ST MARYS, Ohio (July 17, 2017) – Josh Richards continued his dominance during the month of July, scoring back-to-back wins in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series at Tri-City Speedway in Granite City, Ill., on Friday and Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, Mo., on Saturday.
The Best Performance Motorsports crew headed to Tri-City Speedway on Friday, a track Richards had not raced on in nearly 10 years. Though it had been awhile since he had run on the three-eighths-mile oval, Richards didn’t let that deter him as he clicked off the second fastest circuit in his hot lap group and was the top-qualifier in Group B time trials. His qualifying effort lined him up on the pole for the start of Heat Race 3 and the West Virginia native led all 10-laps en route to the victory. The heat win guaranteed him the second starting spot for the night’s Feature event.
Starting on the outside-pole, Richards didn’t waste any time taking the lead coming off of Turn 2 on the initial lap of the race. Once out front, Richards endured seven caution periods and lapped traffic throughout, but was able to maintain the point position to lead the 50-lap event flag-to-flag, scoring his seventh victory of the season and extending his Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series points lead.
Saturday the team traveled to Lucas Oil Speedway for the prestigious Diamond Nationals. Applying knowledge from racing at the track earlier this season, the Best Performance Motorsports team unloaded the No. 1 machine and took to the track for hot laps and qualifying. Richards ran the second quickest circuit in his hot lap group and was the fifth quickest qualifier in Group B time trials. His qualifying time lined him up in the third position for Heat Race 4. At the drop of the green flag, Richards began putting pressure on the second-place car and took over the position at the midway point of the 10-lap event. Once in second, Richards was all over the back bumper of the leader, but time ran out and he had to settle for a second-place result. His heat race finish guaranteed him the eighth starting spot for the 60-lap Feature.
Starting on the outside of Row 4, Richards was up to seventh on Lap 2 and running in sixth on Lap 5. Bunched up in traffic, Richards tried to find his preferred racing groove and continued to methodically move forward. He was scored in fifth on Lap 20 and had muscled his way to third by Lap 24. Working lapped traffic the 29-year-old continued his march forward, taking over the second position on Lap 37. With his eye on the leader, Richards continued to fight lapped traffic as he inched closer and closer to the point position. On Lap 52 the young driver finally took command of the race and once out front, he never looked back leading the remaining eight laps en route to the victory at Lucas Oil Speedway.
Richards’ outstanding weekend extended his lead in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series point standings to 220 points over second-place Scott Bloomquist.
The Best Performance Motorsports team is scheduled to return to action July 18 at Brown County Speedway in Aberdeen, S.D., before heading to I-80 Speedway in Greenwood, Neb., for the Silver Dollar Nationals.
Friday Race Results
Qualifying – 1st Heat Race –1st Feature Start –2nd Feature Finish –1st
Saturday Race Results
Qualifying – 5th Heat Race –2nd Feature Start –8th Feature Finish –1st
JOSH RICHARDS QUOTES: “What an incredible weekend. I’m so proud of my whole team and I can’t thank Best Performance Motorsports enough for this opportunity.
“Tri-City (Speedway) is really a fun track to race on. There is plenty of room out there. Our team gelled pretty quick and it’s only gotten better, especially in the last few weeks we have been running extremely well.
“It got a bit slick out there for a while. I kept searching for a line that would work best for me. With not a lot of experience here, you just don’t know where to run at certain times during the race. In this point deal, if you are going to win it, you can’t run fifth every time out and expectto win a championship, you need to win races.
“When we went to Lucas Oil Speedway Saturday, we basically went with the same set-up as Friday night, and then we made some adjustments. We weren’t that great at the beginning, but the longer the race went, the tires on the car felt good. Jimmy (Owens) was pretty good early, and he was so far out there, but he eventually came back to us. We just have to focus on being fast, the last two nights helped a lot. It can turnaround in a heartbeat.”