Richards Grabs His First Granite City Win With Determination And Know How
"This is only about the third or fourth time I have ever run here. There is no doubt that it's a fun track to race on," said Richards. "There is plenty of room out there. I must thank my crew; Randall and Tyler; for the set-up on this Rocket Chassis. Our team gelled pretty quick and it's only gotten better, especially in the last few weeks we have been running extremely well and a lot of that success goes to Andy Durham of Durham Race Engines".
Richards was the fastest qualifier in Group B and won his heat to start on the outside of the front row. Brian Shirley sat on the pole.
Richards took off on the first lap creating enough distance over second-place that he was only truly challenged for the lead once. This dominant performance allowed him to lead all 50 laps.
Tim McCreadie started seventh and was able to gather enough speed to close the gap on Richards, starting his run in earnest with 10 laps to go. A caution with five laps to go slowed the challenger's momentum, allowing Richards to create distance and coast into victory lane.
McCreadie saw his second-place finish as a successful result after having a hard time in his last couple of races.
"We struggled in a few races last weekend, so we went back to the baseline we had been using, and it helped tremendously," McCreadie said. "The car was fast right from the start. At the start of the race, we were all running close together and there was some beating and banging, but that's all a part of it. We got it going there once we cleared Jimmy [Owens] and I thought I had a shot at Josh, but he's so tough to beat. To bring the Sweeteners Plus Longhorn home in second is definitely a step forward after last weekend."
Don O'Neal grabbed the last podium spot after starting in ninth position. The top-five was rounded out by Brian Shirley and Jimmy Owens who battled for fourth until the last lap.
Going into Friday's race Richards' already had the lead in the points' standing, but only by a slim margin of 10 points over Scott Bloomquist after last Saturday's race at Smoky Mountain Speedway in Maryville, TN. This win and Bloomquist's lackluster 20th-place finish propelled Richards to a 140-point lead.
"It got a bit slick out there for a while," said Richard. "I kept searching for a line that would work best for me. With not a lot of experience here, you just don't know where to run at certain times during the race. In this points' deal, if you are going to win it, you should be consistent. You can't run fifth every time out and expect to win a championship, you need to win races."
Top 10 Finishers
1. Josh Richards
2. Tim McCreadie
3. Don O'Neal
4. Brian Shirley
5. Jimmy Owens
6. Shannon Babb
7. Hudson O'Neal
8. Gregg Satterlee
9. Earl Pearson, Jr.
10. Billy Moyer