"I don't know what happened exactly, but I felt something change in the engine just before halfway," said
Richards. "When it happened I thought we were done, because we were definitely down huge on power all of a sudden.
But after 10 or 15 laps I was still leading and I really hadn't heard anybody, so I was like, 'I must be O.K.'
"Actually, being down on power might have helped because I could roll through the corner, run wide open and the car
stuck. I could keep all my momentum up."
Richards was chased throughout the race's second half by Smith, who started fourth. Smith closed right up on the
rear bumper of Richards's car exiting turn two several times during the final laps and stuck his machine's nose
under Richards after a lap-48 restart, but he couldn't pull off a pass.
Less than one week after Richards saw a potential victory at Lincoln (Ill.) Speedway slip through his fingers
because he tangled with a lapped car on the last lap and was then nipped at the finish line by Shane Clanton of
Locust Grove, Ga., the young sensation made it all the way to the checkered flag first.
"I saw (Smith) with like two (laps) to go," said Richards. "I slipped in three and four and I saw him flash under
me for a second, but I had enough momentum to pull him off the corner. Then I just tried to hold on for the last
"This track bit us a couple times in the past, so it's nice to come out here and finally get a win."
Smith, who turns 33 on May 31, wore a satisfied smile despite falling short of victory.
"I gave it all I had, and I'm sure (Richards) was giving it all he had," said Smith. "It was a good race. It was
"I really thought I was gonna be able to run under him coming through (turns) three and four on that last lap, but
I just over-charged the corner because I was trying not to leave anything on the racetrack and do everything I
could to win.
"We'll take second," he added. "Oh my god, we needed a paycheck worse than