SHINNSTON, W. Va. – April 4, 2012 – The final results showed Josh Richards as the sixth-place finisher in last Saturday night’s World of Outlaws Late Model Series Illini 100 at Farmer City (Ill.) Raceway, but he knows that wasn’t representative of his Rocket Chassis machine’s strength.
“I felt like our car was awesome and everybody did a great job,” said Richards, a two-time WoO LMS champion from Shinnston, W.Va., who celebrated his 24th birthday on March 22. “Early in the race I really felt like we had a shot to win, but once (the track surface) took rubber and ‘laned’ up everybody was fighting for the same spot and we were done.”
Richards managed to advance from the 12th starting spot to sixth before the 100-lap event’s halfway mark, but that was as far as he would go. Passing became difficult midway through the A-Main, leaving him to settle for a finish just outside the top five.
“Starting 12th, on a track like that – that was it for us,” said Richards. “We just started too deep (in the 28-car field).
“The track was rubbered a little bit before halfway, but you could still kind of maneuver. Then it just kept getting cleaner and cleaner, and for probably the last 50 laps you couldn’t do much.
“(The track-prep crew) worked it (before the start of the A-Main), but actually it got cleaner and drier, so if they would’ve left it alone I think the track would’ve lasted longer. But they tried to do what they could, and this time it didn’t work out. We’ll just have to take what we got.”
Driving his father Mark’s Kentucky Fuel Corporation/Seubert Calf Ranches Rocket No. 1, Richards timed 12th-fastest in Friday night’s 53-car qualifying session. He went on to finish second behind Brian Shirley in the last of six 15-lap heat races that evening, earning him the outside sixth-row starting spot for Saturday’s headliner.
Richards’s sixth-place finish in the Illini 100 was his fourth top-10 performance in as many runnings of the springtime spectacular. His previous finishes were sixth in 2008, third in ’09 and 10th in ’10.
It was also Richards’s sixth top-10 finish in seven WoO LMS A-Mains this season. He ended the night ranked second in the national tour’s points standings, 36 points behind Darrell Lanigan, who finished second in the Illini 100.
For more information on Josh Richards, visit www.joshrichards.com and follow him on Twitter at @Josh_Richards1.
Josh Richards’ No. 1 team carries support from Rocket Chassis, Roush Yates Engines, Seubert Calf Ranches, Kentucky Fuel Corporation, Ernie D’s Enterprises, ACE Metal Works, Petroff Towing, Tony Stewart Racing, Sunoco Race Fuels, Hoosier Racing Tires, Integra Shocks, Slavic Custom Decals, Valvoline, AFCO, ATL Fuel Cells, Aurora Bearing Company, Barnes Systems, Beyea Performance, Brinn Transmissions, Brodix Cylinder Heads, Braswell Carburetion, Butlerbuilt Seat Systems, CV Products, Dohm Cycles, Dyer’s Top Rods, Frankland Rearends, Howe Racing, Kwik Change Product, LSI, Mason Racin’, MSD Ignition, Outerwears, Performance Bodies, Performance Friction Brakes, Performance Rod & Custom, R2C Performance Products, Ringers Gloves, Scott Performance Wire, Simpson Race Products, Sweet Manufacturing, Tel Tech, TWM Racing Products, Trick Carbon Fiber Driveshafts, Jones Racing Products, TurboStart Racing Batteries, US Brake, Weld Racing Wheels, Wehr’s Machine, Wilwood and Wrisco Aluminum.