ST MARYS, Ohio (April 4, 2017) – Josh Richards highlighted a weekend of racing in the south with a second-place finish at Boyd’s Speedway in Ringgold, Ga., on Friday. Richards rounded out the weekend with an 11th-place finish at East Alabama Motor Speedway in Phenix City, Ala., on Saturday and a 14th-place effort at Duck River Raceway Park in Wheel, Tenn., on Sunday.
The Best Performance Motorsports team began their weekend of racing Friday at Boyd’s Speedway, a new track for Richards. Never having been to the facility, Richards took to the track for the first time during hot laps and was third quickest in his group. Next up was qualifying where the 29-year-old qualified 13th in Group B. His time trial effort lined him up in seventh for his Heat Race, and Richards advanced three positions to finish fourth in the 10-lap event. With the top-four cars in each Heat Race transferring into the main event, Richards was guaranteed the 14th starting spot for the 50-lap Feature.
Staring on the outside of Row 7, Richards began to methodically work his way forward as he tried to find his preferred racing groove. At Lap 15 he was up to 11th and just four laps later he had cracked the top-10 and was running in ninth when he narrowly avoided a multi-car pile-up. Restarting in seventh, the Best Performance Motorsports driver maintained his position until another near miss on Lap 30, when a car spun directly in front of him. The No.1 machine lined up in sixth for the ensuing restart and Richards was determined to get to the front of the field. At Lap 40 he had muscled his way up to second and was gaining ground on the leader. Though he did all he could, Richards ran out of laps, ultimately bringing home an impressive runner-up finish in his first race at the Georgia-based track.
Saturday, the team traveled to East Alabama Motor Speedway and started the evening turning the third quickest circuit overall in hot laps. Richards went on to qualify 12th, lining him up in fourth for Heat Race 3. Richards maintained his position throughout the 10-lap event, which guaranteed him the 12th staring spot for the 60-lap A-Main.
Lining up in 12th, Richards quickly jumped to eighth in just two laps. He remained in the eighth spot until the caution-flag flew at Lap 10. On the ensuing restart, Richards slipped back to 11th before he could get back into his preferred racing groove. Shortly after the green-flag waved, the field began to spread out single-file and advancing became difficult. Richards maintained his position for the remaining 40 laps to finish 11th in a race that saw little-to-no passing.
Sunday, Richards and crew arrived at Duck River Raceway Park for the final event of the weekend. The West Virginia native began the evening by running the second quickest circuit in hot laps. Richards then went on to qualify seventh. His time trial effort lined him up in third for Heat Race 1. Shortly after the drop of the green flag, Richards began to slip back as he had a right-rear tire going down. Though he had a flat tire, Richards was able to hang on to finish seventh. With only the top-six advancing to the Feature, Richards was forced to run a B-Main. Starting on the pole, the young driver led all 12 laps en route to the B-Main win.
Starting in 19th for the 50-lap Feature, Richards was forced back to the 22nd position just after the green-flag flew. On a mission to work his way forward, Richards advance five spots to be scored in 17th at Lap 10. Although it was difficult to pass, the Best Performance Motorsports driver refused to give up and fought his way inside the top-15 at Lap 20. Running in 14th at Lap 25, Richards gave it all he had to continue his march forward, but with the track rubbering, passing became nearly impossible. Richards was forced to ride out the remaining 25 laps single-file, crossing the finish line in 14th.
Richards sits in the second position in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series point standings after racing at Duck River Raceway Park.
The Best Performance Motorsports Team is scheduled to return to action April 7-8 at Batesville (Ark.) Motor Speedway for the Bad Boy 98.
Friday Race Results
Qualifying – 13th Heat Race – 4th Feature Start – 14th Feature Finish – 2nd
Saturday Race Results
Qualifying –12th Heat Race – 4th Feature Start -12th Feature Finish – 11th
Sunday Race Results
Qualifying – 7th Heat Race – 7th Feature Start – 19th Feature Finish – 14th
JOSH RICHARDS QUOTES: “We had our work cut out for us this weekend. I had never been to Boyd’s Speedway before and I hadn’t been to Easy Alabama (Motor Speedway) in 12 years. It took me a little time to figure out the tracks, but I was able to work my way forward at Boyd’s to bring home a second-place finish.
“I felt like we had a decent car at East Alabama, but it was impossible to pass, so we just had to ride it out. I did all I could, but we were just strung out single-file.
“We had a great start to the night at Duck River, but we had a flat tire in our Heat Race and that put us in the back of the pack for the Feature. I was able to make up some ground early, but the track rubbered and there just wasn’t any passing after the halfway mark.
“I have to thank my Best Performance Motorsports crew for working so hard all weekend. They did a great job, the track conditions just weren’t ideal.”