ST MARYS, Ohio (March 26, 2017) – Taking over the point position on Lap 1, Josh Richards led flag-to-flag to collect his third victory of 2017 in Friday’s caution-free Feature at LaSalle (Ill.) Speedway.
After being off for over a month, the Best Performance Motorsports team was ready to get back into action Friday for opening night of the Thaw Brawl. Not having raced at the one-fourth-mile oval in 12 years, Richards had his work cut out for him. Though he was not familiar with the track, the 29-year-old was on a mission and it showed as he turned the second quickest lap overall in qualifying. His time trial effort lined him up on the pole for Heat Race 2 and Richards captured the victory in the 10-lap event. With the top-two finishers in each Heat Race eligible for the redraw, Richards drew the third starting spot for the 40-lap Feature.
Pole-sitter Jason Feger was forced to start at the tail-end of the field for going to a backup car, so Richards moved up to second at the drop of the green flag. Working the outside groove, Richards took command of the field from leader Bobby Pierce coming off of Turn 4 on Lap 1. Once out front, Richards fought back challenges from Pierce as he navigated through difficult lapped traffic. Though it wasn’t easy, Richards remained in the top spot leading all 40-laps en route to his third win of the season.
Saturday’s scheduled finale of the Thaw Brawl was canceled due to inclement weather.
The Best Performance Motorsports team is scheduled to return to Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series racing-action next weekend at Duck River Speedway in Wheel, Tenn., on March 30, Boyd’s Speedway in Ringgold, Ga., on March 31, and East Alabama Motor Speedway in Phenix City, Ala., on April 1.
Friday Race Results
Qualifying – 2nd Heat Race – 1st Feature Start -2nd Feature Finish – 1st
JOSH RICHARDS QUOTES: “I don’t remember ever racing at LaSalle (Speedway) at all. It has been so long since I’ve been here, so I was a little nervous at the start. Luckily I was able to go out and run a solid qualifying lap, which put us in a good position for the Heat Race and Feature.
“It was a fun little track. The conditions changed so much throughout the Feature, I felt like I could run all over the track. Lapped traffic was a bit challenging, but we were able to stay out front and collect the win.
“I feel more comfortable with the track now and I think we learned some things that hopefully we can apply later this year when we come back for the Lucas Oil (Late Model Dirt Series) race. All-in-all we had a great night.”