CONCORD, N.C. – Mother Nature had her say in determining the results of Thursday’s two World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series qualifying sessions at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, but so did Josh Richards.
The four-time series champion was the PFC Brakes Fast Time Award winner for both Friday and Saturday’s Can-Am World Finals programs, determined off a single round of two-lap time trials after rain halted the proceedings mid-way through the second session of qualifying at the four-tenths-mile oval.
As such, the second qualifying round was thrown out and each driver’s first lap of the first round was used to determine the qualifying results for the Friday program, while their second lap determined the qualifying order for Saturday’s program.
Richards ripped off times of 14.805 seconds (94.103 mph) and 14.750 seconds (94.454 mph), respectively, to take down the 57th and 58th fast times of his illustrious World of Outlaws Late Model Series career.
After a year away from The Dirt Track at Charlotte, Richards is hoping to spoil the party for recently-crowned two-time series champion Brandon Sheppard, who is chasing his record-setting 19th win of the season this weekend.
“The car felt fantastic. It felt great in hot laps,” Richards said. “I felt like I did something a little goofy and felt like I knew what I needed to do for qualifying, but then the groove changed. Right before I went, I committed to another line than I thought I was going to, and the car responded phenomenally. It was great; I couldn’t ask for anything better. I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of the weekend.
“I didn’t race here last year and I’ve always been pretty good here. With the year that we’ve had … we finished up pretty decent and we had a lot of things kind of falter,” Richards continued. “If we can come out and try to win here to finish the year out, it would be great for us as a team.”
Flight-B leader Jonathan Davenport was second-quick in Friday qualifying at 14.843 seconds, followed by Ross Bailes, Chris Madden and Scott Bloomquist on the overall speed charts.
In Saturday’s qualifying times, Flight-B leader Jimmy Owens followed Richards at 14.926 seconds, with Davenport, Bailes and Shane Clanton completing the top five.
To view complete qualifying results, advance to the next page.