Richards Pulls Off Late-Race Pass Of Jeremy Miller To Capture ‘Coal Country 40’

By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director

MINERSVILLE, PA – June 24, 2009 – Josh Richards finally finished what he had started at Big Diamond Raceway. 

One year after leading more than half of the three-eighths-mile oval’s inaugural World of Outlaws Late Model Series event but falling short of victory, the 21-year-old sensation from Shinnston, W.Va., returned to the track on Wednesday night and pulled off a late-race pass of Gettysburg, Pa.’s Jeremy Miller to win the Jack Rich Inc. ‘Coal Country 40.’

“This is definitely better than last year,” said Richards, who finished third after leading laps 1-29 of the tour’s 2008 A-Main at Big Diamond. “I was pretty frustrated after losing that race, so it feels good to come back here and get a win.”

Richards registered his third triumph in five WoO LMS ‘Great Northern Tour’ events, following his back-to-back wins in the two Canadian shows that kicked off the busy swing. It was his fourth overall victory of the 2009 season, moving him within one win of Ashland, Ky.’s Steve Francis for the series lead in that category.

The $7,600 checkered flag also gave Richards a share of the WoO LMS points lead with defending champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who finished third. Richards had entered the evening’s action third in the points race, six points behind the dead-locked due of Lanigan and Francis, who slipped to third in the standings after finishing fifth.

Richards, who started fifth, secured second behind Miller when he passed Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., on a lap-three restart. He chased the race-long pacesetter until tossing his Seubert Calf Ranches Rocket car to the outside of the track on lap 34, executing a powerful sweep to grab the top spot from Miller for good.

“When Jeremy started slowing down I knew I had to go to the top to pass him,” said Richards, who donned a coal-miner’s helmet for the post-race photos following his 16th career WoO LMS win. “It was rough up there, so I was either gonna go up there and pass him or I was gonna roll the bumper under the car. Fortunately when I went up there I found a spot where it was smooth enough for me to make some time and the move worked out.”

Miller, 38, settled for runner-up money in his USA Spares Inc. Victory Circle M1 Chassis, 1.726 seconds behind Richards at the finish. It was Miller’s first top-five finish in WoO LMS competition since he recorded his only tour win on April 11, 2008, at Virginia Motor Speedway.

“I was just a little bit softer (on tire-compound choice) than (the other top finishers) and it cost us,” said Miller, who started from the pole position. “If the black (line) doesn’t come (on the track) we’re heroes, but it did start coming around lap 20 and I knew we were in trouble. I started slowing way down and I was just waiting for someone to pass me.

“But honestly, I’m very happy to finish second against the caliber of drivers you run with in an Outlaw race. We’re the lone soldier here running a Victory Circle car, American Racer tires and a Bullock engine, so I have to be happy with how tonight turned out.”

Lanigan, who started seventh, had to be satisfied with a third-place finish after a lap-35 caution flag for the stopped car driven by Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., short-circuited the bid for the lead that he appeared to be mounting. He ran the last 15 laps with brake problems hampering his Fusion Energy Rocket.

The 41-year-old Fuller finished fourth in his Gypsum Express Rocket, right on Lanigan’s rear bumper at the conclusion of the A-Main. Fuller grabbed second at the initial green flag from his inside second-row starting spot and was challenging Miller for the lead when a caution flag flew on lap four for a spin by Chad McClellan of Stoystown, Pa., but he struggled on restarts, losing positions to Richards and Lanigan (lap seven).

The eighth-starting Francis ran quietly in fifth from lap seven to the finish, giving him a series-leading 11th top-five performance this season in his Beitler Motorsports Rocket.

Finishing in positions 6-10 was 17-year-old Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., who earned 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; D.J. Myers of Greencastle, Pa.; Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., who started 17th; Jim Yoder of Selinsgrove, Pa.; and fourth-starter Jeff Rine of Danville, Pa.

Four caution flags slowed the race, but there were no serious incidents.

A field of 46 cars assembled for the event – an increase of a dozen entries from Big Diamond’s inaugural ‘Coal Country 40’ in 2008.

Rine turned the fastest lap during Ohlins Shocks Time Trials, circling the track in 16.448 seconds. The regular at Selinsgrove (Pa.) Speedway earned a $50 bonus for his first-ever WoO LMS fast-time honor.

Heat winners were Rine, Fuller, Richards and Jeremy Miller. The B-Mains were captured by Frank and NASCAR veteran Kenny Schrader of Concord, N.C., who was never a factor in the A-Main before retiring on lap 22.

The WoO LMS ‘Great Northern Tour’ will conclude with three spectacular evenings of competition at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa. The postponed ‘Showdown in Sarvertown’ (a B-Main and 50-lap A-Main held-over from May 5) will be completed on Thurs., June 25, and the $30,000-to-win Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com will take center stage on June 26-27.

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

Results of WoO Late Model Series ‘Coal Country 40’ (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):

1. (5) Josh Richards/40 $7,600
2. (1) Jeremy Miller/40 $3,000
3. (7) Darrell Lanigan/40 $2,600
4. (3) Tim Fuller/40 $2,250
5. (8) Steve Francis/40 $2,100
6. (2) Austin Hubbard/40 $1,800
7. (12) D.J. Myers/40 $1,200
8. (17) Chub Frank/40 $1,600
9. (13) Jim Yoder/40 $1,000
10. (4) Jeff Rine/40 $1,050
11. (10) Matt Lux/40 $850
12. (21) Shane Clanton/40 $1,300
13. (23) Brady Smith/40 $1,250
14. (19) Rick Eckert/40 $1,240
15. (9) Scott Haus/40 $710
16. (20) Russell King/40 $1,430
17. (22) Brent Robinson/40 $650
18. (24) Clint Smith/40 $1,130
19. (15) Gregg Satterlee/33 $620
20. (14) Bryan Sipe/28 $610
21. (18) Kenny Schrader/22 $600
22. (11) Dan Stone/20 $600
23. (16) Rob Ormbsee/20 $600
24. (6) Chad McClellan/19 $600

* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses

Time of Race: 22 Mins., 01.695 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 1.726 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 5 (Laps 4, 7, 11, 20, 35)
Lap Leaders: Jeremy Miller (1-33); Richards (34-40)
Provisional Starters: Brady Smith, Clint Smith
Rookie of the Race: King ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Hubbard ($500)
Integra Shocks Crew Chief of the Race: Matt Barnes (Richards)

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

1. 2J-Jeff Rine/Danville, PA 16.448
2. 11H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 16.456
3. 19-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 16.487
4. 24M-Jeremy Miller/Gettysburg, PA 16.500
5. 119M-Chad McClellan/Stoystown, PA 16.556
6. 19T-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 16.564
7. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 16.681
8. 9-Kenny Schrader/Concord, NC 16.686
9. 76-Scott Haus/Hamburg, PA 16.726
10. 33s-Bryan Sipe/Hamburg, PA 16.812
11. 21d-Dan Stone/Thompson, PA 16.821
12. 19R-Rob Ormsbee/Wall, NJ 16.886
13. 27-Jim Yoder/Selinsgrove, PA 16.887
14. 32-Dylan Yoder/Selinsgrove, PA 16.910
15. 22-Gregg Satterlee/Rochester Mills, PA 16.930
16. 70J-D.J. Myers/Greencastle, PA 16.948
17. 25-Shane Clanton/Locust Grove, GA 16.948
18. ONE-Chuck Schutz/Pottstown, PA 16.967
19. 3-Brent Robinson/Smithfield, VA 16.974
20. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 17.018
21. 26-Tony Knowles/Tyrone, GA 17.055
22. 44M-Jason Miller/Germansville, PA 17.080
23. 119B-Bryan Bernheisel/Lebanon, PA 17.094
24. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 17.102
25. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 17.188
26. 21-Matt Lux/Franklin, PA 17.198
27. 18-Dustin Hapka/Grand Forks, ND 17.204
28. 119-Jim Bernheisel/Lebanon, PA 17.214
29. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 17.379
30. 118-Randy Stoudt/Pottstown, PA 17.457
31. 23-Mike Bingaman/Selinsgrove, PA 17.514
32. 56-Russell King/Bristolville, OH 17.520
33. 11-Tyler Reddick/Corning, CA 17.563
34. 78T-Tracy Gregory/Dalton, PA 17.578
35. 8-Tim Fedder/Millerstown, PA 17.579
36. 14-April Farmer/Livingston, TN 17.652
37. 15-Luke Hoffner/Turbotville, PA 17.664
38. 73-Al Cheney/Hamilton Square, NJ 17.699
39. 4-Danny Snyder/Green Lane, PA 17.717
40. 115-Troy Miller/Tower City, PA 17.745
41. 88-Randall Croop/Berwick, PA 17.860
42. 7-Josh Young/Berwick, PA 18.168
43. 13b-Jame Cornell/Harpersville, NY 18.235
44. 99z-Dave Zona/Montrose, PA 18.354
45. 12-Jordan Bland/Campbellsville, KY 20.077
46. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI N/T

Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Rine, McClellan, Haus, J. Yoder, Clanton, Frank, Eckert, Knowles, Bland, Hoffner, Reddick, Croop

Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Fuller, Hubbard, Lux, Sipe, Schutz, Cheney, Jason Miller, B. Smith, Young, Gregory, D. Yoder, Stoudt

Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Richards, Francis, Stone, Satterlee, Hapka, Robinson, Snyder, Bingaman, B. Bernheisel, Cornell, Fedder

Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Jeremy Miller, Lanigan, Myers, Ormsbee, Schrader, King, Farmer, C. Smith, T. Miller, J. Bernheisel, Zona

B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Frank, Eckert, Clanton, B. Smith, Bland, Knowles, Gregory, Cheney, Hoffner, Young, Jason Miller, Schutz, Reddick, Croop, D. Yoder (DNS) Stoudt

B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Schrader, King, Robinson, Farmer, C. Smith, Bingaman, Snyder, Cornell, Hapka, T. Miller, Fedder, B. Bernheisel, J. Bernheisel (DNS) Zona

World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners:

* Arizona Sport Shirts ($50 product certificate to fifth-place finisher in B-Mains): Jordan Bland, Clint Smith
* Armor All (case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main w/decal): Jeremy Miller
* Champ Pans ($50 product certificate to ‘Bonus Bucks’ winner w/decal): Austin Hubbard
* Crane Cams ($100 cash award to A-Main winner w/decal): Josh Richards
* Crane Cams ($100 cash award to 10th-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Jeff Rine
* Crane Cams ($100 product certificate to Heat 3 winner w/decal): Josh Richards
* Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner w/decal): Chub Frank, Kenny Schrader
* Fusion Energy ($50 cash award to Heat 2 winner w/decal): Tim Fuller
* Ohlins Shocks ($50 cash award to fast qualifier w/decal): Jeff Rine
* Quarter-Master ($100 product certificate to A-Main winner w/decal): Josh Richards
* Quarter-Master ($50 product certificate to fifth-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Steve Francis
* Quarter-Master ($25 product certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main w/decal): Scott Haus
* Super Clean ‘Start of the Race’ (one case of product): Jeremy Miller
* VP Racing Fuels ‘Nice Jugs Award’ (two free VP five-gallon containers to fastest qualifier who does not make the A-Main if decal is displayed): Chuck Schutz
* Wrisco Aluminum (three sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner w/decal): Josh Richards

2009 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of June 24 – 19 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):

1. (tie) Darrell Lanigan 2535 (-0)
1. (tie) Josh Richards 2535 (-0)
3. Steve Francis 2531 (-4)
4. Rick Eckert 2503 (-32)
5. Shane Clanton 2437 (-98)
6. Tim Fuller 2423 (-112)
7. Brady Smith 2412 (-123)
8. Chub Frank 2401 (-134)
9. Clint Smith 2297 (-238)
10. Russell King 1964 (-571)
11. Jordan Bland 1952 (-583)
12. Brent Robinson 1892 (-643)
13. Vic Coffey 1802 (-733)
14. Dustin Hapka 1764 (-771)
15. Tyler Reddick 1565 (-970)
16. Shannon Babb 1395 (-1140)
17. Austin Hubbard 1353 (-1182)
18. Matt Lux 916 (-1619)
19. Dan Stone 874 (-1661)
20. Dale McDowell 717 (-1818)

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 the 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]