Record-Tying Victory At The Dirt Track At Charlotte Pulls Richards Closer To World of Outlaws Late Model Series Points Lead
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
CONCORD, NC – Oct. 12, 2011 – Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., ran away with an important victory in Wednesday night’s 50-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Showdown at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
The $10,875 triumph was Richards’s ninth of the 2011 World of Outlaws Late Model Series campaign, matching the national tour’s single-season win record established by Scott Bloomquist in 2004. It also was his 37th overall A-Main checkered flag, moving him into a tie with Billy Moyer atop the circuit’s alltime win list (1988-89, 2004-present).
In addition, Richards pulled closer in the ’11 WoO LMS championship battle to points leader Rick Eckert of York, Pa., who finished fourth. The two-time defending tour titlist left Charlotte trailing Eckert by a mere 14 points with three events remaining on the schedule.
And perhaps most notably, the victory allowed Richards to honor a fallen family member.
“This win goes to my Uncle Roger,” Richards said of his father Mark’s older brother, who passed away last week. “He got my father started in racing and he was a huge fan and a huge supporter of our racing. I’m sure he’s still watching us.”
Richards, 23, left no doubt that he possessed the stoutest machine in Wednesday evening’s field. He roared off the outside pole starting spot to lead the entire A-Main in his father’s Rocket Chassis house car without facing a single challenge.
Richards took the checkered flag 4.362 seconds – a full straightaway – ahead of Vienna, W.Va.’s Steve Shaver, who grabbed second on lap 27 from a high-sliding Jared Landers of Batesville, Ark., and stayed there to the finish in the K&L Rumley Rocket.
WoO LMS regular Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., advanced from the 12th starting spot to place third in his Rocket, holding off Eckert during the final circuits. Polesitter Tyler Reddick of Corning, Calif., a 15-year-old talent who ran for WoO LMS Rookie of the Year in 2009, held on to take fifth for a career-best tour finish.
“The car was awesome and this Roush-Yates engine is one bad-ass piece,” Richards said of the potent combination he employed to win Charlotte’s World of Outlaws Late Model Showdown for the second consecutive year. “I was able to get out front right at the start, keep the car in clean air and run the line I wanted to.”
Richards, who won for the ninth time in the last 20 WoO LMS events and the fifth time in his last eight starts, completed a perfect night of competition at the immaculate four-tenths-mile oval. He also set fast time and led every lap of his heat race
“He was in a class of his own,” runner-up Shaver said of Richards, who easily pulled away from Shaver following late-race restarts on laps 36 and 37. “I was just hanging on for dear life. We were just trying to maintain the top three and not blow the tires off it.”
Smith, 46, was involved in the race’s most intense battle to the finish, racing hard for third with Eckert almost every circuit after the sixth and final caution flag flew on lap 37.
“When we got racing there at the start the track was wide-open and kind of hit-and-miss rough, but around lap 17 or 18 the rain started coming pretty good and I think that kind of slicked the top back up,” said Smith, referencing the light precipitation that fell during the A-Main’s second half. “The last 25 laps you could run around the top and my car was good up there. I think I ran the top side-by-side with Rick Eckert for the last 10 laps.
“It was an excellent race with Eckert,” he continued. “I tried to give him plenty of room to not interfere with the points battle, but yet race hard because I’m trying to race for money too.”
Eckert, 45, was satisfied with a fourth-place finish on a racing surface made heavy and fast by rain that deluged the track early in the week. It was enough to keep his points lead in double-digits with the finish of the season in sight.
“We’re here to win (the championship) and we’re not gonna give up till the end,” said Eckert, who is seeking his first WoO LMS points crown. “If we lose, it’s not from lack of effort.”
Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga., finished sixth while racing with a swollen right thumb that he injured in a tangle last Saturday night at Georgia’s Dixie Speedway. Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., placed seventh, followed by Chris Madden of Gray Court, S.C., Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., who started fifth, and 18th-starter Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y.
The race’s caution flags were caused by John Lobb of Frewsburg, N.Y., who slowed on lap eight; a turn-two tangle on lap eight that involved Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., and former WoO LMS champs Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., and Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y.; Donald Bradsher of Burlington, N.C. (turn-two wall on lap nine); Rookie of the Year points leader Pat Doar of New Richmond, Wis., who stopped on lap 14; Landers, whose car tossed its right-rear wheel as he held third place on lap 36; and Dennis ‘Rambo’ Franklin of Gaffney, S.C. (mechanical trouble while running third on lap 37).
Richards was quickest in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, topping the 27-car session with a lap of 14.966 seconds. It was his second fast-time honor of the 2011 season.
Heat winners were Richards, Reddick (his first-ever WoO LMS heat-race victory) and Shaver, who celebrates his 48th birthday on Oct. 14. Vic Coffey of Caledonia, N.Y., captured the B-Main.
The next action for the WoO LMS is a season-ending tripleheader – a rescheduled $12,000-to-win event on Wed., Nov. 2, at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga., and the fifth annual World Finals on Nov. 3-5 at The Dirt Track at Charlotte.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘World of Outlaws Late Model Showdown’ at The Dirt Track at Charlotte (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (2) Josh Richards/50 $10,875
2. (3) Steve Shaver/50 $5,000
3. (12) Clint Smith/50 $3,550
4. (4) Rick Eckert/50 $3,050
5. (1) Tyler Reddick/50 $2,550
6. (7) Shane Clanton/50 $2,250
7. (10) Chub Frank/50 $1,950
8. (9) Chris Madden/50 $1,300
9. (5) Austin Hubbard/50 $1,750
10. (18) Tim Fuller/50 $1,650
11. (17) Ron Davies/50 $1,850
12. (14) Tim McCreadie/49 $1,650
13. (23) Darrell Lanigan/48 $1,600
14. (8) Dennis Franklin/36 $900
15. (6) Jared Landers/35 $850
16. (13) Chip Brindle/35 $800
17. (22) Austin Dillon/23 $770
18. (20) Ty Dillon/20 $750
19. (21) John Lobb/18 $730
20. (19) Vic Coffey/14 $1,250
21. (15) Pat Doar/13 $1,250
22. (11) Dale McDowell/8 $700
23. (16) Donald Bradsher/8 $700
24. (25) Kyle Pierce/2 $725
DNS: Jonathan Davenport
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 35 Mins., 38.253 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 4.362 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 6 (Laps 8, 8, 9, 14, 36, 37)
Lap Leaders: Richards (1-50)
Provisional Starters: Lanigan, Davenport (WoO); Pierce (track)
Rookie of the Race: Davies ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Reddick ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 14.966
2. 11R-Tyler Reddick/Corning, CA 14.978
3. 6-Steve Shaver/Vienna, WV 15.086
4. 777-Jared Landers/Batesville, AR 15.233
5. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 15.254
6. 19H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 15.259
7. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 15.276
8. 47c-Dennis Franklin/Gaffney, SC 15.283
9. 44M-Chris Madden/Gray Court, SC 15.287
10. 25-Shane Clanton/Fayetteville, GA 15.293
11. 3-Austin Dillon/Welcome, NC 15.308
12. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 15.315
13. 21B-Chip Brindle/Chatsworth, GA 15.424
14. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 15.425
15. 11-Pat Doar/New Richmond, WI 15.434
16. 93-Donald Bradsher/Burlington, NC 15.439
17. 17M-Dale McDowell/Chickamauga, GA 15.489
18. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 15.646
19. 1L-John Lobb/Frewsburg, NY 15.657
20. 41-Ty Dillon/Welcome, NC 15.722
21. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 15.736
22. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 15.925
23. 71d-Ron Davies/Warren, PA 15.968
24. 10*-Dane Burns/New London, NC 16.461
25. 281-Kyle Pierce/Statesville, NC 18.844
26. 87-Ross Bailes/Clover, SC N/T
27. 49-Jonathan Davenport/Blairsville, GA 16.172 (DQ – no report to scales)
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Richards, Landers, Clanton, Frank, Brindle, Bradsher, Coffey, Lobb, Pierce
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Reddick, Eckert, Franklin, McDowell, McCreadie, Davies, T. Dillon, A. Dillon (DNS) Bailes
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 6 Transfer): Shaver, Hubbard, Madden, C. Smith, Doar, Fuller, Burns, Lanigan, Davenport
B-Main (12 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Coffey, T. Dillon, Lobb, A. Dillon, Davenport, Burns, Pierce, Lanigan, Bailes
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:
Arizona Sports Shirts ($100 apparel certificate to 22nd fastest qualifier): Vic Coffey
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main w/decal): Kyle Pierce
Comp Cams ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Josh Richards
Comp Cams (certificate to 10th place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Jared Landers
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner or next highest w/decal): John Lobb
JE Pistons ($50 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Josh Richards
JE Pistons (one set of Pro Seal rings to 11th-place or next highest w/decal, redeemable w/next purchase of one complete set of rings): Ron Davies
JE Pistons (one set of Pro Seal rings to 21st-place or next highest w/decal, redeemable w/next purchase of one complete set of rings): Ron Davies
MSD Ignition ($75 cash to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Josh Richards
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to last-place in A-Main or next lowest w/decal): Kyle Pierce
Ohlins Pole Award ($50 cash to fast qualifier or next highest w/decal): Tyler Reddick
Quartermaster ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner or next highest w/decal): Steve Shaver
Quartermaster ($50 product certificate to 5th-place or next highest w/decal): Tyler Reddick
Quartermaster ($25 product certificate to 15th-place or next highest w/decal): Jared Landers
R2C Performance ($100 certificate to highest-finishing driver w/decal or $100 cash if race winner is using R2C filter and decal is displayed): Josh Richards (cash)
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Clint Smith
Superflow Dynos ($50 cash to 7th-place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Chub Frank
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to winner of Heat 1 or next highest w/decal): Shane Clanton
VP Racing Fuels ‘Nice Jugs Award’ (one five-gallon plastic fuel jugs to fastest qualifier who does not make the A-Main or next highest w/decal): Ross Bailes
WIX Filters ($50 cash to 13th-place in A-Main or next highest w/decal): Darrell Lanigan
Wrisco Aluminum (Three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner w/decal): Josh Richards
2011 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of Oct. 12 – 30 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Rick Eckert 4220
2. Josh Richards 4206 (-14)
3. Darrell Lanigan 4046 (-174)
4. Tim McCreadie 3984 (-236)
5. Chub Frank 3926 (-294)
6. Shane Clanton 3910 (-310)
7. Austin Hubbard 3884 (-336)
8. Clint Smith 3852 (-368)
9. Tim Fuller 3736 (-484)
10. Vic Coffey 3716 (-504)
11. Pat Doar 3562 (-658)
12. Ron Davies 3464 (-756)
13. John Lobb 3276 (-944)
14. Jill George 2122 (-2098)
15. Jason Feger 1756 (-2464)
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Vicci (Official Uniform), VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award), McCarthy’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (Raye Vest Memorial Pill Draw Award), Chizmark Larson Insurance, Factory Value Parts and RacingJunk.com; in addition to contingency sponsors Comp Cams, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, Pro Power Engines, Quartermaster, Rocket Chassis, R2C Performance, Superflow Dynos, Wix Filters and Wrisco Aluminum.