Josh Richards Dominates World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series Opener at DIRTcar Nationals

Matt Sheppard wins thrilling Super DIRTcar Series victory

BARBERVILLE, FL – February 19, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Josh Richards dominated the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series DIRTcar Nationals opener on Thursday night at Volusia Speedway Park.

Richards, a three-time series champion, took the top position in his qualifying group earlier in the night and then battled through lapped traffic and held off Dale McDowell in the 50-lap feature to score his first series win of the season. The 27-year-old Richards entered DIRTcar Nationals with a string of wins and top-five runs, and built momentum into the series opener.

“It has been a lot of fun,” Richards said. “We gambled a little bit on tires, so I was kind of nervous and didn’t know how it was going to hold up. We got stuck in lapped traffic and actually moved up [the race track] and gained speed.

“The guys have been giving me great cars every night, it’s been a dream to drive them, and it has been a fun speed weeks.”

Matt Sheppard, the reigning Super DIRTcar Series champion, entered DIRTcar Nationals after an off-season of flux saw him start his own team. The driver proved Thursday night that in spite of the challenges, he is still one to beat.

Larry Wight, last year’s DIRTcar Nationals Big-Block Week champion, started on the feature pole but lost the lead after a short battle with Rick Laubach. Laubach led the field for 22 laps, holding off the previous night’s winner Tim Fuller. As Laubach tried to work his way through traffic, Sheppard closed with Wight close behind. Sheppard and Wight got the run on Laubach and quickly drove around.

“This is unreal,” Sheppard said of his victory. “It was such a crazy off-season for us; building this team in such a short period of time. We can say I’m going out on my own but not really. I got a ton of great people that have stepped up to help out. Everything really came together. The crew has been busting their butt all night on this car. We had trouble in qualifying, we had trouble in the heat race and they never gave up. Man two races in and we are sitting in Victory Lane already that is awesome.”

Nightly doubleheaders at Volusia run through Saturday, Feb. 20. The World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series return for night two at DIRTcar Nationals as the Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds takes on its night three.

For more information and updates on the DIRTcar Nationals, click or follow on Twitter at @DIRTcarNats.

DIRTcar Nationals Statistical Report; Feb. 18, 2016; Volusia Speedway Park; Barberville, Fla.

World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series A-Feature (50 Laps) –
1. 1-Josh Richards, 2. 17M-Dale McDowell, 3. 6-Jonathan Davenport, 4. 0-Scott Bloomquist, 5. 7-Rick Eckert, 6. 22s-Gregg Satterlee, 7. 5-Don O’Neal, 8. 25F-Jason Feger, 9. 14M-Morgan Bagley, 10. 25-Shane Clanton, 11. C9-Steve Casebolt, 12. 99B-Boom Briggs, 13. 18-Eric Wells, 14. 15-Steve Francis, 15. 1*-Chub Frank, 16. 3s-Brian Shirley, 17. 18c-Chase Junghans, 18. 38s-Kenny Pettyjohn, 19. 2F-Dennis Franklin, 20. 77-Jordan Yaggy, 21. 99j-Frank Heckenast Jr, 22. 76-Brandon Overton, 23. 20-Jimmy Owens, 24. 39-Tim McCreadie, 25. 21-Ivedent Lloyd Jr, 26. 11-Austin Smith, 27. 28E-Dennis Erb Jr, 28. 1W-Dillon Wood, 29. 16-Justin Rattliff

Super DIRTcar Series Big-Block Modifieds A-Feature (30 Laps) –
1. 9s-Matt Sheppard, 2. 99L-Larry Wight, 3. 7-Rick Laubach, 4. 44-Stewart Freisen, 5. 25R-Erick Rudolph, 6. 49-Billy Dunn, 7. 19-Tim Fuller, 8. 1-Billy Pauch, 9. 20-Brett Hearn, 10. 1T-Tyler Dippel, 11. 07-Tim Kerr, 12. 32c-Vic Coffey, 13. 21a-Pete Britten, 14. 54-Steve Bernard, 15. 14J-Alan Johnson, 16. 74-J.R Heffner, 17. 27J-Danny Johnson, 18. 5*-Tyler Siri, 19. 83-Brian Swartzlander, 20. 1G-Darwin Green, 21. 6m-Mat Williamson, 22. 323-Neal Williams, 23. 85-H.J. Bunting, 24. 48T-Dave Rauscher, 25. 28p-Eldon Payne, 26. 5-Billy VanInwegen

DIRTcar Nationals Day-by-Day Schedule (Grandstands open at 5 p.m.)

  • Friday, Feb. 19 – World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series & Super DIRTcar Series
  • Saturday, Feb. 20 – World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series & Super DIRTcar Series

The 2016 DIRTcar Nationals is supported by Budweiser, Daytona Harley-Davidson, Hampton Inn-Palm Coast, Integrity Painting with Valspar, Ring Power CAT, and Safety-Kleen. The World of Outlaws are brought to fans by official partners: Bad Boy Buggies (Official Side-by-Side Vehicle), The Kenny Wallace Dirt Racing Experience (Official Racing Experience), Hoosier Racing Tires (Official Racing Tires), Morton Buildings (Official Building), and VP Racing Fuel (Official Racing Fuel). Additional support is provided by Arizona Sport Shirts (Official Apparel Company of WoO Late Model), (WoO Late Model Hard Charger Award), and Chevrolet Performance. Contingency sponsors include: ASI, Beyea Headers, Bicknell Racing Products, Bilstein Shocks, Cometic Gasket, Comp Cams, Edelbrock, Fox Shocks, JE Pistons, JRI Shocks, KSE Racing Products, Mobil 1, MSD Performance, Penske Racing Shocks, Ohlins Shocks, QA1, QuarterMaster, Sweet Manufacturing, Superflow Dynos and Wrisco Aluminum Manufacturer sponsors include: Capital Race Cars, Impact Racing Products, Intercomp, Motorsports Safety Systems, Racing Electronics, Rocket Chassis, S&S Volvo, and TNT Rescue.