ST MARYS, Ohio (May 9, 2017) – Josh Richards brought home a podium-finish of third with his Best Performance Motorsports team at Florence (Ky.) Speedway on Saturday. Richards rounded out the weekend with a hard-fought eighth-place finish on Sunday at Tazewell (Tenn.) Speedway after suffering a flat-tire late in the race.
Richards and crew began their weekend of racing at Florence Speedway on Saturday, a track he hadn’t been to since it was reconfigured several years ago. Qualifying was first in the evening’s order of events and the West Virginia native ran the second quickest lap in Group A. His time trial effort lined him up on the pole for Heat Race 2. At the drop of the green flag the second-place car got a run on the outside and passed Richards for the lead. The field then quickly spread out and Richards continued in second for the remainder of the race. His second-place effort lined him up in the seventh spot for the 60-lap Feature.
Starting on the inside of Row 4, Richards began to methodically make his way forward. At Lap 9 he was up to sixth and at Lap 16 he had cracked the top-five. Just two circuits later, the caution flag flew, restacking the field for the ensuing restart. At the drop of the green flag, Richards muscled his way to third, where he remained until a Lap 40 caution. Again, the young driver was quick on the restart as he flew by Tim McCredie to take over the second position. Now with the leader in his sights, he began to gain ground and at Lap 58 he was within striking distance as they caught lapped traffic. Trying to maneuver around lapped cars, Richards’ line was taken away forcing him to lose momentum as he moved to the middle of the track and slipped back one spot on the final lap. Crossing the stripe in third, Richards brought home his eighth-podium finish of the year.
Sunday marked the final race of the weekend with a trip to Tazewell Speedway. Qualifying began the night’s festivities and Richards was third quickest overall. His time trial effort lined him up on the pole for Heat Race 3, and the 29-year-old led all 10 laps en route to the heat win. His heat race victory guaranteed him the third starting spot for the 50-lap Feature.
Starting on the inside of Row 2, Richards remained in third until Lap 8, when the second caution flag of the night flew. On the ensuing restart, Richards slipped back to fourth and maintained that position for the next 28 laps until a flat right-rear tire forced the No. 1 machine to the pits on Lap 36. Restarting at the tail-end of the field, Richards powered his way to eighth in the remaining 14 laps to bring home a top-10 finish.
Richards currently sits in the third position in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series point standings, 55 points out of second after Sunday’s race at Tazewell Speedway.
The Best Performance Motorsports Team is scheduled to return to action May 18 at LaSalle (Ill.) Speedway.
Saturday Race Results
Qualifying -2nd Heat Race –2nd Feature Start -7th Feature Finish-3rd
Sunday Race Results
Qualifying – 3rd Heat Race –1st Feature Start –3rd Feature Finish – 8th
JOSH RICHARDS QUOTES: “I’m happy with how our car preformed this weekend. I thought we had a shot at a win on Saturday at Florence, but the lapped cars just hurt our momentum too much. I’m still grateful for a third-place finish considering it had been five years since I’d been to the track and it had a new configuration. We learned a lot and we’ll come back in August and be even better.
“Tazewell Speedway is an interesting place to race with the banking the way it is. We had another good car, it’s just unfortunate a flat tire took us out of contention. But I’m glad we were still able to get a top-10 finish out of it.
“We’ll go home, take Mother’s Day weekend off, and get ready for a couple of weeks of racing starting at LaSalle on May 18.”