- Aug 1 - Eriez Speedway by Sam Holbrooks


Josh Richards - Gregg Satterlee - Eriez Speedway World of Outlaws

Josh Richards passes regional ace Gregg Satterlee for the lead in Sunday's World of Outlaws event at Eriez (N.Y.) Speedway. (Todd Battin)

Josh Richards at Eriez Speedway. (Todd Battin)
World of Outlaws: Richards Back in Limelight at Eriez

Kevin Kovac

HAMMETT, Pa. — Aug. 1. Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., snapped a month-long victory drought on the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, romping to a convincing win in Sunday's 50-lap ‘Ohio-Pennsylvania Speedweek’ finale at Eriez Speedway.

The national tour’s defending champion and current points leader authored one of the season’s most dominating performances, running away from the field after passing Gregg Satterlee of Rochester Mills, Pa., for the lead on lap 11. He had little trouble negotiating lapped traffic on his way to a winning margin of 8.039 seconds – roughly half a lap – over distant runner-up Ron Davies.

Ron Davies finished a distant but no less impressive second behind Richards at Eriez.

(Todd Battin)









 It was the series-leading sixth win of 2010 for Richards, who had been winless since capturing the first Firecracker 100 preliminary A-Main on June 24 at Lernerville Speedway in Sarver, Pa. He pocketed $10,675 for his flawless effort in a race that ran caution-free – the second consecutive WoO LMS event to go non-stop from start-to-finish.

“It was an awesome night,” said Richards, who registered his 26th career win on the tour. “We’ve had a fast car this whole trip but had some bad redraws (for A-Main starting spots), so tonight we finally started up front (the pole position) and really got to show what we had. The car was just phenomenal.”

Richards, 22, was outgunned for the top spot at the initial green flag by Satterlee, but once he worked his Seubert Calf Ranches Rocket machine into the lead he was never threatened. He lapped up to the 13th-place finisher and took the checkered flag just a few car lengths behind the back of a tight pack of cars that were all within striking distance of fourth place.

Tim McCreadie - Chris Hackett - Eriez Speedway World of Outlaws

Chris Hackett (#33) races outside of Tim McCreadie before taking an impressive fourth place at Eriez. (Todd Battin)

“I knew we were pretty good because of the way we could move around in the lapped cars,” said Richards, who also won at Eriez when the tour visited Bobby Rohrer’s facility for the first time in 2007. “But I didn’t know how far ahead we were.

Davies, 52, might have been the only driver who appeared capable of making Richards sweat after he swept into second place on lap 20 and cut into Richards’s edge over the next six laps, but his struggles to dispose of lapped cars left him well behind the leader. He settled for a career-best WoO LMS finish and earned the $500 ‘Bonus Bucks’ cash for being the highest-finishing driver who hasn’t won a series A-Main and wasn’t ranked among the top 12 in the points standings.

The red-hot Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., finished third after starting sixth, extending his unprecedented streak of consecutive top-three finishes to nine. He won three of the five Ohio-Pennsylvania events and ended the swing second in the WoO LMS points standings, 28 points behind Richards.

Chris Hackett of Erie, Pa., a regular at the one-third-mile oval, recorded a career-best WoO LMS finish of fourth after starting 11th and making a late-race surge into the top five, and 10th-starter Rick Eckert of York, Pa., placed fifth after Satterlee ceded the position on the final lap by sliding high off turn two and tumbling all the way to 12th in the final rundown.

Richards said following the race that the end of his rare 12-race losing streak in WoO LMS competition came with some help from the same source of good fortune that Lanigan hailed for his turnaround. His left wrist sported several lucky Silly Bandz that he received from the young son of Lanigan’s fiancée, Erin.

Rick Eckert - Tim McCreadie - Eriez Speedway World of Outlaws

Rick Eckert races by #39 Tim McCreadie before taking a fifth place finish at Eriez. (Todd Battin)

Lanigan, of course, credited his improved luck to wearing the Silly Bandz that his fiancee’s boy, Gavin, gave to him before heading off to Ohio-Pennsylvania Speedweek. The 2008 champion didn’t know that Gavin also gave Richards a few of the colorful rubber bracelets when he attended Saturday night’s event at Muskingum County Speedway in Zanesville, Ohio.

“Darrell was up there at the (A-Main) draw and he said, ‘I feel like you’re gonna' get the eight and I’m gonna' get the pole,’” commented Richards. “I’m like, ‘OK.’ Well, I picked the pole and he got a six, and he was, like, shaking his head.

“Then I showed him those Bandz,” Richards continued with a smile on his face, “and he was trying to rip ‘em off me.”

Lanigan, 40, playfully tried to keep the suddenly in-demand lucky charm to himself, but he understood that Richards’s performance was more than a product of good fortune.

“Josh was in a class of his own tonight,” said Lanigan, who ran fifth for most of the distance before slipping by Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y., for fourth on lap 41 and Satterlee for third on lap 42. “I’m just happy to get a third. I said if we can come out of here with a top five we’d be doing real good, because I haven’t been real good up at this track.”

Davies, meanwhile, does have a strong track record at Eriez and proved his knowledge of the bullring against the World of Outlaws stars. He fell from the third starting spot to fifth early in the A-Main, but he picked up the pace with his MasterSbilt by Mars car and drove by Fuller, Lanigan and Satterlee in a three-lap span to reach second on lap 20.

“My tires finally fired when we got by Darrell and those guys, and I thought, Well, maybe we got a shot at winning this thing,” said Davies. “But lapped traffic was a factor – the lapped cars just weren’t getting out of the way. We dinged up some quarter-panels trying to get past them.

“If we had gotten some cautions, I think it would’ve been a good race. I think we had a shot at it if we had a clear racetrack. We were pretty good in one and two; we were slipping a little bit in three and four, but I could see we were catching (Richards) at one point (before entering lapped traffic).”

Despite falling short of an upset win, Davies wore a big smile after the race. It was definitely the highlight of his otherwise quiet 2010 season. Between works commitments and the left thumb injury he suffered in late June (he cut tendons and is still not fully healed), he’s made less than a dozen starts this year.

“Congrats to Kid Rocket and those guys. They’re a great team,” said Davies, whose daughter, Michelle, is dating WoO LMS regular Shane Clanton of Fayetteville, Ga. “I’m just a little guy here, but we had a lot of fun. We run second – that’s almost like a win for us.

“These guys race for a living and I race for a hobby, so it’s great to go race with them because they’re all clean racers. I raced three nights with them this weekend and I had a great time.”

Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., finished sixth, missing out on a top-five finish by less a car length after being in the middle of a wild late-race scrum for fourth place and back. Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who started eighth, cracked the top five on lap 45 but was shuffled back to seventh at the finish, while Fuller settled for eighth after running in the top five for virtually the entire distance. Clanton advanced from the 15th starting spot to finish ninth and Eriez standout Mike Knight of Ripley, N.Y., rounded out the top 10, salvaging a night that began with him spinning into the infield during time trials due to a broken steering shaft.

August 1st - WoO - Eriez Speedway
1) Josh Richards, 2) Ron Davies, 3) Darrell Lanigan, 4) Chris Hackett, 5) Rick Eckert, 6) Steve Francis, 7) Tim McCreadie, 8) Tim Fuller, 9) Shane Clanton, 10) Mike Knight, 11) Clint Smith, 12) Gregg Satterlee, 13) Scott Johnson, 14) Robbie Blair, 15) Russell King, 16) Austin Hubbard (prov.), 17) Rick ‘Boom’ Briggs, 18) Dave Hess Jr./, 19) Chub Frank, 20) John Lobb, 21) Jason Morell (prov.), 22) Andy Boozel, 23) Dutch Davies, 24) Brent Robinson (prov.), 25. Vic Coffey
Fast Time (38 entries): Ron Davies (15.586 secs.); Heat winners: Davies, Lanigan, Briggs, Satterlee; B-Main winners: Johnson, Frank

Todd Battin photo

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