Richards Completes Firecracker Prelim Sweep
SARVER, Pa. – Josh Richards completed an unprecedented sweep of the Firecracker 100 Presented by GottaRace.com preliminary events with a victory in Saturday afternoon’s postponed 30-lap World of Outlaws Late Model Series A-Main at Lernerville Speedway.
The two-time WoO LMS champion started from the pole position and led the entire distance to become the first driver to win both Firecracker 100 preliminary features since the weekend was expanded to three full nights of racing in 2010. He earned $6,150 for his fifth triumph of the season on the national tour with his father Mark’s Valvoline-sponsored Rocket Chassis house car.
Shane Clanton shared the front row with Richards for the start and chased the WoO LMS points leader from flag-to-flag. He closed within a couple car lengths of Richards in the final laps but settled for a second-place finish, .397 of a second behind the victor.
Jared Landers placed third, earning a career-best finish on the WoO LMS. Austin Hubbard and Gregg Satterlee completed the top five after swapping the fourth position twice.
Richards, 25, cited his performance in Ohlins Shocks Time Trials and his heat race for propelling him to the checkered flag on a challenging track surface baked by the afternoon sun. Heavy rain on the event’s originally-scheduled date on Friday night forced officials to run the program on Saturday afternoon before the evening’s Firecracker 100 finale.
“The pill draw was huge,” said Richards, who picked the pole position for the A-Main in the redraw among heat winners, “but we still had to earn our spot up front. We went out second-to-last in qualifying (Group ‘B’), but I knew we had a really good car so I just tried to make a smooth lap and we ended up qualifying fifth. Then I was able to get by (Ron) Davies there in the heat (for the win); I had to make the move early because I knew once everybody got in line it would be hard to pass and we were able to get that done.”