Richards Sweeps Illini 100 Weekend at Farmer City Raceway
Capturing his First Wins at the Illinois Track
SHINNSTON, W.Va. (April 5, 2016) - Josh Richards completed the weekend sweep of the Illini 100 at Farmer City Raceway after an incredible display of racing in both Feature events. His dominating performance also allowed the 28-year-old to check the Illinois track off his win list, marking Richards first-career victories at the one-fourth mile facility.
After not competing in a Feature event since February, Richards was eager to get back behind the wheel of his Valvoline machine in hopes of adding more wins to an already impressive start to the season. With inclement weather forcing the cancellation of Thursday’s practice and the postponement of Friday’s race, the weekend’s racing activity began on Saturday.
As gusty winds blew, Richards took to the track for hot laps and was credited with posting the third quickest lap overall. He then qualified third in Group A time trials, placing him on the pole for the third Heat Race. Richards made quick work of the field as he easily led all 10 laps en route to the victory. His heat race win made him eligible for the redraw and the Mark Richards Racing driver drew the fifth starting spot for the night’s 25-lap A-Main. Starting the Feature on the inside of Row 3, Richards maintained his position until just past the halfway point of the race when he made a daring two-car pass on Lap 15 for third. With the laps winding down, Richards drove to second on Lap 18, before taking the lead with just five laps remaining. Once in command of the race, Richards cruised to his third World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series win of the season and eighth overall win this year.
With a victory already under his belt, Richards had his eye on the big prize, Sunday’s $15,000-to-win 75-lap finale. The West Virginia native started the night out qualifying fourth in Group A. His time trial effort lined him up on the outside-pole of the second Heat Race. Richards didn’t waste any time taking over the point position off of the first corner and ultimately led flag-to-flag to capture the Heat Race win. Eligible for the redraw, the Rocket Chassis driver again drew the fifth starting spot for the second night in a row. Starting the Feature on the inside of Row 3, Richards quietly made his way to fourth on Lap 7, before making an impressive move on Lap 14, splitting the cars of Bobby Pierce and Scott Bloomquist to take over the second position. Once in second, the superstar driver set his sights on leader Billy Moyer Jr. It didn’t take long for Richards to reel in Moyer Jr., completing the pass for the lead on Lap 19. Once in the point position, Richards never looked back, capturing his fourth World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series win of the season. The victory marks his 62nd Series win.
The weekend’s dominate performance increases Richards’ Series point lead to 108 markers over second-place Shane Clanton.
The Valvoline driver is scheduled to return to racing action this weekend as the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series heads to the Volunteer State, racing at Duck River Speedway in Wheel, Tenn., on Friday, April 8 and Tazewell Speedway in Tazewell, Tenn., on Saturday, April 9.
Qualifying – 3rd Heat Race -1st Feature Start – 5th Feature Finish – 1st
Qualifying – 4th Heat Race -1st Feature Start – 5th Feature Finish – 1st
JOSH RICHARDS QUOTE: "The team has been working really hard to give me such good Valvoline XR1 Rocket Chassis and I can’t thank them enough. If you would have told me coming into this weekend that we were going to win both nights, I would have said you were crazy. We’ve been fast here in the past, but we just haven’t been able to capitalize. The car was so much fun to drive this weekend, I just didn’t want to mess it up. I tried to get through the field the best I could and make moves when they counted. This (Farmer City Raceway) is a racetrack that has eluded me for years and I’m really glad we were able to check it off the list this weekend. It's been an incredible year and it’s just getting started."