Richards captured dramatic victories in both Friday and Sunday's Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Features and claimed a third-place finish at the Brunswick, Ga., track on Saturday afternoon.
With Thursday's race being postponed until Saturday afternoon, Richards took to the track on Friday for his first race of 2016 in his No. 1 Valvoline machine. Not having raced at Golden Isles Speedway in six years, it didn't take the 27-year-old long to figure the track out. Richards was quickest in his hot lap group, and qualified third in Group A, lining him up on the outside pole for his heat. Richards showed he clearly had the car to beat, besting Jonathan Davenport in Heat Race 1 to secure the pole for the 40-lap Feature. Starting in the point position, the Rocket Chassis driver never looked back leading the race flag-to-flag en route to his first victory of the season.
Saturday started early for Richards as Thursday's rainout was scheduled to be made up that afternoon before the evening's scheduled 60-lap finale. Starting Saturday afternoon right where he left off Friday night, the West Virginia native was again quickest in his hot lap group and turned the fastest lap in Group A qualifying. His time trial effort lined him up on the pole for Heat Race 1 and Richards easily cruised to the victory leading all eight laps. His heat race win secured the first starting spot for the 30-lap Feature. When the green flag flew, Richards lost two positions before he was able to drop down into his preferred racing line. With the track starting to rubber, the field quickly spread out single-file making it nearly impossible to pass for the remainder of the race. Richards ultimately crossed the stripe in third to collect a podium finish.
Just a couple hours after the completion of the afternoon race, the Valvoline driver again took to the track for hot laps. Richards turned the fastest lap in his hot lap group for the third-consecutive time before qualifying second in Group B. His second-place effort lined him up on the outside pole for the Heat Race 4. Richards quickly took the point position away from Billy Moyer Jr. on Lap 1, handily capturing the heat race victory. His heat win lined him up in the fourth spot for Feature, but mother-nature had other plans as heavy-rain forced the postponement of the 60-lap event to Sunday afternoon.
With the rain gone and the sun shining, the 24-car field rolled onto the track Sunday for the $15,000-to-win finale. Brian Shirley who was slated to start directly in front of Richards, had ignition issues and was forced to the pit area before the drop of the green flag, moving the No. 1 to the outside front row. With his sights set on leader Davenport, Richards didn't waste any time making his way to the point position on Lap 2. Running a steady pace, he maintained the lead until a Lap 34 pass from Davenport. Richards knew he needed to take care of his right-rear tire to make it to the end, so he kept close to Davenport, waiting to make his move on Lap 47. Regaining the lead with just 14 circuits remaining in the 60-lap event, the three-time World of Outlaws Champion held off several challenges from Davenport to collect his second win of the season in thrilling fashion.
Richards returns to Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series action Feb. 8 - 10 at East Bay Raceway in Tampa, Florida.
Qualifying - 3rd Heat Race - 1st Feature Start -1st Feature Finish - 1st
Qualifying - 1st Heat Race - 1st Feature Start - 1st Feature Finish - 3rd
Qualifying - 2nd Heat Race -1st Feature Start - 2nd Feature Finish- 1st
JOSH RICHARDS QUOTES: "I couldn't be more proud of my Valvoline team. We have all worked really hard over the off-season building this new car. The XR1 Rocket Chassis has been great to drive. It's been six years since I've been to Golden Isles Speedway and the track has changed a lot. It took me a little time to get it figured out, but I had a lot of fun racing this weekend with Brandon (Sheppard) and (Jonathon) Davenport. Those guys didn't make it easy on us, we definitely had to earn these wins.
"It's been a phenomenal start to the season and I can't wait to race at East Bay Raceway this week. We've had a lot of success there in the past and we are hoping to win some more races at East Bay this week."
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.