- DOB: March 22, 1988
- Hometown: Shinnston, WV
- Marital Status: Single
- Nickname: Rocket Man
- Height: 5′ 11″
- Weight: 175 lbs
- Hobbies: Cards, Music, Video Games, Working-out
In his short career, 23 year-old Josh Richards boasts a résumé that many veteran racers would be proud of, yet Richards remains humble and un-phased by his success. Born into a racing family, Josh grew up in the family’s chassis shop and started driving the pack vehicle at nearby I-79 Speedway at the age of five. However, unlike many of his peers, Josh did not start his racing career in go-karts or quarter midgets. In 2003, he assumed the wheel of a 700+ horsepower dirt late model at the age of 14, and the rest is history.
At the age of 16 Josh competed in a limited touring schedule with the prestigious World of Outlaws Late Model Series (WoOLMS). The following year, while piloting the Rocket Chassis House car, he would be the youngest competitor to ever win the Rookie of the Year honors in the series and finish 8th in championship points standings. He continued to make history as the youngest competitor to win a WoOLMS feature event and the youngest competitor to qualify for the prestigious “$100,000 Dream” where he finished seventh.
In 2006, Richards’ winning ways continued as he managed the demanding tour schedule of the World of Outlaws, was paced by the cameras of CNN showing him for their primetime special “Dirt Track Warriors”, and successfully completed his senior year of high school with honors. Josh was one of sixteen young racers tapped to participate in the General Motors Driver Development Program but he already had strong bonds with several of NASCAR’s prominent names. NASCAR’s two time Champion, Tony Stewart became a mentor to Josh as well as a teammate when Tony competed in a selected dirt schedule. The young phenom has also dazzled Ken Schrader and Clint Bowyer on dirt and both are still strong supporters of Josh’s abilities. Driving for Tony Stewart Racing, Josh has also made three appearances at the “Chili Bowl Midget Nationals” (2006-2008). In his debut in the ARCA Racing Series he finished 3rd at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds (2007).
The 2007 and 2008 seasons were much the same for Josh Richards – over seventy events and a schedule that took him from Québec to Florida and Delaware to Saskatchewan with many new milestones and victories along the way. In fact, by the age of 20 he had already competed at 115 different tracks in more than 300 events. In 2008, he was atop the leader board for the most WoO LMS victories in a single season (6), finished 2nd in championship points in spite of being the only fulltime tour member under the age of 30, picked up his second honor as the winning crew chief for Tony Stewart at the “Old Spice Prelude to the Dream”, and thrilled 12,000 live audience members with a victory at the “Vault World Finals” at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. Additionally, the West Virginia native has participated in several Camping World East and ARCA Racing Series tests for Ken Schrader Racing to continue to hone his pavement skills.
The 2009 began with a win at the season opener at Volusia for the third year running, that victory was only a preview for the things to come for Richards for the 2009 World of Outlaws Late Model season. Winning a series best eight A-mains and six fastest qualifier awards, the young driver battled veterans to become the youngest Champion in World of Outlaws Late Model Series history. In 40 WoOLMS events entered in 2009 Richards posted 23 top 5’s and 34 top 10’s. In addition to his accomplishments on dirt, Richards entered pavement races in both the NASCAR Camping World East Series and the ARCA Racing Series. Finishing 4th in his NASCAR Camping World East Series debut at Greenville Pickens Speedway, he also entered events at New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Dover International Speedway. In his ARCA Racing Series superspeedway debut at Kentucky Speedway Richards qualified fourth, and consistently ran in top 10 before an accident.
The 2010 season began in the same place 2009 ended, in victory lane. For the fourth year in a row, Richards posted a victory the World of Outlaws’ opener at Volusia as well as a victory at Golden Isles Speedway in the Southern All Stars Racing Series. The World of Outlaws season also ended where 2009 ended, on the podium, accepting the trophy for the World of Outlaws Late Model Series Championship. Scheduled to race more than 80 events in 2010 Richards had his work cut out for him. Richards posted victories in eight World of Outlaws events including his first victory in a 100-lap WoO LMS event. His eight victories tied him for the most wins in the WoO LMS at 28. In addition to his accomplishments in the World of Outlaws, Richards also competed in an additional 38 events. He posted 9 more wins including a victory overseas at New Zealand’s Baypark, 22 top-fives, and 30 top-10 finishes.
Read the Josh Richards Q&A