Just Enough Power: Richards Holds Off Brady Smith At Delaware International Speedway

By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director

DELMAR, DE – May 13, 2010 – Josh Richards had just enough power left under the hood of his Rocket Chassis house car to capture Thursday night’s World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘First State 50’ at Delaware International Speedway. 

Running more than half the A-Main’s distance on what he said was seven cylinders, Richards managed to turn back a furious late-race challenge from Brady Smith to record his series-leading third victory of the 2010 WoO campaign. He is the only driver who has won more than once in the national tour’s 13 events contested to date.

Richards, 22, of Shinnston, W.Va., led the rough-and-tumble 50-lapper from start-to-finish, never faltering on the restarts that followed the race’s nine caution flags. The defending WoO LMS champion crossed the finish line 0.244 of a second ahead of Solon Springs, Wis.’s Smith, whose runner-up placing in his Team Zero by Bloomquist mount was his best since he won the tour’s second event of ’10 on Feb. 13 at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla.

The victory also moved Richards back into the WoO LMS points lead by 22 points over Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who fell from the catbird’s seat in the standings following a dismal 16th-place finish. McCreadie cut a right-rear tire while running fifth on lap 23 and later retired on lap 43 with apparent jackshaft problems after climbing back to 10th place.

“Luck was definitely on our side tonight,” said Richards, who earned $10,675 for his 23rd career triumph on the WoO LMS. “We ran good in our heat, drew the outside pole (starting spot for the A-Main), were able to run up front and keep in clean air the whole way in the feature, and survived an engine problem. I guess it was just meant to be tonight.”

Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., lost second place to Smith on a lap-23 restart and battled an overheating engine for much of the distance, but he held on to finish third in his Valvoline Rocket car. Teenage Rookie of the Year contender Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del. – racing at a track just minutes from his home – advanced from the 19th starting spot to finish fourth in Dale Beitler’s Rocket car, while 11th-starter Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., completed the top five in NASCAR star Clint Bowyer’s Warrior Chassis after ceding fourth to Hubbard on a lap-48 restart.

The road to victory was certainly nerve-racking for Richards, who thought his tough luck in WoO LMS action at the half-mile oval was about to continue when his Cornett engine began to sour as he set the pace. His previous disappointments at DIS included a tangle with a lapped car after leading the first 20 laps of the 2007 event and a first-lap incident in 2009 that forced him to run the remainder of the distance one lap down in an extremely beat-up machine.

“I don’t know what happened exactly, but I felt something change in the engine just before halfway,” said Richards. “When it happened I thought we were done, because we were definitely down huge on power all of a sudden. But after 10 or 15 laps I was still leading and I really hadn’t heard anybody, so I was like, ‘I must be O.K.’

“Actually, being down on power might have helped because I could roll through the corner, run wide open and the car stuck. I could keep all my momentum up.”

Richards was chased throughout the race’s second half by Smith, who started fourth. Smith closed right up on the rear bumper of Richards’s car exiting turn two several times during the final laps and stuck his machine’s nose under Richards after a lap-48 restart, but he couldn’t pull off a pass.

Less than one week after Richards saw a potential victory at Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway slip through his fingers because he tangled with a lapped car on the last lap and was then nipped at the finish line by Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, Ga., the young sensation made it all the way to the checkered flag first.

“I saw (Smith) with like two (laps) to go,” said Richards. “I slipped in three and four and I saw him flash under me for a second, but I had enough momentum to pull him off the corner. Then I just tried to hold on for the last lap.

“This track bit us a couple times in the past, so it’s nice to come out here and finally get a win.”

Smith, who turns 33 on May 31, wore a satisfied smile despite falling short of victory.

“I gave it all I had, and I’m sure (Richards) was giving it all he had,” said Smith. “It was a good race. It was fun.

“I really thought I was gonna be able to run under him coming through (turns) three and four on that last lap, but I just over-charged the corner because I was trying not to leave anything on the racetrack and do everything I could to win.

“We’ll take second,” he added. “Oh my god, we needed a paycheck worse than you could ever imagine. We’ve had a great race car and my guys have been working hard, but we just haven’t had things fall into place this year.”

Among the WoO LMS stars who ran into trouble during the event were good buddies Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., and Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y. Both drivers brought out caution flags after their cars’ noses were bent under from digging into the racetrack – Smith on lap nine after he had started from the pole position and run second for laps 1-8, and Fuller on lap 48 when slid off the track in turn one while holding 11th place.

Finishing in positions 6-10 was fifth-starter Rick Eckert of York, Pa., who climbed as high as fourth; Clanton, who started 15th; Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who started and finished in the same spot; 17th-starter Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa.; and Russell King of Bristolville, Ohio, who registered his first top-10 finish of the 2010 season.

DIS regular Donald Lingo Jr. of Millsboro, Del., who finished 12th, received the $500 WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ cash for being the highest-finishing driver who hasn’t won a tour A-Main and isn’t ranked among the top 12 in the points standings.

Forty cars were signed in for the event, which was run on an overcast evening with no threat of rain.

Eckert was fastest in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials with a lap of 18.377 seconds (97.949 mph). It was his first fast-time honor of 2010.

Heat winners were Eckert, Francis, McCreadie and Brady Smith. The B-Mains were captured by Frank and Mark Byram of Georgetown, Del.

Millsboro, Del.’s Amanda Whaley, a 15-year-old Late Model rookie at Delaware International Speedway, finished third in the second B-Main to qualify for a WoO LMS A-Main in her first-ever appearance on the tour. She placed 19th in the 50-lapper, completing 33 laps before retiring.

Whaley became just the third female driver to start a WoO feature, joining WoO rookie Jill George of Cedar Falls, Iowa, who finished 23rd in the First State 50 after gaining entry to the field thanks to a provisional, and April Farmer of Livingston, Tenn. Both George and Farmer broke the tour’s gender barrier during the 2009 season.

The WoO LMS moves on to Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway for the 29th annual ‘Conococheague 50’ on Sat., May 15.

For more information on the WoO LMS, visit www.worldofoutlaws.com.

Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘First State 50’ (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):

1. (2) Josh Richards/50 $10,675
2. (4) Brady Smith/50 $5,500
3. (3) Steve Francis/50 $3,600
4. (19) Austin Hubbard/50 $3,300
5. (11) Dale McDowell/50 $2,000
6. (5) Rick Eckert/50 $2,250
7. (15) Shane Clanton/50 $1,900
8. (8) Darrell Lanigan/50 $1,900
9. (17) Chub Frank/50 $1,700
10. (20) Russell King/50 $1,600
11. (1) Clint Smith/50 $1,550
12. (16) Donald Lingo Jr./50 $1,500
13. (21) Brent Robinson/50 $950
14. (18) Mark Byram/50 $900
15. (13) Tim Fuller/50 $1,350
16. (6) Tim McCreadie/43 $1,400
17. (14) Kenny Pettyjohn/40 $770
18. (10) Jamie Lathroum/37 $750
19. (22) Amanda Whaley/33 $730
20. (9) Jeremy Miller/28 $700
21. (24) Ross Robinson/24 $700
22. (7) Vic Coffey/15 $700
23. (23) Jill George/13 $725
24. (12) Ricky Elliott/12 $700

* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses

Time of Race: 42 Mins., 39.881 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.244 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 9 (Laps 9, 13, 16, 23, 25, 27, 42, 44, 48)
Lap Leaders: Richards (1-50)
Provisional Starters: George, R. Robinson
Rookie of the Race: Hubbard ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Donald Lingo Jr. ($500)

Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):

1. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 18.377
2. 6-Jamie Lathroum/Mechanicsville, MD 18.508
3. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 18.543
4. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 18.545
5. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 18.578
6. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 18.586
7. 43A-Jason Covert/York Haven, PA 18.698
8. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 18.715
9. 20-Staci Warrington/Milton, DE 18.737
10. 19H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 18.765
11. 7-Darryl Hills/Great Mills, MD 18.789
12. 55L-Donald Lingo Jr./Millsboro, DE 18.801
13. 1M-Jeremy Miller/Gettysburg, PA 18.844
14. 15-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 18.893
15. 25-Shane Clanton/Locust Grove, GA 18.914
16. 88-Ricky Elliott/Seaford, DE 18.942
17. 3-Brent Robinson/Smithfield, VA 18.954
18. 5K-Kirk Ryan Jr./Lewisberry, PA 18.989
19. 32c-Vic Coffey/Caledonia, NY 19.016
20. 45-Mark Byram/Georgetown, DE 19.035
21. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 19.061
22. 57-Derrike Hill/Trappe, MD 19.079
23. 17M-Dale McDowell/Chickamauga, GA 19.103
24. 56-Russell King/Bristolville, OH 19.139
25. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 19.174
26. 7R-Ross Robinson/Georgetown, DE 19.211
27. 75-David Hill/Trappe, MD 19.262
28. 44W-Amanda Whaley/Millsboro, DE 19.291
29. 8-Mark Pettyjohn/Milton, DE 19.311
30. 38s-Kenny Pettyjohn/Millsboro, DE 19.313
31. 99L-Dale Lingo IV/Millsboro, DE 19.490
32. 5M-Herb Tunis/Georgetown, DE 19.741
33. 84-Ray Davis Jr./Millsboro, DE 19.819
34. 22-Jill George/Cedar Falls, IA 20.094
35. 8x-Eddie Pettyjohn/Milton, DE 20.221
36. 59-Kelly Putz/Georgetown, DE 20.418
37. 35-Mike Parsons/Lewes, DE 20.571
38. KB-Kerry King/Delmar, DE 21.001
39. 100-Hal Browning/Lewes, DE 27.212
40. 22*-G.R. Smith/Cornelius, NC N/T

Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Eckert, Richards, J. Miller, Fuller, Frank, B. Robinson, Warrington, M. Pettyjohn, Davis, Parsons

Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Francis, C. Smith, Lathroum, K. Pettyjohn, Hubbard, George, Derrike Hill, Ryan, R. Robinson (DNS) K. King

Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): McCreadie, Coffey, McDowell, Clanton, David Hill, E. Pettyjohn, Browning, Dale Lingo, Covert (DNS) Hills

Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): B. Smith, Lanigan, Elliott, Donald Lingo Jr., Byram, R. King, Whaley, Tunis, Putz (DNS) G.R. Smith

B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Frank, Hubbard, B. Robinson, Davis, Warrington, Parsons, R. Robinson, M. Pettyjohn, George (DNS) Derrike Hill, Ryan, K. King

B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Byram, R. King, Whaley, David Hill, Tunis, E. Pettyjohn, Putz, Browning (DNS) Dale Lingo, Covert, Hills, G.R. Smith

World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:

Arizona Sports Shirts ($50 product certificate): Staci Warrington/Herb Tunis
Armor All (one case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main w/decal): Dale McDowell
Eibach Springs (one free spring): Brent Robinson/Mark Byram
MSD Ignition ($75 cash award): Josh Richards
MSD Ignition ($25 cash award): Jill George
Ohlins Pole Award ($50 cash award to fastest qualifier w/decal): Rick Eckert
Pink Carburetors ($100 product certificate): Rick Eckert
Pink Carburetors ($50 product certificate): Mark Byram
Quartermaster ($100 product certificate): Josh Richards
Quartermaster ($50 product certificate): Dale McDowell
Quartermaster ($25 product certificate): Tim Fuller
R2C Performance: Shane Clanton
STP ($50 cash award): Austin Hubbard
VP Racing Fuels ‘Nice Jugs Award’ (two five-gallon plastic fuel jugs to fastest qualifier who does not make the A-Main if decal is displayed): Jason Covert
Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner w/decal): Josh Richards

2010 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of May 13 – 13 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):

1. Josh Richards 1828 (-0)
2. Tim McCreadie 1806 (-22)
3. Darrell Lanigan 1776 (-52)
4. Steve Francis 1714 (-114)
5. Austin Hubbard 1704 (-124)
6. Tim Fuller 1690 (-138)
7. Brady Smith 1662 (-166)
8. Rick Eckert 1656 (-172)
9. Chub Frank 1634 (-194)
10. Shane Clanton 1624 (-204)
11. Clint Smith 1594 (-234)
12. Russell King 1474 (-354)
13. Brent Robinson 1380 (-448)
14. Jill George 894 (-934)
15. Brian Birkhofer 830 (-998)
16. Dale McDowell 748 (-1080)
17. Billy Moyer 696 (-1132)
18. Shannon Babb 682 (-1146)
19. Dan Schlieper 660 (-1168)
20. Tony Knowles 638 (-1190)

FOLLOW THE ACTION ON TWITTER: Fans can now keep up-to-date with the World of Outlaws Late Model Series online and through text messages on cell phones via Twitter, the internet’s fast-growing social-networking and micro-blogging website. Updates are provided to Twitter ‘followers’ of the WoO LMS throughout each race night, and fans also receive breaking news and interesting notes from the tour.

To sign-up as a WoO LMS ‘follower’ on Twitter to receive updates anywhere at anytime, visit http://twitter.com/WoOLateModels.

LISTEN ONLINE: If fans can’t get to a track to see the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, they can experience the excitement of the nation’s premier tour live on DIRTvision.com through the DIRT Radio Network.

To listen to the free audio broadcasts, log on to www.dirtvision.com and click on the DIRT Radio Network logo.

Listeners will need Windows Media Player 9 or higher to listen to the DIRT Radio Network. For technical support or questions, e-mail [email protected]

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), SuperClean (Official Cleaner-Degreaser), VP Racing (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award) and Chizmark & Larson Insurance; in addition to contingency sponsors Eibach Springs, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, Pink Carburetors, Pro Power Engines, Quartermaster, Rocket Chassis and Wrisco Aluminum.