Richards Rolls To Satisfying World of Outlaws Late Model Series Victory At West Virginia Motor Speedway
Snaps Rare Win Drought On National Tour With Second Career Triumph At Track In Home State
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
MINERAL WELLS, WV – Aug. 30, 2013 – Josh Richards ended a rare World of Outlaws Late Model Series victory drought on Friday night, rolling to a convincing triumph in the 50-lap RaceFest A-Main at West Virginia Motor Speedway.
In winning for the second time this season at a track in his home state – after falling short of victory at West Virginia facilities for the first nine years of his racing career – the 25-year-old star from Shinnston, W.Va., snapped a nine-race winless stretch on the national tour. He also padded his WoO LMS points lead – an edge he actually continued to build with consistent finishes during his modest checkered-flag slump.
“It feels like it’s been forever since we’ve been in Victory Lane,” said Richards, whose eighth WoO LMS win of 2013 was his first since July 11 at Red River Co-op Speedway in Winnipeg, Manitoba. “We’ve had some really good runs (over the past month-and-a-half), but we’ve just been lacking a little bit and we had a few races where we had stuff just not go our way. It definitely went our way tonight.”
Richards, who started from the outside pole, passed polesitter Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., for the lead on lap 14 and was never headed. After Rick Eckert of York, Pa., saw his hopes of challenging for the top spot evaporate due to terminal engine trouble on a lap-22 restart, Richards cruised alone out front for the remainder of the distance to record his 47th career win on the WoO LMS.
Steve Shaver of Vienna, W.Va., finished second, following Richards across the finish line one night after winning WVMS’s 30-lap RaceFest ADRA Late Model feature over the WoO LMS regular. Davey Johnson of Latrobe, Pa., placed a close third – his third to-five finish in seven World of Outlaws starts this season – defending champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., finished fourth after making two mid-race pit stops and Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., was fifth after pitting to change a tire on lap 28.
Richards swept the evening’s action, preceding his $10,650 victory by setting fast time and winning his heat race. He overtook McCreadie to win both the heat and the feature.
The deciding move in the headliner – the first WoO LMS event at WVMS since the three-decade-old track was reconfigured in 2012 from a sprawling five-eighths-mile oval to a shorter four-tenths-mile layout – came when Richards seized an opportunity to slide underneath McCreadie through turns three and four as the race’s early pacesetter was hampered by a slower machine on lap 14.
“I was confident we could get by him. I just didn’t know when or where,” said Richards, who drove his father Mark’s familiar Valvoline-sponsored Rocket Chassis house car. “I would’ve rather have done it in a race condition, but I guess that’s part of racing. Lapped traffic got real hairy for awhile there.”
The only driver who appeared capable of threatening Richards was Eckert, who passed McCreadie for second on lap 17 and drew within a car length of Richards before a caution flag flew on lap 22 for a slowing Lanigan. Eckert’s bid ended before it could gain any steam, however, when he pulled up lame in turn two on the ensuing restart and was pushed to the pit area.
Richards easily handled three more restarts – on laps 28, 34 and 44 – en route to a comfortable 2.732-second triumph over Shaver’s Rumley Motorsports Longhorn car.
“After I moved around at the end of the race I felt like we got better,” said Richards, who exceeded the $200,000 mark in season earnings with his victory. “I knew the tire wear was probably an issue, so I’d try to run a hard lap and then ride awhile. I tried to find a comfort zone and it worked out.”
Shaver, 49, advanced from the sixth starting spot to finish in the runner-up spot. He grabbed second place from Johnson on the lap-34 restart and turned back Johnson’s late-race challenges to preserve the position.
The bridesmaid finish was Shaver’s second to Richards on the 2013 WoO LMS, duplicating his effort in the June 27 Firecracker 100 preliminary A-Main at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa.
“He could turn better and keep his momentum up better,” Shaver said of Richards. “I was kind of tight and had to scoot it and just couldn’t keep my speed up.
“I’ll take second. Earlier in the race I felt like we were struggling a little bit, but it just kept coming to me. I just feel fortunate to be able to win last night and finish second tonight with these guys.”
Six caution flags slowed the A-Main. The most serious was for a multi-car accident in turn three on the opening lap that eliminated Steve Lucas of Charleston, W.Va., Chris Garnes of Evans, W.Va., and Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y.
Several WoO LMS regulars joined Eckert and Fuller in experiencing problems that left them with subpar finishes. The list included Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., whose left-rear tire blew on lap 28; Bub McCool of Vicksburg, Miss., who was knocked from the top 10 on lap 34 when he spun between turns three and four; Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., who was running fourth when he slowed with a flat tire on lap 44; and Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., who ran in the top five early but ultimately fell from the top 10 when he stopped behind Frank on lap 44.
McCreadie settled for a sixth-place finish after running in the top five for most of the distance. Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., rallied from a lap-22 pit stop to place seventh while fellow Georgian Clanton salvaged an eighth-place finish to remain second in the points standings. Rod Conley of Wheelersburg, Ohio, was ninth and WoO LMS rookie Morgan Bagley of Longview, Texas, who also pitted during the race, rounded out the top 10.
Richards topped the 23-car field in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, establishing a new track record on the shortened layout of 16.830 seconds. He surpassed the existing standard of 17.021 seconds set by John Blankenship on April 21, 2013.
It was Richards’s series-leading sixth fast-time honor of 2013 and the 37th of his career, breaking him out of tie with Eckert atop the tour’s alltime list in the category.
Heat winners were Richards, Wells and Eckert. No B-Main was contested.
The WoO LMS continues its Labor Day weekend with a doubleheader at Selinsgrove (Pa.) Speedway on Saturday night (Aug. 31) and Sunday evening (Sept. 1). Saturday’s 40-lap’Showdown On Sand Hill’ pays $8,000 to win and Sunday’s 50-lap Late Model National Open boasts a $10,000 first-place prize.
Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Racefest 50’ at West Virginia Motor Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (2) Josh Richards/50 $10,650
2. (6) Steve Shaver/50 $5,000
3. (7) Davey Johnson/50 $3,100
4. (13) Darrell Lanigan/50 $3,150
5. (5) Scott Bloomquist/50 $2,150
6. (1) Tim McCreadie/50 $2,350
7. (15) Clint Smith/50 $1,950
8. (8) Shane Clanton/50 $1,850
9. (19) Rod Conley/50 $1,200
10. (16) Morgan Bagley/50 $1,950
11. (11) Bub McCool/50 $1,600
12. (9) Chub Frank/50 $1,550
13. (18) Sonny Conley/50 $1,450
14. (4) Eric Wells/50 $1,500
15. (20) Chuck Harper/50 $850
16. (22) Bryan Casey/48 $800
17. (23) Tom Hendrix/41 $770
18. (3) Rick Eckert/22 $1,400
19. (17) Jared Hawkins/13 $730
20. (10) Steve Lucas/0 $700
21. (12) Chris Garnes/0 $700
22. (14) Tim Fuller/0 $1,250
23. (21) Corey Conley/0 $750 ***
***NOTE: Corey Conley was scheduled to start 21st in his own No. 14 but had to scratch that car due to a broken rearend. He took the green flag at the rear of the field in another car.
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 37 Mins., 02.267 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 2.732 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 6 (laps 0, 22, 22, 28, 34, 44)
Lap Leaders: McCreadie (1-13); Richards (14-50)
Provisional Starters: none
Rookie of the Race: Bagley ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: S. Conley ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 16.830 (NTR)
2. 18-Eric Wells/Hazard, KY 16.981
3. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 16.988
4. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 17.043
5. 25-Shane Clanton/Zebulon, GA 17.159
6. 6-Steve Shaver/Vienna, WV 17.205
7. 1J-Davey Johnson/Latrobe, PA 17.242
8. 0-Scott Bloomquist/Mooresburg, TN 17.270
9. 42-Chris Garnes/Evans, WV 17.272
10. 2-Steve Lucas/Charleston, WV 17.306
11. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 17.308
12. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 17.310
13. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 17.313
14. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 17.332
15. 14-Corey Conley/Wellsburg, WV 17.381
16. 14M-Morgan Bagley/Longview, TX 17.407
17. 37-Jared Hawkins/Fairmont, WV 17.422
18. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 17.549
19. 71R-Rod Conley/Wheelersburg, OH 17.610
20. 00H-Chuck Harper/Beverly, WV 17.641
21. 1×1-Sonny Conley/New Martinsville, WV 17.708
22. 25c-Bryan Casey/Cochocton, OH 18.617
23. 44H-Tom Hendrix/Coolville, OH 19.420
Heat No. 1 (8 laps – Top 2 Redraw): Richards, McCreadie, Johnson, Lucas, Lanigan, Bagley, R. Conley, Casey
Heat No. 2 (8 laps – Top 2 Redraw): Wells, Bloomquist, Clanton, McCool, Fuller, Hawkins, Harper, Hendrix
Heat No. 3 (8 laps – Top 2 Redraw): Eckert, Shaver, Frank, Garnes, C. Smith, S. Conley, C. Conley
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners (awards presented to noted finisher/qualifier or next highest displaying decal:
Ohlins Shocks ($50 cash to fast qualifier): Eric Wells
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner): None
VP Race Fuels ‘Nice Jugs’ Award: (One VP 5-gallon container to fastest qualifier who misses A-Main): None
Wrisco Aluminum (3 sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner only): Josh Richards
Armor All (One case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main): Davey Johnson
Comp Cams ($50 certificate to A-Main winner): Josh Richards
QuarterMaster ($100 certificate to A-Main winner): Davey Johnson
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner): Josh Richards
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main): Davey Johnson
XS Power ($50 cash to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main): Davey Johnson
Roush Yates ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main): Darrell Lanigan
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 5th-place finisher in A-Main): Scott Bloomquist
Dominator ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim McCreadie
American Race Wheels ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main): Clint Smith
VP Race Fuels ($50 cash to 8th-place finisher in A-Main): Shane Clanton
Edelbrock Manifolds ($50 cash to 9th-finisher in A-Main): Morgan Bagley
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main): Morgan Bagley
XS Power ($60 product certificate to 11th-place finisher in A-Main): Bub McCool
Cometic Gasket ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main): Chub Frank
JRI Shocks ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main): Bub McCool
Super Flow Dynos ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main): Eric Wells
QuarterMaster ($25 certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main): Corey Conley
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 16th-place finisher in A-Main, redeemable w/next purchase of set): Corey Conley
Klotz Lubricants ($50 cash to 17th-place finisher in A-Main): Corey Conley
Roush Yates ($50 gift card to 18th-place finisher in A-Main): Corey Conley
QuarterMaster ($50 certificate to 19th-place finisher in A-Main): Rick Eckert
Arizona Sport Shirts ($100 certificate to 20th-place finisher in A-Main): Jared Hawkins
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 21st-place finisher in A-Main, redeemable w/next purchase of set): Chris Garnes
Roush Yates ($50 gift card to 22nd-place finisher in A-Main): Chris Garnes
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim Fuller
XS Power ‘Power Move of the Race’ ($60 product certificate): Josh Richards
Roush Yates ($25 gift card to driver who leads most laps in the A-Main): Josh Richards
2013 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of Aug. 30 – 39 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Josh Richards 5412
2. Shane Clanton 5328 (-84)
3. Darrell Lanigan 5322 (-90)
4. Rick Eckert 5202 (-210)
5. Tim McCreadie 5030 (-382)
6. Tim Fuller 4922 (-490)
7. Eric Wells 4920 (-492)
8. Chub Frank 4856 (-556)
9. Bub McCool 4792 (-620)
10. Morgan Bagley 4742 (-670)
11. Clint Smith 4546 (-866)
12. Dan Stone 2214 (-3198)
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: American Racing Custom Wheels (Official Custom Wheel), Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), KMC (Official Custom Truck Wheel), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Vicci (Official Uniform), VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award) and McCarthy’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (Raye Vest Memorial Pill Draw Award); in addition to contingency sponsors: Butlerbuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Dominator Race Products, Edelbrock, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, QuarterMaster, Roush Yates Performance Parts, Superflow Dynos, Wrisco Aluminum and XS Power Racing Batteries; along with manufacturer sponsors Capital Race Cars, Integra Shocks, GRT Chassis, Jake’s Carts, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, TNT Rescue, and Warrior Chassis.