Defending Champion Josh Richards To Watch From Sidelines For Start Of 2014 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Season

SHINNSTON, W.Va. – Jan. 31, 2014 – By Andrea Cleveland/Josh Richards P.R. – Mark Richards Racing announced today that three-time World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion Josh Richards will not be in the seat of the No. 1 Valvoline Rocket Chassis house car due to medical issues for the start of the national tour’s 2014 season.

Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., will be behind the wheel of the iconic blue No. 1 in Richards’s absence. Sheppard is a familiar face in the Rocket camp after filling in for the 25-year-old defending champion in 2012 as he ran a limited schedule in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Sheppard also won the 33rd annual Red Buck Dirt Track World Championship at Portsmouth (Ohio) Raceway Park last October substituting for Richards.

“It’s not easy to watch from the sidelines for the start of the season, but I hope to have these issues resolved quickly and get back in the car as soon as possible,” said Richards. “I still plan to be involved with the race team and I have full confidence in Brandon (Sheppard). I know he will do a phenomenal job in my absence.”

Updates on Richards’s status will be made as additional details become available. For more information contact Richards’s public relations representative, Andrea Cleveland, at 704-575-2296 or via e-mail at [email protected].

The 2014 WoO LMS season kicks off with the Bubba Army Dirt Late Model Winter Nationals on Feb. 14-16 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla., and the tour’s portion of the DIRTcar Nationals by Summit Racing Equipment on Feb. 20-22 at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla.

EDITOR’S NOTE: As a fulltime driver from the 2013 season who will receive WoO LMS travel benefits to start 2014, Josh Richards is eligible to earn 60 ‘hardship’ points for each event he misses for “medical reasons.” In addition, even if Josh misses too many events to remain alive to win the WoO LMS championship, Mark Richards Racing Enterprises can still compete for the tour’s Owner’s Championship by combining points earned by the drivers of the No. 1.

The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: American Racing Custom Wheels (Official Custom Wheel), Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), KMC (Official Custom Truck Wheel), Lincoln Welder (Official Welder), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel), (Hard Charger Award) and McCarthy’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (Raye Vest Memorial Pill Draw Award); in addition to contingency sponsors: Butlerbuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, MSD, Ohlins Shocks, QuarterMaster, Roush Yates Performance Parts, Superflow Dynos and Wrisco Aluminum; along with manufacturer sponsors Capital Race Cars, Integra Shocks, GRT Chassis, Jake’s Carts, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis and TNT Rescue.