PADUCAH, Ky. — A near capacity crowd was on hand as the National Dirt Racing League held its inaugural event Friday night at Paducah Int’l Raceway.
Josh Richards banked a cool $20,000 for winning the 75-lap event on the three-eighths-mile dirt track.
Jared Landers and Richards shared the front row with Landers taking the lead. However, Richards moved to the front on the fourth circuit and began pulling away from the field.
By lap 10, Don O’Neal and Landers were side by side for second, while Richards maintained a comfortable lead until caution flag waved on lap 12 for a slowing Craig Smith. The race returned to green flag conditions briefly until lap 15 when Smith slowed again with mechanical issues.
A few laps later the race’s complexion took another dramatic change when fourth running John Blankenship, who started 17th, retired abruptly from the race on lap 29 and two laps later O’Neal dropped out.
On the restart, Jimmy Owens shot to second and over the next several laps began to pressure Richards for the lead. The battle for the lead raged for the next several laps before Richards began to stretch his advantage over the final 20 laps.