SHINNSTON, W. Va. (March 25, 2015) – In his first appearance back Atomic Speedway in more than three years, Josh Richards earned a hard-fought second-place finish in Friday’s Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series race. Richards rounded out his weekend of racing action with a 13th-place finish at Brownstown Speedway on Saturday.
After the World of Outlaws Late Model Series races at Kentucky Lake Motor Speedway and I-30 Speedway were cancelled due to weather, Richards and his No. 1 Valvoline team made the short trip to Atomic Speedway in Chillicothe, Ohio. The 26-year-old was excited to return to a track he hadn’t raced at since 2011, knowing it was place that suited his driving style.
The West Virginia native began Friday evening by qualifying fourth in his group, placing him second for the start of Heat Race 3. Richards quickly took a commanding lead on the first lap and remained in the point position to capture the heat race win. The Rocket Chassis driver lined up third for the feature event and took over the second spot on Lap 13. Though he continued to run in second for the remainder of the caution-filled, 50-lap event, Richards was fighting mechanical issues, driving with a stuck throttle, broken clutch and dragging nose. His impressive second-place finish amid mechanical struggles marks his seventh top-five finish in 11 races.
On Saturday, the team traveled to Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway for the 18th Annual Indiana Icebreaker. Admittedly not one of Richards’ favorite tracks, he went into the event optimistic. Qualifying 11th, he lined up in the sixth position for Heat Race 3. Fighting a loose-condition, Richards dropped back to seventh, before ultimately finishing fifth, one position shy of the final transfer spot. His heat race effort put him on the pole for the second B-Main, but Richards continued to fight a loose race car. The Mark Richards Racing driver finished second, transferring into the feature event. Starting 20th, Richards quickly gained seven spots to be scored in 13th at Lap 13. Just three laps later, the field spread out single-file for the remainder of the caution-free race. Though Richards’ car was handling more to his liking, he was unable to pass with the field spread out and only one racing groove. The Valvoline driver remained in the 13th position until the checkered flag flew.
Richards returns to World of Outlaws Late Model Series action at Duck River Raceway Park on Friday, April 10, in Wheel, Tennessee.
Qualifying – 4th Heat Race -1st Feature Start – 3rd Feature Finish – 2nd
Qualifying – 11th Heat Race -5th Feature Start -20th Feature Finish -13th
JOSH RICHARDS QUOTE: “With the World of Outlaws Series events getting rained out, I was itching to get back in the Valvoline car after having a month off. Atomic Speedway is a track I have always loved, but we haven’t been able to race there in several years because it conflicted with our World of Outlaws schedule. It was a lot of fun to be able to go back to that track and come home with a great finish.
“I’ve always struggled at Brownstown Speedway, but I was anxious to go there so we could work on getting better. We were really loose early, but I feel like we made some substantial gains and we’re able to get the car better. It’s just a shame the track rubbered up and we weren’t able to pass. I feel like we had a good car and we could have come out with a good finish.”
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.