First To Repeat: Richards Barely Holds Off McCreadie For Victory At Fayetteville Motor Speedway

By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director

FAYETTEVILLE, NC – April 30, 2010 – Josh Richards worked hard to become the first repeat winner of the 2010 season on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series. 

Mastering Fayetteville Motor Speedway for the second time in three years, Richards charged forward from the 10th starting spot to score a dramatic victory over Tim McCreadie in the national tour’s 50-lap A-Main on Friday night.

Richards, 22, of Shinnston, W.Va., passed Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., for the lead on lap 16 and was never headed, but he had to withstand a furious late-race challenge from Watertown, N.Y.’s McCreadie to secure the checkered flag in his Seubert Calf Ranches Rocket car. McCreadie’s final-lap bid to steal his first win of 2010 in his Sweeteners Plus Rocket fell a mere 0.131 of a second – about a half car length – short at the finish line.

“That last straightaway seemed like it took forever,” said Richards, whose triumph ended the WoO LMS record streak of eight different winners to start the season. “I could see McCreadie alongside me and I was saying to myself, ‘Just get to the finish!'”

Rookie of the Year contender Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del., finished third in Dale Beitler’s Rocket, snapping his three-race slump. He started eighth and reached second by lap 10, but he was overtaken by Richards following a lap-12 restart and spent the remainder of the distance watching the battle for the lead.

Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., rallied from the rear of the field to finish fourth after a flat left-front tire on his Rocket car forced him to relinquish the lead on lap four, and Rick Eckert of York, Pa., started and finished fifth in his Team Zero by Bloomquist mount after slipping as far back as eighth.

Richards won for the first time since capturing the WoO LMS season opener on Feb. 11 at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla. He also won that 50-lap event from a double-digit starting spot, coming from 17th to record a memorable victory.

A risky soft-compound Hoosier tire choice was Friday night’s key move for Richards, who made the fateful decision with his team after watching Fayetteville’s track crew rework the racing surface prior to the start of the A-Main.

“We pulled out on the racetrack and I knew we gambled on tires,” said Richards, who earned $10,600 for his 22nd career WoO LMS win. “We ran a few laps and I was like, ‘I don’t know if they’re gonna hold up or not,’ so I charged to get by Francis (for the lead) so I could at least run where I needed to run.”

Richards survived five of the race’s seven caution flags after assuming command, but he experienced some anxious moments during the final circuits. McCreadie took second on lap 33 and applied some serious pressure to Richards in search of his first win of 2010.

“The last seven or eight laps (the car) was chattering (from worn tires) and I was holding on,” said Richards, who entered the evening tied with McCreadie for the WoO LMS points lead and left with a narrow four-point advantage. “I knew somebody had to be coming because I could see people giving hand signals, and I could hear (McCreadie) with a couple laps to go.

“Going down into (turn) three on the last lap I rolled in kind of high because I was gonna turn and come back low, then I saw (McCreadie) so I stayed in the gas and carried it out to the little bit of cushion there was. Fortunately I was able to maintain to the checkered, but obviously, if there were a couple more laps, I was done. My tires were pretty much bald at the end.”
043010_FMSFinish
McCreadie, 36, was disappointed to come so close to victory after starting 11th, but he was gracious in defeat.

“I had trouble getting wide into (turns) one and two,” said McCreadie, who made his first-ever start at Fayetteville. “I would just shove a little bit, but finally, with two to go, I got in there the right way – and then the last lap, I got in as good as I could. But it was just a little rough through three and four, and you just can’t go banzai-ing in through those holes and blade somebody out for the win.

“I know you could’ve just dropped in there wide-open, quarter-paneled him and won, but I don’t usually like to race like that – and I know that when it comes around, it would be the same from Josh.”

Several contenders ran into trouble during the event, starting with polesitter Earl Pearson Jr. of Jacksonville, Fla., who led laps 1-3 and was running fourth on lap 17 when he limped to the pit area with extensive left-front damage incurred from contact with another car after a caution flag flew. Later, on lap 33, Francis, who led laps 7-15, spun in turn four while racing side-by-side with McCreadie for second place, and during the ensuing caution period Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, Ga., headed pitside because a broken right-front ball-joint knocked him from fourth place.

Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., finished sixth after switching to a backup car just before the start of the A-Main and taking the green flag from deep in the field. Jeff Smith of Dallas, N.C., who won last year’s WoO LMS event at FMS, advanced from the 21st starting spot to finish seventh. Brent Robinson of Smithfield, Va., placed eighth and earned the $500 WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ cash for being the highest-finishing driver who had not won a tour A-Main and wasn’t ranked among the top 12 in the points standings, while Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., and Brady Smith of Solon Springs, Wis., completed the top 10.

Thirty-six cars were signed in for the event, which was run in front of a big crowd under gorgeous weather conditions. Sunny skies and unseasonably warm spring temperatures in the high 80s dominated the afternoon, and shirt-sleeve weather continued into the evening.

Brady Smith continued to stamp himself as the king of qualifying in 2010, turning a lap of 17.426 seconds to record his series-leading third Ohlins Shocks Fast Time Award.

Heat winners were Brady Smith, Clanton, Francis and Hubbard. The B-Mains were captured by Randle Chupp of Troutman, N.C., and Jonathan Davenport of Blairsville, Ga.

The two-race Southeast swing for the WoO LMS continues on Saturday night (May 1) at Swainsboro (Ga.) Raceway, which hosts the tour for the first time ever. Another 50-lap A-Main paying $10,000 to win tops the program.

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

Results of WoO Late Model Series at Fayetteville Motor Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):

1. (10) Josh Richards/50 $10,600
2. (11) Tim McCreadie/50 $5,600
3. (8) Austin Hubbard/50 $3,750
4. (2) Darrell Lanigan/50 $3,100
5. (5) Rick Eckert/50 $2,500
6. (23) Chub Frank/50 $2,200
7. (21) Jeff Smith/50 $1,400
8. (9) Brent Robinson/50 $1,800
9. (19) Clint Smith/50 $1,700
10. (6) Brady Smith/50 $1,600
11. (22) Tim Fuller/50 $1,550
12. (3) Ray Cook/50 $1,000
13. (4) Steve Francis/50 $1,550
14. (12) Chris Ferguson/50 $900
15. (20) Jordan Bland/50 $850
16. (16) Chris Blackwell/50 $800
17. (24) Russell King/50 $1,270
18. (15) Donald Bradsher/50 $750
19. (13) Timmy Blackwell/39 $730
20. (7) Shane Clanton/33 $1,200
21. (17) Randle Chupp/28 $700
22. (18) Jonathan Davenport/22 $700
23. (1) Earl Pearson Jr./16 $700
24. (14) Dale McDowell/10 $700

* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses

Time of Race: 30 Mins., 47.104 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.131 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 7 (Laps 6, 12, 17, 20, 30, 33, 33)
Lap Leaders: Pearson (1-3); Lanigan (4-6); Francis (7-15); Richards (16-50)
Provisional Starters: Frank, King
Rookie of the Race: Hubbard ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Robinson ($500)

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

1. 2-Brady Smith/Solon Springs, WI 17.426
2. 44P-Earl Pearson Jr./Jacksonville, FL 17.560
3. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 17.584
4. 22-Chris Ferguson/Mt. Holly, NC 17.625
5. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 17.630
6. 25-Shane Clanton/Locust Grove, GA 17.641
7. 15-Steve Francis/Ashland, KY 17.682
8. 19H-Austin Hubbard/Seaford, DE 17.743
9. 2-Brent Robinson/Smithfield, VA 17.756
10. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 17.800
11. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 17.911
12. 53-Ray Cook/Brasstown, NC 17.929
13. 17-Timmy Blackwell/Grays Creek, NC 17.933
14. A1-Randle Chupp/Troutman, NC 17.986
15. 93-Donald Bradsher/Burlington, NC 18.021
16. 6-Chris Blackwell/Grays Creek, NC 18.023
17. 44-Clint Smith/Senoia, GA 18.063
18. 17M-Dale McDowell/Chickamauga, GA 18.073
19. 54-Ricky Weeks/Rutherfordton, NC 18.145
20. 49-Jonathan Davenport/Blairsville, GA 18.213
21. 10s-Scott Shirey/Swansea, GA 18.215
22. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 18.243
23. 10T-Ray Tucker/Greensboro, NC 18.249
24. 25B-Shawn Beasley/Lumber Ridge, NC 18.259
25. 56-Russell King/Bristolville, OH 18.292
26. 18M-Jeff Smith/Dallas, NC 18.295
27. 12-Jordan Bland/Campbellsville, KY 18.308
28. 19T-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 18.370
29. 360-Craig Shuffield/Fayetteville, NC 18.426
30. 27-Travis Hair/Fayetteville, NC 18.599
31. 55-Dean Bowen/Whiteville, NC 18.647
32. 91-D.J. Tyndall/Dunn, NC 18.691
33. d8-Dustin Mitchell/Princeton, NC 18.692
34. 14-David Taylor/Fayetteville, NC 18.823
35. 23-John Blankenship/Williamson, WV 18.899
36. 16-Brian Nuttal Jr./Claxton, GA 19.744

Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): B. Smith, Eckert, Robinson, T. Blackwell, C. Smith, Shirey, King, Shuffield, Mitchell

Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Clanton, Pearson, Richards, McDowell, Chupp, J. Smith, Frank, Hair (DNS) Taylor

Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Francis, Lanigan, McCreadie, Bradsher, Bland, Tucker, Blankenship (DNS) Weeks, Bowen

Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Hubbard, Cook, Ferguson, C. Blackwell, Davenport, Fuller, Tyndall, Beasley, Nuttal

B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Chupp, C. Smith, J. Smith, King, Frank, Shirey, Shuffield, Taylor, Hair, Mitchell

B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Davenport, Bland, Fuller, Blankenship, Tyndall, Nuttal, Tucker (DNS) Weeks, Beasley, Bowen

2010 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of April 30 – 9 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):

1. Josh Richards 1264 (-0)
2. Tim McCreadie 1260 (-4)
3. Darrell Lanigan 1214 (-50)
4. Tim Fuller 1172 (-92)
5. Austin Hubbard 1164 (-100)
6. Brady Smith 1160 (-104)
7. Steve Francis 1156 (-108)
8. Rick Eckert 1146 (-118)
9. Chub Frank 1122 (-142)
10. Clint Smith 1112 (-152)
11. Shane Clanton 1082 (-182)
12. Russell King 984 (-280)
13. Brent Robinson 950 (-314)
14. Billy Moyer 696 (-568)
15. Brian Birkhofer 686 (-578)
16. Tony Knowles 638 (-626)
17. Jill George 626 (-638)
18. Jordan Bland 532 (-732)
19. Earl Pearson Jr. 524 (-740)
20. Dale McDowell 472 (-792)

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.