Two-Time World of Outlaws Late Model Series Champion Charges Forward From 10th Starting For $7,000 Score
BARBERVILLE, FL – Feb. 18, 2013 – Josh Richards was a man on a mission Monday night at Volusia Speedway Park.
Rampaging forward from the 10th starting spot, Richards passed Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., for the lead on lap 18 and marched on to a convincing victory in the 30-lap DIRTcar UMP Super Late Model A-Main that opened the full-fender portion of the 42nd UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit Racing Equipment.
Richards, 24, earned $7,000 for his sixth career triumph during the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals but first since 2010 when he captured the World of Outlaws Late Model Series season opener. He won the national tour’s lidlifter held during Volusia’s mid-winter racing meet every year from 2007-2010.
Francis, 45, settled for a runner-up finish in the Bowyer Motorsports Barry Wright car after starting from the pole position and leading laps 1-17. He ended the race trailing Richards’s Valvoline-sponsored Rocket Chassis house car by 1.387 seconds.
Donnie Moran of Dresden, Ohio, started and finished third in a MasterSbilt machine. Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg, Tenn., also finished in the same position he started, driving his self-built Team Zero car under the checkered flag in fourth place after outdueling Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who completed the top five in the Sweeteners Plus Rocket.
Continuing his strong return as a dirt Late Model regular after spending most of the 2012 season competing on the NASCAR Nationwide Series, Richards needed just six laps to crack the top five in Monday’s feature. He held fourth when the race’s lone caution flag – for a homestretch spin by Jason McBride of Carbondale, Ill. – slowed the action on lap 15.
Richards made short work of his remaining rivals after the restart, charging around the outside of Bloomquist and Moran within one circuit and doing the same to Francis on lap 18.
After falling short of Victory Lane at Volusia in 2011 and ’12, Richards was excited to reclaim the spotlight.
“I was a little nervous coming in here because we weren’t that good last year,” said Richards, who moved into a tie for seventh on the alltime UNOH DIRTcar Nationals by Summit Late Model win list with legendary drivers Larry Moore and Freddy Smith. “Even qualifying (on Monday) I didn’t feel great, but we qualified well so I was like, ‘Well, OK, we’re not that far off.’ We made a few changes for the heat race and we kind of got shuffled back and we had some fuel-pressure problems, but we still ran second on Scott (Bloomquist).
“For the feature we made some changes, and it was one of those things where we just went out there and ran hard. It was awesome to get up through there and get a win from 10th.”
Richards, who one year ago started from the pole position in the opening-night UNOH DIRTcar Nationals by Summit feature but tumbled to an eighth-place finish, registered his third victory in the last 10 days. He also won WoO LMS A-Mains on Feb. 9 at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga., and Feb. 17 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla.
Francis, who was victorious in the first Late Model feature of last year’s UNOH DIRTcar Nationals by Summit, was no match for Richards after the race was slowed at its halfway point.
“I didn’t really need that caution there,” said Francis. “But Josh and Mark (Richards) and them guys, their car has been good anyway. We knew in the heat race he was good. He started 10th back there (in the A-Main), but when I looked up at the board and saw he was second, I knew we were probably a sitting duck.”
Finishing in positions 6-10 was Don O’Neal of Martinsville, Ind.; Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., who made the race’s biggest advance coming from the 20th starting spot; outside polesitter Ron Davies of Warren, Pa., who celebrated his 55th birthday on Monday; fifth-starter Eddie Carrier Jr. of Salt Rock, W.Va.; and Stormy Scott of Las Cruces, N.M., who made his first-ever start at Volusia.
With 48 cars signed in for action, group qualifying was utilized to set the starting lineups for six heat races in the first of three DIRTcar UMP Late Model programs during the UNOH DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit.
Pearson registered the fastest overall qualifying lap at 15.550 seconds, Other group fast-timers were Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y. (15.704), Billy Ogle Jr. of Knoxville, Tenn. (15.818), Billy Moyer (15.688) of Batesville, Ark., Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill. (15.627) and Eric Jacobsen of Sea Cliff Beach, Calif. (15.675).
Heat winners were Carrier, McCreadie, Moran, Bloomquist, Davies and Francis. The B-Mains were captured by Fuller, Brady Smith and Scott James of Bright, Ind., and Kent Robinson of Bloomington, Ind., topped the 5-lap Bulrush Dash for non-qualifiers.
The DIRTcar Nationals Presented by Summit continues on Tuesday night (Feb. 19) with another UMP Late Model program topped by a 30-lap A-Main. The UMP Modifieds will also compete in triple 20-lap features to close out the division’s week-long meet.
Race time is 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
For more information on the DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH, log on to www.DIRTcarNationals.com.
DIRTcar UMP Late Model 30-Lap A-Main Finish (Finish Pos./Start Pos./Driver/Laps Completed):
1. (10) Josh Richards/30
2. (1) Steve Francis/30
3. (3) Donnie Moran/30
4. (4) Scott Bloomquist/30
5. (6) Tim McCreadie/30
6. (8) Don O’Neal/30
7. (20) Brady Smith/30
8. (2) Ron Davies/30
9. (5) Eddie Carrier Jr./30
10. (14) Stormy Scott/30
11. (23) Brandon Sheppard/30
12. (11) Jared Landers/30
13. (18) Bobby Pierce/30
14. (7) Pat Doar/30
15. (17) Earl Pearson Jr./30
16. (19) Tim Fuller/30
17. (25) Dennis Erb Jr./30
18. (12) Eric Jacobsen/29
19. (16) Gregg Satterlee/29
20. (24) Dan Stone/29
21. (15) Todd Frank/28
22. (9) Clint Smith/15
23. (26) Jason McBride/14
24. (13) Mason Zeigler/6
25. (21) Scott James/3
26. (22) Shane Clanton/2
Heat No. 1 (8 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Eddie Carrier Jr., 2. Pat Doar, 3. Mason Zeigler, 4. Tim Fuller, 5. Shane Clanton, 6. Stacy Boles, 7. Jason McBride, 8. Michael Walker
Heat No. 2 (8 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Tim McCreadie, 2. Don O’Neal, 3. Stormy Scott, Billy Ogle Jr., Kenny Pettyjohn, Justin Rattliff, Kent Robinson, Mike Benedum
Heat No. 3 (8 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Donnie Moran, 2. Clint Smith, 3. Todd Frank, 4. Billy Moyer Jr., 5. Brandon Sheppard, 6. Chad Stapleton, 7. Billy Moyer (DNS) Casey Roberts
Heat No. 4 (8 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Scott Bloomquist, 2. Josh Richards, 3. Gregg Satterlee, 4. Brady Smith, 5. Dennis Erb Jr., 6. Jerry Lierly, 7. Chuck Julien, 8. Mike Hammerle
Heat No. 5 (8 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Ron Davies, 2. Jared Landers, 3. Earl Pearson Jr., 4. Shannon Babb, 5. Dan Stone, 6. Jimmy Mars, 7. Mike Norris, 8. Chub Frank
Heat No. 6 (8 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Steve Francis, 2. Eric Jacobsen, 3. Bobby Pierce, 4. Scott James, 5. Ricky Weiss, 6. Joey Coulter, 7. Chad Hollenbeck, 8. Scott Phillips
B-Main No. 1 (10 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Tim Fuller, 2. Shane Clanton, 3. Stacy Boles, 4. Kenny Pettyjohn, 5. Kent Robinson, 6. Jason McBride, 7. Mike Benedum, 8. Michael Walker, 9. Justin Rattliff, 10. Billy Ogle Jr.
B-Main No. 2 (10 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Brady Smith, 2. Brandon Sheppard, 3. Dennis Erb Jr., 4. Chuck Julien, 5. Billy Moyer Jr., 6. Mike Hammerle, 7. Chad Stapleton (DNS) Jerry Lierly, Billy Moyer, Casey Roberts
B-Main No. 3 (10 laps – Top 2 Transfer): 1. Scott James, 2. Dan Stone, 3. Jimmy Mars, 4. Ricky Weiss, 5. Chub Frank, 6. Mike Norris, 7. Chad Hollenbeck, 8. Joey Coulter, 9. Shannon Babb (DNS) Scott Phillips