Richards Tallies Two Top-Five Finishes in Illinois
SHINNSTON, W. Va. (July 28, 2015) – In his first ever appearance at Quincy (Ill.) Raceways, Josh Richards scored a third-place finish in the first of three night's of racing action in the Illini State. Richards rounded out the weekend with a hard-fought, fourth-place finish at Fairbury American Legion Speedway on Saturday.
Richards began his weekend of racing in the Land of Lincoln at Quincy Raceways. Although the 27-year-old had never raced at the one-fourth-mile clay oval, it didn't take him long to get acclimated. Richards started the evening with hot laps and posted the eighth quickest lap overall. He then went on to qualify 10th, which lined him up fifth for the fourth and final heat race. In the short 10-lap race, Richards made his way to the font of the field in spectacular fashion, bringing home a second-place finish and solidifying a spot in the redraw. Unfortunately, Richards was the last to draw and was left with the seventh starting spot for the 40-lap Feature. With not much passing in the heat races, Richards knew he needed to gain as much ground as possible at the start of the race. When the green flag flew, the West Virginia driver didn't waste any time, moving up to fifth in just the first lap. It didn't take long for the front-runners to spread out single-file with Richards settling into the fourth spot on Lap 3. The Rocket Chassis driver remained in fourth until he was finally able to pass Tim McCreadie on Lap 34 to overtake the third spot. With just six laps to go, Richards remained in third when the checkered flag flew, bringing home a solid podium finish.
Following Quincy, the World of Outlaws Late Model Series converged on Fairbury American Legion Speedway for a two-night show featuring qualifying and heat races on Friday and B-Mains and the 100-lap, $26,000-to-win main event on Saturday.
The Shinnston, W.Va., native began Friday evening with qualifying. Drawing the final qualifying position, Richards was the last car on track to make his time trial lap. His qualifying effort of 16th, lined him up in sixth for his heat race. With only the top-three cars transferring into Saturday night's A-Main, Richards knew he had his work cut out for him. Showing incredible talent, the driver of the Valvoline machine skillfully maneuvered his way into the third and final transfer position and was alongside Shane Clanton challenging for the second spot when the checkered flag flew. Ultimately finishing third, Richards secured the 16th starting spot for Saturday night's finale.
Starting deep in the field on Saturday, Richards never wavered knowing he had 100-laps to try and make his way to the front. At the drop of the green flag, the Valvoline driver quickly gained three spots and was scored in 13th on the first lap. With two caution periods early, Richards was unable to gain much ground in the opening laps, until Lap 22 when he drove to the 11th spot. For the next six laps he gained a position every two circuits until settling into the eighth spot on Lap 28. Richards remained in eighth until a Lap 51 restart where he slipped back to the 10th position. Though he struggled on the restart, he was up to seventh by Lap 60. With the field spread out nose-to-tail, Richards held his position until Lap 85, when he began to methodically make his way closer to the front of the field. At Lap 91, Richards was inside the top five with his sights set on the point position. With just three laps remaining, the Mark Richards Racing driver found himself in third under caution. At the restart, Richards drove up alongside the second-place driver of Jonathan Davenport, but slipped in the corner and fell back to fourth. Unable to make up any ground in the final two laps, Richards finished fourth, marking his 18th top-five finish of the season.
Richards remains second in the World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings, 166 markers behind Shane Clanton.
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series returns to action at Shawano Speedway Tuesday, July 28, in Shawano, Wisconsin.
Qualifying - 10th Heat Race -2nd Feature Start - 7th Feature Finish - 3rd
Qualifying - 16th Heat Race -3rd
Feature Start -16th Feature Finish -4th
JOSH RICHARDS QUOTE: "We've come so close to winning over the past few weeks, I was really hoping we could get a victory in Illinois. My team has worked really hard and we've had a great car, we've just been unlucky the last few races having late qualifying draws and getting put behind early. We'll keep our heads up and go into these last few races with confidence. We've had solid finishes the last several weeks. We'd just really like to get a win before the trip ends and I'm going to do my best to try and make that happen 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.