Richards is interviewed by World of Outlaws announcer Rick Eshelman after his second win of the weekend on
the tour, at Hagerstown. (Kevin
Richards Sweeps Weekend With
HAGERSTOWN, Md. - May 14. Defending champion and current point leader, Josh Richards dominated
Hagerstown Speedway’s 29th annual "Conococheague 50" World of Outlaws late model 50-lap event Saturday to pick
up the $10,000 victory by .0718 seconds over Darrell Lanigan.
It was his fourth WoO triumph of the season and second in a row following his "First State 50" win
at Delaware on Thursday. Having won Hagerstown’s opener, he also became the first two time winner in his second
Richards, of Shinnston, W.V., almost owned the entire evening after having the night’s second
quickest time of 18.182 seconds while Rick Eckert set a new one lap record of 18.096, bettering the July 8, 2005
time set by Billy Moyer. Richards also followed Marvin Winters across the line in heat race two just as Winters’
engine exploded going into turn one. He then pulled the number two to sit on the front row alongside Steve
Francis, last year’s event winner and fourth quick timer.
Richards led all but lap 18, which was led by Francis, and eventually took the checkered over
Lanigan who powered around Francis on the final turn.
“Tonight, I was a nervous wreck in this car,” Richards said. “When you’re in the lead, you don’t
know really where to go. I ran the top for awhile and then moved down. It’s been an awesome week. I hope we keep
it up the rest of the year.”
Francis dumped his racer into the first turn ahead of Richards, but Richards powered off the second
turn to assume the lead down the backstretch with D.J. Myers and Eckert following.
When Richards closed on rear traffic, Francis was giving Richards a workout and got under him to
lead the 18th lap, but Richards got up on the wheel and regained the position before the first caution came out
on lap 20 when Tim McCreadie came to a stop on the front stretch.
Prior to the yellow, seventh starting Nick Dickson took third from Myers while Eckert also dropped
him a spot on the 22nd circuit.
Francis gained on Richards just prior to a lap 30 yellow when Shane Clanton dumped fluid on the
track with 13th starting Lanigan taking fourth from Eckert following the restart.
The final yellow was displayed just when Eckert crossed the line in fifth and his engine
parts needed picked up from the track. Lanigan took third from Dickson two laps following the restart as
Richards continued to hold a several car advantage over Francis but in the closing laps, Lanigan was coming and
powered around the outside exiting the fourth turn.
“We were pretty good on the top and he went to the bottom to protect it and we got around him,”
“We didn’t need those caution flags,” Francis said. “It seemed my car ran better the longer we run.
I could get to him…beside him. I think if we could have got out front and got some green, we’d have been
Jason Covert also was battling his way to the front and came on strong towards the end after
starting 11th. Covert got past Tim Fuller with three to go and then dropped Dickson to fifth on the final
29th annual "Conococheague
1. Josh Richards; 2.
Darrell Lanigan; 3. Steve Francis; 4. Jason Covert; 5. Nick Dickson; 6.
Tim Fuller; 7. Brady Smith; 8. J.T. Spence; 9. Austin Hubbard; 10. Vic
Coffey; 11. Chub Frank; 12. Frankie Plessinger (prov.); 13. Clint
Smith; 14. Dan Stone; 15. Brant Robinson; 16. Jill George (prov.); 17.
Rick Eckert; 18. D.J. Myers; 19. Russ King (prov.); 20. Shane Clanton;
21. Jamie Lathroum; 22. Gary Stuhler; 23. Jeremy Miller; 24. Tim
McCreadie; 25. Marvin Winters (37 entries)
Heat winners: Eckert, Winters, Lathroum, McCreadie; B-Main Winners:
Chub Frank, Clint Smith
Kevin Kovac photo