By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
ATTICA, OH – May 16, 2008 – Josh Richards was pretty excited about the way he won Friday night’s 50-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main at Attica Raceway Park.
Flashing a veteran’s poise, the fast-rising 20-year-old superstar from Shinnston, W.Va., patiently chased Chub Frank until finally grabbing the lead from his seasoned rival with a high-side pass on lap 44. He then marched away to register his second tour victory of 2008 behind the wheel of his Mark Richards Racing Enterprises/Seubert Calf Ranches Rocket No. 1.
“That was one of the most fun races I’ve ever run,” the smiling Richards said after capturing the first-ever WoO LMS event run at the high-banked, one-third-mile oval. “I just kept trying and trying to find a way to get by Chub, and finally I was able to get him.”
Richards, who started from the pole position but was overtaken by front-row mate Frank at the initial green flag, earned $10,150 for his eighth career triumph on the WoO LMS. He became the second repeat winner in 10 tour events this season, joining four-time victor Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark.
The driver known as ‘Kid Rocket’ also completed a clean sweep of the night’s action. Earlier in the program he set fast time in qualifying with a lap of 14.587 seconds and won his heat race.
“It was just a great night,” said Richards, whose previous WoO LMS win this season came in the tour’s opener on Feb. 14 at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. “We worked hard all week – until midnight a couple nights – trying to get this car dialed in and ready to go.
“We’ve been experimenting the last couple weeks, and we decided to get back to just bone-stock, old stuff, and it worked out for us all night.”
Adding even more luster to his win was the fact that it came on his mother Tina’s birthday. She was not at the track, but she spoke to her son by cell phone minutes after he returned to the pit area following the checkered flag.
Frank, 46, settled for his second runner-up finish of the season, ending the race 2.113 seconds behind Richards after leading laps 1-43 in his Lester Buildings Rocket car.
Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., placed third in his gottarace.com Rocket after holding off the late-race challenges of Moweaqua, Ill.’s Shannon Babb. It was the best WoO LMS finish of the 2008 season for Lanigan, who has secured consecutive top-five finishes after going without one for the first eight events of the campaign.
Babb crossed the finish line fourth in NASCAR Sprint Cup star Clint Bowyer’s Traeger Grills Rocket, and Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, Ga., repelled the dogged bids of Wooster, Ohio’s Doug Drown to complete the top five in his RSD Enterprises Rocket.
The race was centered upon Richards’s pursuit of Frank, who appeared primed for his first victory of the season after climbing back in his favorite car. Frank drove the machine he calls ‘Old Faithful’ – the same 2006 Rocket he repaired after flipping it wildly on April 19 at The Dirt Track @ Lowe’s Motor Speedway in Concord, N.C.
Though the A-Main was slowed by only three caution flags – on laps seven (for a spin by Tyler Boggs of Warsaw, Ind.), 17 (for the disabled machine of York, Pa.’s Rick Eckert) and 18 (for an off-track excursion by Jeep VanWormer of Pinconning, Mich. – Frank wasn’t able to use the extended green-flag stretches to distance himself from Richards.
“My car felt really good the whole race,” said Richards. “I knew (Frank) couldn’t pull away, so I thought if I just maintained, there would be a chance that I could get by him.”
That opportunity came with the event winding down. After having several bids turned back by Frank, Richards was able to toss his car outside of the Pennsylvanian’s mount rounding turns three and four and he surged ahead to assume command as lap 44 was scored.
“He looked a little too tight to run the top, and my car was just balanced well,” analyzed Richards. “I don’t know if he was fading just a little to where he had to search (for a line), but when he moved down I snuck around the outside of him and got the lead.”
Frank was gracious in defeat, hailing the ever-improving Richards.
“We were probably a little softer on the left-rear tire (than Richards), and I’d say it probably gave up the last eight or 10 laps,” said Frank, whose previous second-place finish in WoO LMS action this season came on Feb. 16 at Volusia Speedway Park. “I tried to run as high as I could in (turns) three and four without getting against the cushion, but I got too tight to drive in there and run the top like he could – and when I tried to move down, I just didn’t have enough traction.
“Josh did a very good job,” he added. “He was very patient. He didn’t do anything that would’ve wrecked either one of us. He took his shots when he thought he had ‘em, and when he couldn’t clear me on those ‘sliders’ he got out of the gas and let me go.
“I think that was very good for him to see that patience sometimes is better than being aggressive.”
Echoing Frank’s thoughts, Richards viewed his triumph as a sign of increased maturity behind the wheel.
“The last couple years I feel like I’ve gotten a lot more patient and a lot more comfortable in certain conditions that I hadn’t been before,” said Richards, the 2005 WoO LMS Rookie of the Year. “It’s tough to be patient. You get close to the lead in one of these races and you just want to go for it, but I’ve learned that you just have to stay smooth.”
Finishing in positions 6-10 was Drown, who earned the $500 WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ prize for being the highest-finishing driver who hasn’t won a tour A-Main and wasn’t ranked among the top-12 in the points standings; 14th-starter Tim Dohm of Cross Lanes, W.Va.; defending WoO LMS champion Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky.; 2006 tour titlist Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y.; and Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga.
Despite being unhappy with his quite eighth-place run, Francis was able to take over the WoO LMS points lead. He entered the event 10 points behind Moyer, who did not have plans to follow the tour this season and thus made Friday night’s program the first he’s missed in 2008.
Eckert, who was tied with Francis for second in the standings entering the Attica show, fell to sixth after a broken driveshaft left him with a 23rd-place finish.
A healthy field of 52 cars was signed in for the historic WoO LMS visit to Attica Raceway Park.
Heat winners were Richards, Lanigan, Donnie Moran of Dresden, Ohio, and Clanton. The B-Mains were captured by VanWormer and John Blankenship of Williamson, W.Va.
The WoO LMS concludes a Midwestern doubleheader on Sunday night (May 18) with the ‘Land of Lincoln 40’ at Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
Results of WoO Late Model Series at Attica Raceway Park (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (1) Josh Richards/50 $10,150
2. (2) Chub Frank/50 $5,100
3. (3) Darrell Lanigan/50 $3,000
4. (6) Shannon Babb/50 $2,500
5. (4) Shane Clanton/50 $2,000
6. (9) Doug Drown/50 $2,200
7. (14) Tim Dohm/50 $1,400
8. (12) Steve Francis/50 $1,300
9. (7) Tim McCreadie/50 $1,200
10. (5) Clint Smith/50 $1,100
11. (23) Tim Fuller/50 $1,050
12. (8) Donnie Moran/50 $1,000
13. (11) Eddie Carrier Jr./50 $950
14. (15) Vic Coffey/50 $1,150
15. (18) John Blankenship/50 $850
16. (17) Jeep VanWormer/49 $800
17. (22) Jerry Bowersock/49 $770
18. (13) Wayne Maffett Jr./49 $750
19. (16) Danny Johnson/49 $730
20. (20) Brian Ruhlman/49 $700
21. (24) Joe Isabell/48 $700
22. (21) Tyler Boggs/47 $700
23. (10) Rick Eckert/16 $700
24. (19) Rocky Owens/16 $700
Time of Race: 24 Mins., 05.014 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 2.113 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 3 (Laps 7, 17, 18)
Lap Leaders: Frank (1-43); Richards (44-50)
Provisional Starters: Fuller, Isabell
Rookie of the Race: Vic Coffey ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Doug Drown ($500)
Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race ($50): Jimmy Frey (Richards)
Chick Hawk Racing Hot Lap Award (half-off tire warmers): Frank
Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 14.587
2. 18-Shannon Babb/Moweaqua, IL 14.642
3. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 14.685
4. 19-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 14.786
5. B4U-Brad Eitniear/Defiance, OH 14.956
6. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 14.960
7. 99-Donnie Moran/Dresden, OH 14.997
8. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 15.015
9. 11-Rusty Schlenk/Jackson, MI 15.021
10. 6T-Tim Dohm/Cross Lanes, WV 15.091
11. 28-Eddie Carrier Jr./Salt Rock, WV 15.167
12. 25-Shane Clanton/Locust Grove, GA 15.186
13. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 15.224
14. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 15.238
15. 49-Brian Ruhlman/Clarklake, MI 15.282
16. 27J-Danny Johnson/Phelps, NY 15.335
17. 12-Doug Drown/Wooster, OH 15.342
18. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 15.351
19. 23-John Blankenship/Williamson, WV 15.352
20. 45-Mike Marteney/Bellevue, OH 15.407
21. 55-Jeep VanWormer/Pinconning, MI 15.435
22. 51-Devin Shiels/Britton, MI 15.440
23. 18R-Chris Ross/Wallaceburg, ONT 15.447
24. 20-Jerry Bowersock/Wapakoneta, OH 15.449
25. 34-Ky Harper/Holland, OH 15.495
26. 1-Tyler Boggs/Warsaw, IN 15.501
27. 40-Dusty Moore/Swanton, OH 15.516
28. 1-Casey Noonan/Sylvania, OH 15.563
29. 50-Ryan Missler/Bellevue, OH 15.694
30. 6J-Joe Isabell/Pennellville, NY 15.713
31. 88d-Larry Kingseed/Sandusky, OH 15.768
32. 5M-Ryan Markham/Ashland, OH 15.802
33. 40-Wayne Maffett Jr./Mansfield, OH 15.812
34. 27-Ken Hahn/Gibsonburg, OH 15.836
35. 5H-Ernie Haynes/Rising Sun, OH 15.896
36. 48-John Bores/Bellevue, OH 16.041
37. 1-Jim Fleming/Bellevue, OH 16.058
38. 55-Chuck Hummer/Ottawa Lake, MI 16.089
39. 2D-Curtis Deisenroth/Oak Harber, OH 16.113
40. 77-Steve Kester/Holland, OH 16.151
41. 29-Rocky Owens/Mansfield, OH 16.160
42. 93T-Jeff Esbenshade/Ashland, OH 16.202
43. 27-Bill Hahn/Gibsonburg, OH 16.340
44. 92-Brandon Perkins/Republic, OH 16.353
45. 12-Michael Stiltner/Green Springs, OH 16.458
46. 25-Ryan Eddleblute/Mansfield, OH 16.508
47. 63-Randy Scott/Mansfield, OH 16.575
48. 3R-Chuck Roelle/Fostoria, OH 16.840
49. 991-Dave Wirt/Fredericksburg, OH 16.943
50. 30-Nate Potts/Bellevue, OH 17.847
51. 32c-Vic Coffey/Leicester, NY 1:50.855
52. 18s-Sean Beardsley/Central Square, NY N/T
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Richards, Frank, Dodd, Maffett, Owens, VanWormer, Eitniear, Harper, Stiltner, Missler, Schlenk, Wirt, Fleming
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Lanigan, Babb, Eckert, Dohm, Boggs, K. Hahn, Esbenshade, Shiels, Hummer, Eddleblute, Isabell, Fuller (DNS) Potts
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Moran, C. Smith, Carrier, Coffey, Blankenship, Ruhlman, Haynes, Moore, Deisenroth, Kingseed, B. Hahn, Scott, Ross
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Clanton, McCreadie, Francis, D. Johnson, Noonan, Bowersock, Marteney, Markham, Kester, Bores, Roelle, Perkins (DNS) Beardsley
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): VanWormer, Owens, Boggs, Esbenshade, Schlenk, Missler, Isabell, K. Hahn, Shiels, Hummer, Wirt, Stiltner, Eddleblute, Harper, Eitniear (DNS) Fleming, Fuller, Potts
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Blankenship, Ruhlman, Bowersock, Noonan, Deisenroth, Haynes, Moore, Marteney, Kester, Kingseed, Ross, Scott, B. Hahn, Bores, Roelle, Perkins, Markham (DNS) Beardsley
2008 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of May 16 – 10 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Steve Francis 1305 (-0)
2. Darrell Lanigan 1301 (-4)
3. (tie) Josh Richards 1293 (-12)
3. (tie) Chub Frank 1293 (-12)
5. Shannon Babb 1285 (-20)
6. Rick Eckert 1273 (-32)
7. Clint Smith 1237 (-68)
8. Shane Clanton 1223 (-82)
9. (tie) Tim Fuller 1181 (-124)
9. Billy Moyer 1181 (-124)
11. John Blankenship 1137 (-168)
12. Brian Shirley 1019 (-286)
13. Vic Coffey 945 (-360)
14. Danny Johnson 701 (-604)
15. Joe Isabell 697 (-608)
LISTEN ONLINE: If fans can’t get to a track to see the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, they can experience the excitement of the nation’s premier tour live on DIRTvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network.
To listen to the free audio broadcasts, log on to www.dirtvision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo.
Listeners will need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to listen to the DIRT Radio Network. For technical support or questions, e-mail [email protected]
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by several sponsors and partners, including Advance Auto Parts – the official auto parts store of the WoO LMS – and contingency sponsors Wrisco Industries, Chicken Hawk Racing, Crane Cams, Ohlins Shocks, Quarter-Master, Eibach Springs, Integra Shocks, Jake’s Custom Golf Carts and Qwikliner.