Richards Gets Elbows Up To Reach Victory Lane For Second Time In Pevely Nationals At Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55
By Kevin Kovac, WoO LMS P.R. Director: PEVELY, MO – Sept. 14, 2013 – Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., roared back into the World of Outlaws Late Model Series spotlight with an elbows-up victory in Saturday night’s 55-lap Pevely Nationals at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55.
Twenty-four hours after absorbing a rare DNF, Richards wrestled the lead from Shannon Babb of Moweaqua, Ill., on lap 32 and turned back a late challenge from Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., to register his ninth WoO LMS triumph of 2013. The $10,650 score also made him the first driver to win twice in the seven World of Outlaws A-Mains contested since 2005 at the high-banked, one-third-mile oval.
Adding more importance to his checkered flag, Richards, 25, padded his points lead in the chase for the $100,000 WoO LMS championship to a season-high 114 points over Lanigan and Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., who ended the night tied for second in the standings. Richards can clinch his third career title on the national tour by averaging an 11th-place finish over the final five events of the campaign.
“It feels good to have a little bit of a cushion,” Richards said of his healthy edge in the World of Outlaws standings. “We lost it last night (after a broken rearend left him with a 19th-place finish at Belle-Clair Speedway in Belleville, Ill.), so it feels good to come back with a win tonight.”
Lanigan, 43, slipped by Babb for second place on lap 40 and closed up to Richards’s rear bumper with three laps remaining, but the race’s sixth and final caution flag that same circuit effectively snuffed out his bid for a first-ever win at I-55. The defending WoO LMS champion settled for his third career runner-up finish in the Pevely Nationals, crossing the finish line 0.923 of a second behind Richards.
Billy Moyer of Batesville, Ark., who won the inaugural WoO LMS event at I-55 in 2005, advanced from the 10th starting spot to finish third. A pair of DIRTcar UMP standouts – reigning national champion Brian Shirley of Chatham, Ill. and fast-rising 16-year-old Bobby Pierce of Oakwood, Ill. – came from sixth-row starting positions to place fourth and fifth, respectively.
Babb, who started from the pole position and led laps 1-31, finished 15th after bringing out the lap-52 caution flag with a slap of the turn-one wall. He was clinging to fourth place when his car’s nosepiece folded underneath its left-front wheel, causing him to slide uncontrollably into the guardrail and collect Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., and Tyler Reddick of DuQuoin, Ill.
Richards, who started fourth in his father Mark’s familiar Valvoline-sponsored Rocket Chassis house car, needed just four laps to reach second place and pulled off a head-turning outside pass exiting turn four to grab the lead from Babb for good on lap 32. But getting to the front – and staying there – was much harder than it looked to those sitting in the bleachers.
“We got the front end bent up a little bit on the first lap and it was definitely a handful to drive,” said Richards, who survived an opening-circuit scrape in turn three that left Clanton with a broken right-front suspension and a dismal 26th-place finish might have destroyed his flickering WoO LMS championship hopes. “I couldn’t really steer as good as I wanted to the rest of the race.”
Richards’s handling woes left him unable to “steer good enough to run that (outside) groove lap after lap,” but he managed to manhandle his machine around the fast-but-treacherous top side in short bursts to surge into the lead and repel Lanigan’s late threat.
After WoO LMS rookie Morgan Bagley of Longview, Texas, brought out a caution flag on lap 48 when a flat left-rear tire forced him to relinquish a top-10 spot, Lanigan tossed his Rocket car around the cushion and drew within striking distance of Richards by lap 52. It appeared Lanigan was primed to charge by Richards, but the lap-52 caution flag was the break the leader needed.
“I guess (before) that last restart Darrell went back to the top and got a run on me,” said Richards, who registered his 48th career victory on the WoO LMS. “I heard him out there and my guys were saying to move back up. As leery as I felt up there, I knew you just had to get up there and deal with it for a few more laps.
“Once I got up there and kept the speed up I knew we’d be O.K., but our car was just so tight that you just can’t steer on the throttle very well here. Those last few laps sure seemed like they took a long time to run.”
Lanigan had to resign himself to a second-place finish – a bounce-back for him as well following a 17th-place run the previous night at Belle-Clair that was caused by a late-race flat.
“We had a pretty good run going there on the top and closed in on (Richards) hard,” said Lanigan, who leads the WoO LMS with 10 wins this season. “But then we had that caution and his crew told him where to run – to go to the top. That’s what you’re supposed to do.”
Finishing in positions 6-10 was Rick Eckert of York, Pa., who quietly worked his way forward from the 17th starting spot; Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., who started alongside his father in the fifth row; third-starter Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville, Ill., who won last year’s Pevely Nationals; Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y.; and Bagley, who rallied after pitting on lap 48.
Brandon Sheppard of New Berlin, Ill., who the previous night at Belle-Clair, cracked the top five late in the distance and had just inherited fourth place thanks to Babb’s problem on lap 52 when a flat tire forced him to pit. He finished 13th.
Thirty-three cars were entered in the evening’s action.
Ohlins Shocks Time Trials were split into ‘A’ and ‘B’ groups, with the first half competing for starting positions in heats one and two and the second half racing against the clock to align heats three and four.
Heat winners were Richards, McCool, Bagley and Clanton. The B-Mains were captured by Eckert and Jim Sherech of St. Charles, Mo.
The WoO LMS will be back in action next weekend at Berlin Raceway in Marne, Mich., a 7/16th-mile asphalt track that has been covered with clay for the second annual Keyser Manufacturing ‘Down & Dirty 100′ Presented by NAPA Auto Parts. Time trials and heat races will be contested on Fri., Sept. 20, and B-Mains and the $20,000-to-win 100-lapper will be run on Sat., Sept. 21.
Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series ‘Pevely Nationals’ at Federated Auto Parts Raceway at I-55 (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (4) Josh Richards/55 $10,650
2. (8) Darrell Lanigan/55 $5,650
3. (10) Billy Moyer/55 $3,100
4. (11) Brian Shirley/55 $2,500
5. (12) Bobby Pierce/55 $2,650
6. (17) Rick Eckert/55 $2,350
7. (9) Billy Moyer Jr./55 $1,500
8. (3) Dennis Erb Jr./55 $1,350
9. (6) Tim Fuller/55 $1,750
10. (2) Morgan Bagley/55 $1,900
11. (23) Eric Wells/55 $1,600
12. (7) Bub McCool/55 $1,600
13. (14) Brandon Sheppard/55 $950
14. (22) Chub Frank/55 $1,500
15. (1) Shannon Babb/52 $850
16. (15) Tyler Reddick/52 $800
17. (25) Dewayne Kiefer/52 $820
18. (24) Jason Feger/48 $750
19. (21) Jason McBride/34 $730
20. (16) Randy Korte/33 $700
21. (18) Jim Sherech/32 $700
22. (13) Tim McCreadie/28 $1,350
23. (19) Michael Kloos/22 $700
24. (26) Jeff Herzog/2 $725
25. (20) Ricky Frankel/1 $700
26. (5) Shane Clanton/0 $1,250
* Earnings include Winners Circle program and cash contingency award bonuses
Time of Race: 35 Mins., 29.008 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.923 Secs.
Yellow Flags: 6 (laps 0, 23, 28, 33, 48, 52)
Lap Leaders: Babb (1-31); Richards (32-55)
Provisional Starters: Wells (WoO); Feger (fast time); Kiefer, Herzog (track)
Rookie of the Race: Bagley ($250)
WoO LMS ‘Bonus Bucks’ Winner: Pierce ($500)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 1-Josh Richards/Shinnston, WV 12.194
2. 57J-Bub McCool/Vicksburg, MS 12.218
3. 25F-Jason Feger/Bloomington, IL 12.279
4. 29-Darrell Lanigan/Union, KY 12.371
5. 18-Shannon Babb/Moweaqua, IL 12.397
6. 21-Billy Moyer/Batesville, AR 12.433
7. 21Jr-Billy Moyer Jr./Batesville, AR 12.454
8. b5-Brandon Sheppard/New Berlin, IL 12.502
9. 39-Tim McCreadie/Watertown, NY 12.576
10. 18-Eric Wells/Hazard, KY 12.583
11. 11-Jeff Herzog/Herculaneum, MO 12.642
12. 33-Tim Manville/Highland, IL 12.702
13. 24-Rick Eckert/York, PA 12.742
14. 6K-Michael Kloos/Trenton, IL 12.783
15. 77-Jason McBride/Carbondale, IL 12.789
16. 22-Charlie McKenna/Clear Lake, IA 12.844
17. 24HR-Ron McQuery/St. Albans, MO N/T
1. 19-Tim Fuller/Watertown, NY 12.315
2. 25-Shane Clanton/Zebulon, GA 12.317
3. 11R-Tyler Reddick/DuQuoin, IL 12.498
4. 28-Dennis Erb Jr./Carpentersville, IL 12.505
5. 3s-Brian Shirley/Chatham, IL 12.510
6. 32-Bobby Pierce/Oakwood, IL 12.531
7. 14M-Morgan Bagley/Longview, TX 12.535
8. 81-Randy Korte/Highland, IL 12.611
9. 1*-Chub Frank/Bear Lake, PA 12.638
10. 17-Jim Sherech/St. Charles, MO 12.690
11. 11d-Brian Diveley/Springfield, IL 12.852
12. 96-Tanner English/Benton, KY 12.896
13. 50-Ed Dixon/Union, MO 13.048
14. 86-Jason Crump/Festus, MO 13.370
15. 0-Dewayne Kiefer/St. Genevieve, MO N/T
16. 33F-Ricky Frankel/Quincy, IL 12.439 (DQ – light)
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Richards, Babb, Moyer Jr., McCreadie, Eckert, McBride, Herzog, Feger, McQuery
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): McCool, Lanigan, Moyer, Sheppard, Kloos, Wells, McKenna, Manville
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Bagley, Fuller, Shirley, Reddick, Frank, Diveley, Dixon, Kiefer
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 4 Transfer): Clanton, Erb, Pierce, Korte, Sherech, Frankel, English, Crump
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Eckert, Kloos, McBride, Manville, Feger, Wells, Herzog, McKenna, McQuery
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 3 Transfer): Sherech, Frankel, Frank, English, Crump, Kiefer, Dixon, Diveley
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners (awards presented to noted finisher/qualifier or next highest displaying decal:
Ohlins Shocks ($50 cash to fast qualifier): Bub McCool
Eibach Springs (one free spring to each B-Main winner): Rick Eckert/Ricky Frankel
VP Race Fuels ‘Nice Jugs’ Award: (One VP 5-gallon container to fastest qualifier who misses A-Main): Tim Manville
Wrisco Aluminum (3 sheets of aluminum to A-Main winner only): Josh Richards
Armor All (One case of product to highest-finishing non-WoO team in A-Main): Billy Moyer
Comp Cams ($50 certificate to A-Main winner): Josh Richards
QuarterMaster ($100 certificate to A-Main winner): Brian Shirley
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner): Josh Richards
STP ($50 cash to 2nd-place finisher in A-Main): Darrell Lanigan
XS Power ($50 cash to 3rd-place finisher in A-Main): Bobby Pierce
Roush Yates ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main): Bobby Pierce
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 5th-place finisher in A-Main): Bobby Pierce
Dominator ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main): Billy Moyer Jr.
American Race Wheels ($50 cash to 7th-place finisher in A-Main): Billy Moyer Jr.
VP Race Fuels ($50 cash to 8th-place finisher in A-Main): Dennis Erb Jr.
Edelbrock Manifolds ($50 cash to 9th-finisher in A-Main): Tim Fuller
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main): Morgan Bagley
XS Power ($60 product certificate to 11th-place finisher in A-Main): Eric Wells
Cometic Gasket ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main): Bub McCool
JRI Shocks ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main): Chub Frank
Super Flow Dynos ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main): Chub Frank
QuarterMaster ($25 certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main): Tyler Reddick
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 16th-place finisher in A-Main, redeemable w/next purchase of set): Dewayne Kiefer
Klotz Lubricants ($50 cash to 17th-place finisher in A-Main): Dewayne Kiefer
Roush Yates ($50 gift card to 18th-place finisher in A-Main): Dewayne Kiefer
QuarterMaster ($50 certificate to 19th-place finisher in A-Main): Jason McBride
Arizona Sport Shirts ($100 certificate to 20th-place finisher in A-Main): Tim McCreadie
JE Pistons (one complete set of JE Pro Seal rings to 21st-place finisher in A-Main, redeemable w/next purchase of set): Tim McCreadie
Roush Yates ($50 gift card to 22nd-place finisher in A-Main): Jeff Herzog
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main): Jeff Herzog
XS Power ‘Power Move of the Race’ ($60 product certificate): Josh Richards
Roush Yates ($25 gift card to driver who leads most laps in the A-Main): Shannon Babb
Reliable Painting Award (one free tire): Rick Eckert
2013 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of Sept. 14 – 43 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Josh Richards 5958
2. (tie) Shane Clanton 5844 (-114)
2. (tie) Darrell Lanigan 5844 (-114)
4. Rick Eckert 5770 (-188)
5. Tim McCreadie 5516 (-442)
6. Eric Wells 5412 (-546)
7. Tim Fuller 5402 (-556)
8. Chub Frank 5312 (-646)
9. Bub McCool 5296 (-662)
10. Morgan Bagley 5264 (-694)
11. Clint Smith 4814 (-1144)
12. Dan Stone 2546 (-3412)
The World of Outlaws Late Model Series is brought to fans across the country by many important sponsors and partners, including: American Racing Custom Wheels (Official Custom Wheel), Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company), Armor All (Official Car Care Products), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), KMC (Official Custom Truck Wheel), STP (Official Fuel Treatment), Vicci (Official Uniform), VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel), DirtonDirt.com (Hard Charger Award) and McCarthy’s One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning (Raye Vest Memorial Pill Draw Award); in addition to contingency sponsors: Butlerbuilt, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Dominator Race Products, Edelbrock, Eibach Springs, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, Klotz Synthetic Lubricants, MSD Ignition, Ohlins Shocks, QuarterMaster, Roush Yates Performance Parts, Superflow Dynos, Wrisco Aluminum and XS Power Racing Batteries; along with manufacturer sponsors Capital Race Cars, Integra Shocks, GRT Chassis, Jake’s Carts, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, TNT Rescue, and Warrior Chassis.