Richards Makes History at Potomac Speedway Topping
World of Outlaws Late Model Series All-Time Win List
SHINNSTON, W.Va. (Aug. 15, 2016) – Josh Richards continued his record-breaking season scoring wins at Delaware International Raceway on Thursday, Potomac Speedway on Friday and Eriez Speedway on Sunday to propel him to the top of the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series All-Time Win List with 74 Series victories. Richards also collected a top-five finish at Winchester (Va.) Speedway on Friday.
Traveling to Delmar, Del., on Thursday, Richards unloaded and began the night by running the quickest circuit in hot laps. He then went on to qualify second in Group B, which lined him up on the pole for the fourth and final heat race. Richards jumped out front early and never looked back leading all 10 laps en route to the heat race win. Eligible for the redraw to determine his starting position in the Feature, Richards drew the sixth starting spot. Lining up on the outside of Row 3, the Valvoline driver quickly advanced to fourth, just five laps after the drop of the green flag. A caution-period on Lap 8 bunched the field and Richards took advantage, jumping to second after the ensuing restart. Just two laps later, the West Virginia native made a dominant pass for the lead, taking command of the field on Lap 10 of the 50-lap event. Once out front, the superstar driver easily led the remaining 40 laps, to win by a straightaway over second-place Brandon Overton. The win marked Richards’ 14th World of Outlaws Series triumph of the year.
Coming off of a convincing victory from the night before, Richards felt confident going into Friday’s event at Potomac speedway in Budds Creek, Maryland. It didn’t take long for the team to show their strength as Richards again turned the overall quickest circuit in hot laps. He then went on to win the night’s fast-time award in qualifying. Lining up on the pole for Heat Race 3, Richards led flag-to-flag to bring home the win. Again drawing for his starting position in the main event, Richards picked the fourth spot. Taking the green flag from the outside of Row 2, the Rocket Chassis driver maintained his position in the early laps as numerous caution-periods plagued the field. Waiting until the time was right, Richards began to march forward, overtaking the third spot on Lap 24. Just two laps later he was running in second when a caution-flag re-stacked the field. Making his move on the ensuing restart, Richards took over the top spot on Lap 27. Running in the point position, the Valvoline driver never looked back leading the remainder of the 50-lap event to collect his 73rd World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series victory putting him on top of the all-time Series win list.
Saturday, Richards and crew headed to Winchester (Va.) Speedway and he began the evening by running the second fastest lap in Group A qualifying. His time-trial effort lined him up on the pole for the night’s second heat race. Leading flag-to-flag, Richards collected the heat race win. With the top-two finishers of each heat race eligible for the redraw, the Valvoline driver drew the sixth starting spot for the 50-lap Feature. Lining up deeper in the field than he would have liked, Richards was determined to move forward on a track that saw little passing earlier in the evening. Five laps after the drop of the green flag, the 28-year-old was able to advance to fifth, but was forced to remain there as the frontrunners quickly spread out single-file. A much-needed caution period came near the halfway point of the race, bunching the field for the ensuing restart. Using the restart to his advantage, Richards muscled his way to fourth on Lap 25, knowing cautions may be his only chance to pass. As the laps wore on, Richards tried everything he could to find speed, but the frontrunners stayed nose-to-tail with no passing for the remainder of the race, forcing the young driver to settle for a fourth-place finish.
Sunday’s race at Eriez Speedway in Hammett, Pa., marked the fourth race, in the fourth state, in four-consecutive days. With two wins to his credit during the weekend already, Richards was eager to get back to Eriez, a place where he visited Victory Lane last season. Fast right out of the truck, Richards ran the quickest circuit in hot laps before taking home the overall fast-time award in qualifying. His time-trial effort lined him up on the pole for Heat Race 3, and Richards led the entire 10-lap event en route to the win. Eligible for the redraw, Richards drew the eighth starting spot for the Feature. Starting on the outside of Row 4, Richards was on a mission to defend his win from last season. At the drop of the green flag, he made a two-car pass to be scored in sixth on the initial lap. Two laps later Richards was running in fourth, and by Lap 8 he had secured the third spot. With the leader in his sights, Richards began to gain ground on the point position. A Lap 14 caution re-stacked the field, and the three-time World of Outlaws Champion shot to the second position on the ensuing restart. Hungry for another win, Richards stalked leader Steve Casebolt for the next 15 laps running on the high and low sides of the track until completing the pass for the top spot on Lap 30. Once in the lead, Richards quickly pulled away, pacing the field for the remaining 20 laps to capturing his 16th Series win of the season and 23rd super dirt late model victory of the year.
Richards’ stellar weekend extended his points lead in the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series championship standings to 256 markers ahead of second-place Shane Clanton.
The Valvoline driver and crew will take this weekend off, before returning to Series action on Aug. 26-27 at Merritt Speedway in Lake City, Michigan.
Qualifying -2nd Heat Race - 1st Feature Start -6th Feature Finish - 1st
Qualifying -1st Heat Race -1st Feature Start - 4th Feature Finish - 1st
Qualifying -2nd Heat Race -1st Feature Start - 6th Feature Finish - 4th
Qualifying -1st Heat Race -1st Feature Start - 8th Feature Finish - 1st
JOSH RICHARDS QUOTES: “I like going to Delaware (International Raceway). That place has been good to me in the past and I’ve been fortunate to win there a few times. I knew the way the track was that it would be beneficial to try and get up front early. I knew that once it got cleaned up, it would be hard to get around the outside of anybody. Once the race got going, I was able to get up front. I just tried to stay patient because I knew the track would go through a lot of changes. We were all on relatively soft tires, so it was just a matter of managing my stuff. Thankfully, we were able to stay out front and get the win.
“Potomac (Speedway) is a fun little race track. I knew it was going to be hard with (Shane) Clanton and (Jason) Covert up front, but I was able to work my way forward and battle for the lead. It’s really special to get the victory and break the all-time win record for the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series. To be on top is really neat. I couldn’t ask for more.
“I had a fast car at Winchester (Speedway), but I knew it was going to be tough to pass in the Feature. When I drew the sixth starting spot I knew I had my work cut out for me. I was able to advance a few positions, I tried everything I could to keep moving forward, but there was just no passing.
“This season has been a dream. I always enjoy racing at Eriez (Speedway). I knew when I drew the eighth starting spot it wouldn’t be easy. It’s really fun to race in this region. It’s close to home and we’ve raced these tracks for several years. I’ve had success here before and that definitely helps with the confidence level. I knew it was going to be difficult to pass Steve Casebolt. He was setting a really good pace and I had to work hard to get the lead from him.