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Josh Richards Goes For Hat Trick At Cornwall Motor Speedway

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Josh Richards Goes For A World of Outlaws Late Model Series Hat Trick On Sunday (June 20) At Cornwall Motor Speedway


CORNWALL, ONT - June 19, 2010 - Josh Richards is undefeated at Cornwall Motor Speedway. On Sunday night (June 20), he’ll try to keep his perfect record intact when the World of Outlaws Late Model Series returns to Ron Morin’s finely-manicured quarter-mile oval for the third straight year.


The defending WoO LMS champion has simply owned the national tour’s action at Cornwall, winning both previous A-Mains contested there in strikingly similar fashion. Pulling off a hat trick would add another accomplishment to the 22-year-old driver’s ever-lengthening resume and keep him front-and-center in the eyes of the big, passionate crowd that is expected for Sunday’s 50-lap, $10,000-to-win spectacular.


“We’ve been real good there the last two years,” said Richards, the WoO LMS points leader and winningest driver of 2010 as the eight-race ‘Great Northern Tour’ swing hits its midway point. “After I went out on the track for the first time (for hot laps in 2008), it had so much moisture in it and so much grip I didn’t know what would happen or if we could win. But it really seemed to come to us and ended up being one of my favorite tracks.


“It’s just a fun little racetrack,” he continued. “It starts out really fast and by feature time you can race all over it. It’s a place where there’s a lot of stuff happening real fast, and for some reason I guess that made me adapt to it real quick.”


The unblemished success that Richards, 22, of Shinnston, W.Va., has enjoyed at Cornwall points to his maturation as a full-fledged dirt Late Model superstar. When he won there in 2008 it was his first-ever A-Main score in Canada and the ninth overall triumph of his young Outlaw career, marked the first time he had been victorious on a small quarter-mile bullring and was perhaps the most hard-earned and dramatic triumph of his racing life to that point; now he sits second on the tour’s alltime win list with 24 victories and has proven adept at mastering tracks both big and small, high-banked and flat, fast and slow.


In the historic 2008 WoO LMS event at Cornwall, Richards started from the pole position but quickly slipped back to third place. He fought back, however, to take the lead from 2006 series champion Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y. – a North Country favorite son who recorded the first major win of his racing career at Cornwall in a 1996 DIRTcar 358-Modified special – on lap 40 and march to a champagne-soaked Victory Lane celebration.


Last year Richards had McCreadie’s number again at Cornwall. After starting from the pole position but being outgunned for the lead at the initial start, Richards drove by McCreadie to assume command on lap 15 and never was headed. McCreadie settled for occupying the runner-up spot on Cornwall’s post-race podium for the second consecutive year.


Richards plans to enter Sunday’s action in the same Seubert Calf Ranches Rocket car – a machine owned by his father and Rocket Chassis co-owner Mark Richards – that he steered to the checkered flag last year at Cornwall. The proven mount was brand-new for the start of last year’s Great Northern Tour and sat in the winner’s circle in its debut run, on June 18, 2009, at Ohsweken (Ont.) Speedway.


“This car has been real good to us – especially in Canada,” said Richards, who has three career WoO LMS victories north of the border. “It looks like we’ll run it again at Cornwall and hopefully we’ll be able to make it three in a row.”


Win or lose, Richards will receive plenty of attention from the Cornwall fans who swarm the pit area before the race to get close-up views of the dirt Late Model cars and chat with the drivers. He’s noticed that the Canadian races produce some of the most electric atmospheres on the WoO LMS schedule.


“Cornwall is cool,” said Richards. “Just like at all the Canadian shows we run, there’s a ton of fans there, and all the Canadians come up to our car in the pits and really look it over – I guess because our cars are so much different from the Modifieds they’re used to seeing. People ask different questions than we hear anywhere else. They just want to learn more about these cars.


“Every year we go up (to Canada) the fans show more interest. This trip to Canada (the Great Northern Tour also listed dates at Merrittville Speedway in Thorold, Ont., and Quebec’s Autodrome Drummond on June 19) is definitely what we need (for the series). Year after year it’s getting more and more attention and just building bigger and bigger.


“When the fans excited for you to be there,” he concluded, “it just makes you that much more pumped up and excited to go out there and race.”


Richards and McCreadie will headline Cornwall’s WoO LMS field. They will arrive at the speedway in a tightening three-driver battle with 2008 champion Darrell Lanigan of Union, Ky., who owns Cornwall finishes of fourth (2008) and third (2009), at the top of the 2010 points standings.


The fulltime Outlaws roster for Cornwall will also include Tim Fuller of Watertown, N.Y. (a former DIRTcar 358-Modified winner at Cornwall), Steve Francis of Ashland, Ky. (still seeking his first top-five at Cornwall), rookie Austin Hubbard of Seaford, Del. (finished fifth in last year’s event), Rick Eckert of York, Pa. (high of fifth in 2008), Shane Clanton of Locust Grove, Ga. (third in 2008), Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., Clint Smith of Senoia, Ga., Russell King of Bristolville, Ohio, Brent Robinson of Smithfield, Va., and rookie Jill George of Cedar Falls, Iowa.


Among the other drivers expected are DIRTcar Modified regulars (and Fuller’s Gypsum Racing teammates) Billy Decker of Unadilla, N.Y., and Larry Wight of Baldwinsville, N.Y., Dan Stone of Thompson, Pa., DIRTcar 358-Modified veteran Peter Mantha Jr. of Gatineau, Que., Greg Oakes of Franklinville, N.Y., Darren Peters of Fort Erie, Ont., and April Farmer of Livingston, Tenn.


Sunday night’s racing program, which also includes Cornwall’s regular DIRTcar 358-Modified, Pro-Stock, Semi-Pro and Mini-Stock divisions, is scheduled to begin with hot laps at 5:30 p.m. and WoO LMS time trials at 6 p.m. The pit gates will open at 3:30 p.m. and general admission gates will be unlocked at 4 p.m.


General admission tickets are $40 (Canadian) for adults and $28 for students (ages 13-17) and seniors (ages 65-plus), with kids 12-and-under admitted free when accompanied by an adult. Pit admission is $45 with a DIRTcar Racing membership and $50 for non-members.


For more information, visit www.cornwallspeedway.com or call 613-938-3945.


Additional info on the WoO LMS is available by logging on to www.worldofoutlaws.com.

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