Runaway Richards
082816 WOOLM Merritt

Runaway Richards

Pulls away to capture win No. 17, tying single season record

LAKE CITY, Mich. – August 28, 2016 – Josh Richards won the Keyser Manufacturing Great Lakes Shootout decisively Sunday night at Merritt Speedway. With his 17th trip to victory lane, Richards tied the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series record for most wins in a season.

“We got to win six or seven, and we’ve had a phenomenal year,” Richards said. “It’s just crazy to think we’ve had ten wins since then. The track moved around quite a bit, more than I thought. I thought the bottom was going to be better than the top. The top had just enough brown where I was a little too tight early. But once the tires got to speed it was a lot better. I was just trying to get through lapped traffic the best I could, catch the brown, and it was a lot of fun racing. I can’t thank Merritt enough for holding us out another day.”

Though Richards led the 24-car field into the green flag for 50 laps, it only took Fruitport, Mich. native Rich Neiser the following lap to undertake him in turn two for the lead.  In a caution-free Craftsman Club® feature, the top five thereon spaced itself out into one-second splits. When the top of the field hit lapped traffic on lap 12, which is when windows of opportunity opened for those drivers.

The top three grouped together while positions four through six followed suit. Richards  gained ground on Neiser’s No. 87 Bowman’s Body Shop/ Daugherty Motorsports Rocket car, cutting the margin down to less than one second. On lap 21, Richards wedged his No. 1 Valvoline/ Seubert Calf Ranches Rocket car under Neiser in turn one, reclaiming the lead.

“Rich did a great job setting the pace,” Richards said. “He kind of showed me how much brown was left up there. I got to give him a lot of credit. He was one of the reasons why this car was as fast as it is. He helped us a lot – him and his brother. We had a great battle out there. It’s crazy.”

With 20 laps remaining, Richards kept three lapped cars in-between Neiser. Within the next few laps, Brandon Overton wheeled his No. 76 Budwiser/ C-H Paving Moyer/ Victory racecar into on the top of the cushion in turn three. His target: 2011 Series Champion Rick Eckert. Though he did not reel him in on lap 32, he succeeded the next lap.

With 10 laps remaining, Richards opened up a 3.876- second lead on the field. Meanwhile, Overton used his momentum to catapult his car into the second spot. Richards went on to win by a 7.467-second margin, earning the $10,000 purse. Overton recorded his 13th top five performance, finishing in the runner-up spot. Neiser rounded-out the podium.

“We just started a little too far back.” Overton said. “I didn’t really get going until the last 15 laps. I hope I’m gaining some points. I’d love to go to Charlotte just to race. I’d like to go there without any pressure. We’ve been working on it, and we’re definitely getting better. I’m excited. We did some stuff to the car last night and some stuff today. It was good.”

Neiser was the only Michigan-native to place in the top five. Earlier in the night, he recorded his first series heat win in two starts this season. As for Richards, he recorded his 10th consecutive top five finish of 2016.

“I have to thank Mark and Josh for helping me with that car first of all,” Neiser said. “If it wasn’t for them, it wouldn’t be what it is. I got to thank my brother and all my sponsors. I represented Michigan the best I could and as far as I’m concerned, I won the thing. Thanks for all the fans who came out. I really appreciate it. Right at the end, I got into lapped traffic and was a little too snug. I knew I was in trouble. I was hoping for a yellow.”

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World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series Statistical Report; August 28, 2016; Merritt Speedway; Lake City, Mich.

Craftsman Club® A-Main (50-laps): 1.1- Josh Richards [1] [$10,375]; 2. 76- Brandon Overton [6] [$5,250]; 3. 87- Rich Neiser [2] [$3,600]; 4. 7- Rick Eckert [4] [$2,800]; 5. 25- Shane Clanton [7] [$2,300]; 6. 21JR- Billy Moyer Jr. [3] [$2,200]; 7. 3m- Dona Marcoullier [5] [$1,400]; 8. 18- Eric Wells [14] [$1,350]; 9. 27- Eric Spangler [13] [$1,250]; 10. 14m- Morgan Bagley [18] [$1,150]; 11. 99jr- Frank Heckenast Jr. [8] [$1,100]; 12. 3s- Brian Shirley [9] [$1,000]; 13. 91- Tyler Erb [19] [$1,050]; 14. 2c- Joey Coulter [11] [$950]; 15. 79- Nick Kurtz [10] [$850]; 16. 1*- Chub Frank [12] [$850]; 17. C9- Steve Casebolt [17] [$820]; 18. 17m- Dale McDowell [23] [$750]; 19. 2- Travis Stemler [15] [$730]; 20. M14- Brandon Thirlby [16] [$700]; 21. 14- Bill Bray [21] [$700]; 22. 99B- Boom Briggs [20] [$700]; 23. 1x- Greg Gokey [24] [700]; 24. 52- Brad Harden [22] [$700]

Last-Chance Showdown Group No. 1 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. C9- Steve Casebolt; 2. 91- Tyler Erb; 3. 14- Bill Bray; 4. 1x- Greg Gokey; 5. 1w- Michael LuBerda Jr.; 6. 25B- Chris Brinkley; 7. 21H- Bob Hammar; 8. 29- Chad Finley; 9. 1M- Eric Midkiff; 10. 50- Scott Phillips; 11. 17M- Dale McDowell; 12. 20A- Brian Abernethy

 Last-Chance Showdown Group No. 2 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. 14m- Morgan Bagley; 2. 99B- Boom Briggs; 3. 52- Brad Harden; 4. 41- Jason Playter Jr.; 5. 3T- Jeremy Tulick; 6. 18H- Merv Hudson; 7. 87K- Josh Knoll; 8. 58- Renton Hurley; 9. 33- Bobby Timmer; 10. 9K- Dale Kaake; 11. 28- Sammy Epling (DNS)

Qualifying Group No. 1: 1. 1- Josh Richards, 13.910; 2. 87- Rich Neiser, 14.146; 3. 76- Brandon Overton, 14.299; 4. 18- Eric Wells, 14.308; 5. 3s- Brian Shirley, 14.344; 6. C9- Steve Casebolt, 14.445; 7. 91- Tyler Erb, 14.491; 8. 79- Nick Kurtz, 14.546; 9. 27- Eric Spangler, 14.661; 10. 25- Shane Clanton, 14.673; 11. 1x- Greg Gokey, 14.714; 12. 17M- Dale McDowell, 14.718; 13. 1w- Michael LuBerda Jr., 14.802; 14. 29- Chad Finley, 14.871; 15. 14- Bill Bray, 14.929; 16. 50- Scott Phillips, 14.962; 17. 25B- Chris Brindley, 15.132; 18. 21H- Bob Hammar, 15.427; 19. 20A- Brian Abernethy, 15.485; 20. 1M- Eric Midkiff, 15.744

 Qualifying Group No. 2: 1. 3m- Dona Marcoullier, 14.585; 2. 21JR- Billy Moyer Jr., 14.607; 3. 99jr- Frank Heckenast Jr., 14.676; 4. 7- Rick Eckert, 14.765; 5. 2c- Joey Coulter, 14.813; 6. M14- Brandon Thirlby, 14.879; 7. 99B- Boom Briggs, 14.900; 8. 1*- Chub Frank, 14.984; 9. 28- Sammy Epling, 15.010; 10. 14m- Morgan Bagley, 15.120; 11. 2- Travis Stemler, 15.256; 12. 41- Jason Playter Jr., 15.265; 13. 3T- Jeremy Tulick, 15.551; 14. 33- Bobby Timmer, 15.639; 15. 18H- Merv Hudson, 15.857; 16. 87K- Josh Knoll, 15.895; 17. 9K- Dale Kaake, 15.912; 18. 58- Renton Hurley, 16.074; 19. 52- Brad Harden, 16.189

 Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): 1. 1- Josh Richards; 2. 76- Brandon Overton; 3. 3s- Brian Shirley; 4. 27- Eric Spangler ; 5. 91- Tyler Erb; 6. 1x- Greg Gokey; 7. 14- Bill Bray; 8. 25B- Chris Brindley; 9. 1w- Michael LuBerda Jr.; 10. 20A- Brian Abernethy

Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): 1. 87- Rich Neiser; 2. 25- Shane Clanton; 3. 79- Nick Kurtz; 4.18- Eric Wells; 5. C9- Steve Casebolt; 6. 17M- Dale McDowell; 7. 29- Chad Finley; 8. 50- Scott Phillips; 9. 21H- Bob Hammar; 10. 1M- Eric Midkiff

Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): 1. 3M- Dona Marcoullier; 2. 99jr- Frank Heckenast Jr.; 3. 2c- Joey Coulter; 4. 2- Travis Stemler; 5. 99B- Boom Briggs; 6. 52- Brad Harden; 7. 18H- Merv Hudson; 8. 9K- Dale Kaake; 9. 28- Sammy Epling; 10. 3T- Jeremy Tulick

Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): 1. 7- Rick Eckert; 2. 21JR- Billy Moyer Jr.; 3. 1*- Chub Frank; 4. M14- Brandon Thirlby; 5. 14m- Morgan Bagley; 6. 41- Jason Playter Jr.; 7. 87K- Josh Knoll; 8. 33- Bobby Timmer; 9. 58- Renton Hurley

World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners (awards presented to noted finisher/qualifier or next highest displaying decal):

Comp Cams – $50 Product certificate: Josh Richards
MSD – $50 Cash: Josh Richards
QuarterMaster – $100 Product certificate: Brandon Overton
Wrisco Aluminum – 3 Sheets of aluminum: Josh Richards
Penske Shocks – TBD Product certificate: Brandon Overton
JE Pistons – $50 Cash: Billy Moyer Jr.
VP Racing Fuels – $50 Cash: Eric Wells
Edelbrock – $50 Cash: Eric Spangler
Comp Cams – $50 Cash: Morgan Bagley
Morton Buildings – $50 Cash: Frank Heckenast Jr.
Cometic Gasket – $50 Cash: Tyler Erb
JRI Shocks – $50 Cash: Tyler Erb
SuperFlow – $50 Cash: Joey Coulter
QuarterMaster – $25 Product certificate: Nick Kurtz
JE Pistons – Set of rings: Chub Frank
QuarterMaster – $50 Product certificate: Boom Briggs
Arizona Sport Shirts – $100 Product certificate: Greg Gokey
JE Pistons – Set of rings: Boom Briggs
MSD – $25 Cash: Josh Richards
QA1 – $50 Cash: Brandon Overton
Bonus Bucks – $500 Cash: Richard Neiser
Rookie Bonus – $250 Cash: Billy Moyer Jr.
Craftsman Bonus – $100 Cash: Richard Neiser
Craftsman Bonus – $200 Cash: Josh Richards
Craftsman Bonus – $200 Cash: Brandon Overton
Craftsman Bonus – $200 Cash: Rick Eckert
Craftsman Bonus – $200 Cash: Shane Clanton
Craftsman Bonus – $200 Cash: Billy Moyer Jr.

2016 World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series Point Standings as of August 28 – 35 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/residence/points/deficit to leader):

Pos. Car # Driver Residence Points Trail By
1 1 Josh Richards Shinnston, WV 5002 0
2 25 Shane Clanton Zebulon, GA 4732 270
3 7 Rick Eckert York, PA 4600 402
4 76 Brandon Overton   Evans, GA 4462 540
5 3S Brian Shirley Chatham, IL 4386 616
6 21JR Billy Moyer Jr. Batesville, AR 4336 666
7 C9 Steve Casebolt Richmond, IN 4314 688
8 1* Chub Frank Bear Lake, PA 4298 704
9 99JR Frank Heckenast Jr. Frankfort, IL 4250 752
10 18 Eric Wells Hazard, KY 4222 780
11 14M Morgan Bagley Gladewater, TX 4168 834
12 91 Tyler Erb New Waverly, TX 3802 1200
13 2C Joey Coulter Union Grove, NC 3640 1362
14 99B Boom Briggs Bear Lake, PA 3390 1612
15 18C Chase Junghans Manhattan, KS 3348 1654
16 77 Jordan Yaggy Rochester, MN 1586 3416
17 11 Austin Smith Cedartown, GA 1368 3634
18 17M Dale McDowell Chickamauga, GA 1340 3662
19 38S Kenny Pettyjohn Millsboro, DE 1270 3732
20 72 Jason Covert York Haven, PA 1256 3746

 

The World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Bad Boy Off Road (Official Side-by-Side Vehicle), Craftsman (Official Tool), Hoosier Racing Tire (Official Tire), Morton Buildings (Official Building), Sears (Official Home Store), The Kenny Wallace Dirt Racing Experience (Official Racing Experience, VP Racing Fuels (Official Racing Fuel) and DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award); in addition to contingency sponsors, including: Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, MSD, Penske Shocks, QA1, QuarterMaster, Superflow Dynos and Wrisco Aluminum; along with manufacturer sponsors, including: Capital Race Cars, Integra Shocks, Impact Racing Products, Intercomp, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis and TNT Rescue