ST MARYS, Ohio, (April 10, 2017) – In his first-ever appearance at Batesville (Ark.) Motor Speedway, Josh Richards brought home an impressive fourth-place finish in Saturday night’s Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series 98-lap finale.
The two-night show at the three-eights-mile Arkansas track began Friday with qualifying and heat races. The Best Performance Motorsports driver started the evening by turning the second fastest qualifying lap in Group B. Richards’ time trial effort lined him up on the pole for Heat Race 4. Starting first, the West Virginia native easily pulled away from the field leading all 12 laps to capture the victory. His Heat Race win guaranteed him the fourth starting spot for Saturday’s 98-lap event.
Starting on the outside of Row 2 for the Feature, Richards slipped to sixth before he could make his way down to the bottom groove on Lap 5. Once in his preferred racing groove, Richards remained in sixth until a Lap 26 caution. On the ensuing restart Richards was forced back to eighth and he maintained that position until a Lap 41 caution period. Again, caught on the outside for the restart, Richards slipped back to 11th before he was able to get to the bottom of the race track on Lap 45. Once the 29-year-old was back in his preferred racing line, he began his march forward and just 10 laps later he was scored in eighth. Though the field began to spread out, Richards continued to make up ground on the frontrunners, picking off one position at a time. At Lap 70 he was up to sixth and at Lap 80 he had cracked the top-five and was running in fifth. With the track beginning to rubber and the frontrunners spread out single-file, Richards maintained his position until a Lap 95 caution moved him to fourth. With three laps remaining, the field was stacked for a single-file restart. At the drop of the green flag, Richards held his position until the checkered flag flew earning a fourth-place finish in the Bad Boy 98.
Richards remains in the second position in the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series point standings after racing at Batesville Motor Speedway.
The Best Performance Motorsports Team is scheduled to return to action April 20-23 for four nights of racing at Atomic Speedway in Chillicothe, Ohio; Sharon Speedway in Burghill, Ohio; Hagerstown (Md.) Speedway; and Port Royal (Pa.) Speedway.
Friday Race Results
Qualifying – 2nd Heat Race – 1st
Saturday Race Results
Feature Start -4th Feature Finish – 4th
JOSH RICHARDS QUOTES: “I’ll take a fourth-place finish for never having raced at Batesville Motor Speedway before. The car was ok early and got better later as the track gripped up a little bit. I’m definitely happy I was able to get back up through the field.
“I think we had a really good car at the end. I could roll the corner really good. Once I got a rhythm going, I got better and better and I think some other guys started to fade. We needed that good solid finish. We’ll go home and work on the car to get it ready to race in a couple of weeks.”