MINERAL WELLS, W. Va. — Josh Richards ended a rare World of Outlaws Late Model Series victory drought on Friday night, rolling to a convincing triumph in the 50-lap RaceFest A-Main at West Virginia Motor Speedway.
In winning for the second time this season at a track in his home state — after falling short of victory at West Virginia facilities for the first nine years of his racing career — the 25-year-old star from Shinnston, W.Va., snapped a nine-race winless stretch on the national tour. He also padded his WoO LMS points lead – an edge he actually continued to build with consistent finishes during his modest checkered-flag slump.
“It feels like it’s been forever since we’ve been in vctory lane,” said Richards, whose eighth WoO LMS win of 2013 was his first since July 11 at Red River Co-op Speedway in Winnipeg, Manitoba. “We’ve had some really good runs (over the past month-and-a-half), but we’ve just been lacking a little bit and we had a few races where we had stuff just not go our way. It definitely went our way tonight.”
Richards, who started from the outside pole, passed polesitter Tim McCreadie for the lead on lap 14 and was never headed. After Rick Eckert saw his hopes of challenging for the top spot evaporate due to terminal engine trouble on a lap-22 restart, Richards cruised alone out front for the remainder of the distance to record his 47th career win on the WoO LMS.
Steve Shaver finished second, following Richards across the finish line one night after winning WVMS’s 30-lap RaceFest ADRA Late Model feature over the WoO LMS regular. Davey Johnson of Latrobe, Pa., placed a close third — his third to-five finish in seven World of Outlaws starts this season — defending champion Darrell Lanigan finished fourth after making two mid-race pit stops and Scott Bloomquist was fifth after pitting to change a tire on lap 28.
Richards swept the evening’s action, preceding his $10,650 victory by setting fast time and winning his heat race. He overtook McCreadie to win both the heat and the feature.