latemodelamerica.com - May 13 - Delaware Int'l Speedway Part 1
LateModelAmerica.com by Sam Holbrooks

 
 
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Richards - May 13

Josh Richards claimed his fourth win of the season Thursday at Delaware Int'l Speedway. (Ron Skinner)

Just Enough: Richards Nurses Ailing Engine to 'First State 50' At Delaware International

By Kevin Kovac

DELMAR, Del. - May 13. Josh Richards had just enough power left under the hood of his Rocket Chassis house car to capture Thursday's World of Outlaws Late Model Series 'First State 50' at Delaware International Speedway.

Running more than half the A-Main's distance on what he said was seven cylinders, Richards managed to turn back a furious late-race challenge from Brady Smith to record his series-leading third victory of the 2010 WoO campaign. He is the only driver who has won more than once in the national tour's 13 events contested to date.

Richards, 22, of Shinnston, W.V. led the rough-and-tumble 50-lapper from start-to-finish, never faltering on the restarts that followed the race's nine caution flags. The defending WoO LMS champion crossed the finish line 0.244 of a second ahead of Solon Springs, Wis.'s Smith, whose runner-up placing in his Team Zero by Bloomquist mount was his best since he won the tour's second event of '10 on Feb. 13 at Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville, Fla.

The victory also moved Richards back into the WoO LMS points lead by 22 points over Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., who fell from the catbird's seat in the standings following a dismal 16th-place finish. McCreadie cut a right-rear tire while running fifth on lap 23 and later retired on lap 43 with apparent jackshaft problems after climbing back to 10th place.

"Luck was definitely on our side tonight," said Richards, who earned $10,675 for his 23rd career triumph on the WoO LMS. "We ran good in our heat, drew the outside pole (starting spot for the A-Main), were able to run up front and keep in clean air the whole way in the feature, and survived an engine problem. I guess it was just meant to be tonight."

Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky., lost second place to Smith on a lap-23 restart and battled an overheating engine for much of the distance, but he held on to finish third in his Valvoline Rocket car. Teenage Rookie of the Year contender Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del. – racing at a track just minutes from his home – advanced from the 19th starting spot to finish fourth in Dale Beitler's Rocket car, while 11th-starter Dale McDowell of Chickamauga, Ga., completed the top five in NASCAR star Clint Bowyer's Warrior Chassis after ceding fourth to Hubbard on a lap-48 restart.

The road to victory was certainly nerve-racking for Richards, who thought his tough luck in WoO LMS action at the half-mile oval was about to continue

Whaley (Amanda) - closeup - May 13

Local 15-year-old, Amanda Whaley, became only the third female driver to qualify for a World of Outlaws event at Delaware Int'l. (Kevin Kovac) 

when his Cornett engine began to sour as he set the pace. His previous disappointments at DIS included a tangle with a lapped car after leading the first 20 laps of the 2007 event and a first-lap incident in 2009 that forced him to run the remainder of the distance one lap down in an extremely beat-up machine.

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