ST MARYS, Ohio (May 21, 2017) – In his first-ever visit to Luxemburg (Wis.) Speedway, Josh Richards scored an impressive second-place finish on Friday night. Richards also brought home an 11th-place effort Thursday at LaSalle (Ill.) Speedway.
The Best Performance Motorsports crew headed to LaSalle Speedway on Thursday for the first of three scheduled Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series events. Richards began the evening with qualifying and ran the fifth quickest lap overall. His time trial effort lined him up in the second spot for Heat Race 2. Richards maintained his position throughout the 10-lap event to score a runner-up finish. His heat finish guaranteed him the fifth starting spot for the 50-lap Feature.
Starting on the inside of Row 3, the West Virginia native began working the bottom groove of the race track and at Lap 10 he had moved up to fourth. Determined to get to the front, Richards took over the third spot on Lap 13 and just two laps later he was up to second. Shortly after taking over the second spot, Richards began to encounter lapped traffic and methodically maneuvered through the lapped cars, using them to his advantage on Lap 35 to pass leader Scott Bloomquist to take command of the race. The Best Performance Motorsports driver continued to work lapped traffic for the next 10 circuits until hitting a rut on the racetrack coming out of Turn 2 sending his No. 1 machine spinning in front of the field. Richards was miraculously able to keep his car going without sustaining any damage, but the caution flag was thrown, sending him to the tail-end of the lead cars with just five laps remaining. Restarting 15th, Richards muscled his way past four competitors in the final laps to collect an 11th-place finish.
Friday the team made the four-hour trip to Luxemburg Speedway, a new track to Richards. Though his first time on the speedway wasn’t until hot laps, Richards didn’t let that slow him down turning the quickest circuit in his group. Next up was qualifying where the 28-year-old driver ran the second quickest lap overall. His time trial effort placed him on the pole for the start of Heat Race 2. Richards easily led the 10-lap race flag-to-flag to capture the heat victory. His heat race win guaranteed him the second starting spot for the night’s A-Main.
Starting on the outside-pole for the 50-lap Feature, Richards was hoping to quickly take command of the race, but when the green flag flew the field immediately spread out single-file on what would prove to be a bottom dominant track for the remainder of the event. The race continued with no passing among the frontrunners. Several times throughout the event Richards was all over the back bumper of the leader, but was unable to complete the pass on a racetrack that was one groove around the bottom. Richards maintained his position for the entirety of the race to bring home a second-place effort in his first race at the Wisconsin track.
Saturday’s scheduled race at Deer Creek Speedway in Spring Valley, Minn., was cancelled due to inclement weather and will not be rescheduled.
Richards currently sits in the third position in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series point standings, 50 points out of second after Friday’s race at Luxemburg Speedway.
The Best Performance Motorsports team is scheduled to return to action May 23 at I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Nebraska.
Thursday Race Results
Qualifying -5th Heat Race –2nd Feature Start -5th Feature Finish –11th
Friday Race Results
Qualifying – 2nd Heat Race –1st Feature Start –2nd Feature Finish –2nd
JOSH RICHARDS QUOTES: “We had a great Best Performance Motorsports car at LaSalle (Speedway). I was fighting a little bit of a tight condition towards the end of the race and I hit a big rut in Turn 2 sending the car into a spin. I’m disappointed because we definitely had a shot to win that race. I have to thank my team for working so hard to get me a car capable of winning.
“I’m happy with a runner-up finish at Luxemburg. We will certainly take that finish after last night. Congratulations to Shannon (Babb) on the win. I thought I had a shot at him a few times when we were in lapped traffic, but he (Babb) did what he needed to do and got down on the bottom quicker. Thanks to the track crew for getting this track ready. I have never seen a track go from being so wet to so dry that quickly. It was good run tonight.”