World of Outlaws Late Model Series Champion Josh Richards Lands NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Ride With Kyle Busch
Young Star Will Run 11 Truck Events This Season While Continuing Pursuit Of Third Straight World of Outlaws Title
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director
CONCORD, NC – May 18, 2011 – Josh Richards’s 2011 season has become even busier.
The 23-year-old sensation from Shinnston, W.Va., will run a select number of NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events for Kyle Busch Motorsports, adding some high-profile extra-curricular activity to his pursuit of an unprecedented third consecutive World of Outlaws Late Model Series championship.
Richards was introduced as the driver of a Toyota Tundra Truck fielded by NASCAR star Busch’s formidable team during Tuesday night’s NASCAR Race Hub show on the SPEED television network. Sponsorship from Warrendale, Pa.-based Joy Mining Machinery is providing him the opportunity to compete in 11 Camping World Truck Series events this season, beginning July 7 at Kentucky Speedway.
“All of us with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series congratulate Josh on the opportunity he’s getting with Kyle Busch Motorsports,” said WoO LMS director Tim Christman. “We’ve watched him mature on and off the track each year that he’s been racing with the World of Outlaws, and it was clear that it was only a matter of time before he would get a chance to show his talent on the NASCAR circuit.
“Obviously we’ll miss Josh immensely as a World of Outlaws regular next year if he’s as successful running for Kyle Busch Motorsports as we know he can be, but we wish him the best of luck with his new venture. Seeing him become a star in NASCAR would bring attention to the World of Outlaws Late Model Series and make everyone associated with the series proud.”
Richards, who taped a SPEED interview and posed for photos with Busch alongside his new Toyota Truck at KBR’s shop on Tuesday, is excited to attack the Camping World Truck Series with a team that won the tour’s 2010 car owner’s points title. He has not yet sat in a Truck other than to get fitted in a seat, but he has a couple test sessions on his docket before making his competitive debut at Kentucky. He will drive the No. 18 Truck except for events in which Busch competes as his teammates; on those occasions he’ll switch to the No. 15.
“We’ve worked really hard over the last couple years trying to make that next step (to NASCAR), so to be driving for Kyle Busch is pretty crazy,” said Richards, who has been on a steady climb to stardom since launching his dirt Late Model career in 2004 at the age of 16. “It’s really like a dream come true for me. My goal since I’ve started racing has been to move to the NASCAR ranks and this is the opportunity I’ve been waiting for.
“There’s no better team to be with than Kyle Busch Motorsports. The guys on his team know how to win races and they’re all just true racers like I am, and being able to learn from somebody like Kyle, who has so much ability and has accomplished so much, will put me in the best possible position to succeed.
“It’s the same idea as in the dirt Late Model world,” he added. “There are a lot of great teams out there, but I feel like our team (his father Mark’s in-house Rocket Chassis operation) is probably one of the best to drive for. I have a great team behind me and that’s why we’ve been able to win races and championships.”
Richards credits his years as a regular on the WoO LMS for leading him to his big chance in a Kyle Busch Motorsports Truck, which comes after he gained pavement experience in recent years running a limited number of ARCA and NASCAR K&N Pro Series events for several different teams.
“The World of Outlaws has definitely helped my career,” said Richards, whose 28 career WoO LMS victories have him tied with Steve Francis atop the tour’s win list since 2004. “We’ve gotten a lot of exposure from running well, especially after winning the championship the last two years. Most racers know about the World of Outlaws and have heard of me because of that, so it’s helped us find sponsorship and the right team to move on.”
What sits well with Richards – and dirt Late Model fans across the country – is that Richards’s NASCAR Truck deal won’t prevent him from chasing another WoO LMS points crown this season. He can run the 11 Truck events on his KBM schedule – including races at Bristol, Talladega, Nashville, Martinsville, New Hampshire, Homestead-Miami, Las Vegas and Atlanta – without missing a WoO LMS show.
“We were really surprised when we looked at the Truck and Outlaw schedules and saw we could still compete for a championship with our Late Model deal,” said Richards, who is currently ranked second in the WoO LMS points standings through 10 events but is still seeking his first A-Main win of 2011. “The Truck races fit real well into what we’re doing. I’m real happy about that because there are so many people and sponsors who support our Late Model racing and I don’t want to leave them high-and-dry.”
Richards, who plans to run ARCA Racing Series events at Chicago and Michigan next month before making his first Truck Series start, will return to WoO LMS action on June 18 in the rescheduled Gunter’s Honey Spring 50 at Winchester (Va.) Speedway. He’ll close the month competing in the fifth annual $30,000-to-win Firecracker 100 on June 23-25 at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa.
For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Vicci (Official Uniform), VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award), McCarthy’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (Raye Vest Memorial Pill Draw Award), Chizmark Larson Insurance, Factory Value Parts and RacingJunk.com; in addition to contingency sponsors Comp Cams, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, Pro Power Engines, Quartermaster, Rocket Chassis, R2C Performance, Superflow Dynos, Wix Filters and Wrisco Aluminum.