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Josh Richards Gets Back On Track With Third-Place Finish In Pepsi Nationals At I-55 Raceway
Sep 17, 2008 - updated Sep 17th, 2008 12:45pm
Web posted by

Shinnston, WV. --

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 16, 2008

Josh Richards was burning up after last Saturday night’s World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Pepsi Nationals’ at I-55 Raceway in Pevely, Mo., but only from the heat and humidity.

The 20-year-old sensation from Shinnston, W.Va., was actually beaming under his sweat-covered face, ecstatic that a strong third-place finish in the 50-lap A-Main had gotten him back on track after several struggle-filled weeks.

“I’m just glad we were able to get out of our little slump,” said Josh, who recently slipped one position, to fourth, in the WoO LMS points standings thanks to some frustrating outings. “I would have liked to win, but we needed a good finish like this.”

Josh was fast all night at the high-banked, one-third-mile oval owned by NASCAR veteran Ken Schrader. His blazing qualifying lap of 12.534 seconds was second-fastest in the 39-car time-trial session and he won a heat race, and then he marched forward from the sixth starting spot in the feature to contend for his fifth WoO LMS victory of the season.

After steering his Mark Richards Racing-owned Seubert Calf Ranches/Ace Metal Works/TSR-Tony Stewart Racing/Petroff Towing/MCB Motorsports/Ernie’s Auto & Hauling Rocket Chassis No. 1 into third place on lap 28, Josh soon found himself in a three-car battle for the $10,000 top prize with eventual winner Shane Clanton and early pacesetter Chub Frank. The three drivers actually raced three-wide for the lead through turns three and four on lap 42, thrilling the crowd.

Josh’s bid effectively ended, however, on lap 46 when he slipped over the track’s cushion in turn four while alongside Frank for second. He lost his momentum and dropped to fourth, though he regained third place from Jason Feger with three laps remaining.

“I thought we had a shot at the win,” said Josh. “I tried to run into (turns) three and four as hard as I could so I could carry alot of momentum down the straightaway and then try to slide under Clanton in (turns) one and two, but I got stuck on the cushion (in turn four). I had to about stop the car so I wouldn’t hit the wall.”

The hard racing on a hot, muggy night left Josh searching for a cool-down following the checkered flag. He quickly went into his team’s air-conditioned hauler after returning to the pit area so he could bring down his body temperature.

“I’ve never been so hot in a race car before,” said Josh. “But I still had a lot of fun. That was the most fun race I’ve had in a long time.”

With the WoO LMS off this weekend, Josh’s plan is to enter either the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series ‘Jackson 100’ at Brownstown (Ind.) Speedway or the annual ‘Pittsburgher 100’ at Pittsburgh’s Pennsylvania Motor Speedway. Both events are scheduled for Sept. 19-20.

J.R.R. – PR.


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