Richards ends five month drought in Hagerstown’s 60th Anniversary program

Date: 7/22/2007 3:55:11 AM

Richards ends five month drought in Hagerstown’s 60th Anniversary program

HAGERSTOWN, MDJust a few days past five months and 27 races later, Josh “Kid Rocket” Richards had waited for another win to come. It finally arrived Saturday night at Hagerstown Speedway in the 60th Anniversary Classic and worth $12,000 to Richards from Shinnston, WV.

Richards timed sixth quick, won the second heat race, drew the number two and then led all the way from the outside pole in the 60-lap event to record his first ever Hagerstown triumph. It was the second visit to the World of Outlaw Late Model Series to Frank Plessinger’s half mile Maryland oval this season.

The final 30 laps ran under the green flag as Richards carried a nearly two second lead at times over Clint Smith but towards the end, Smith was closing in and bringing 16th starting Jason Covert with him as they closed on the rear of the field. Crossing the stripe, Richards took the honors by .411 seconds over Smith with Covert another .58 seconds back.

“That was definitely the longest 60 laps I’ve ever ran,” Richards said. “I was a nervous wreck, but it was awesome. With the lapped traffic, I tried to pace myself so I didn’t catch them too quick. Luckily everything worked out our way and that was good.”

Following qualifying heats and the top two from each of the four heat races drawing for position, D. J. Myers, the quick timer, pulled the number one with Richards starting alongside. Richards got the edge with a run on the outside as third starting Smith and fifth starting Steve Francis quickly took the next positions with Bo Feathers dropping Myers to fifth on the second circuit.

Richards had his own way at the front and comfortably set the pace with Smith some distance behind until Richards began to close on the rear of the field. Smith closed to two lengths and was in progress of making his bid for the lead when Brian Shirley coasted to a stop on lap 16.

Following the restart, only two laps were recorded before J.T. Spence stopped in turn four.  Richards again took command while Myers went around Feathers and then passed Francis for third following the restart, but both drivers got around him to place him back in the fifth position.

Richards stretched another relaxing distance while Covert had earlier entered the top ten on lap 17 was still heading towards the front. He got by Myers and Tim Fuller to move into the fifth spot on lap 25 while Richards began closing on traffic again when David Williams came to a stop on lap 30 for the final caution.

While Richards again pulled ahead of Smith, Covert charged around Feathers on lap 31 and continued his sweep around Francis the next circuit and then began to slowly reel Smith in.  

Smith and Covert began to close the gap on Richards who was approaching the rear of the field again while Francis also stepped up the pace and closed to a few lengths of Covert when the checkered waved.

“We’ve always struggled here a little bit and tried some different stuff to try to get back on top,” Richards said. “Hopefully this will turn our season around and I can try to get some wins for these guys. It’s awesome to win this race and I appreciate all the fans coming out to watch and supporting the deal. It’s been awesome.”

Shane Clanton, winner the previous night at Virginia Motor Speedway, occupied the fifth spot after starting 13th. Sixth to ten were Fuller, Feathers, Jeremy Miller, who started 14th, Myers and Keith Jackson. 

Heats for the 46 entries were won by Francis, Richards, Fuller and Jackson with Brent Smith and Matt Lux winning the B mains.

In the accompanying Hoosier Tire Mid – Atlantic late model sportsman event, Steve Axtell of Glen Burnie, Md. put himself in victory lane for the first ever time in his three year career. Axtell finished a close second to another first time winner only two races previous and it was only a mater of time before he had his own celebration.

“This feels good,” Axtell said. “The cautions kept messing me up. I didn’t know how close the others were to me, but it goods to finally get this win. “

Cody Lear and Terry Flaherty brought the field to green as Axtell moved into second after starting sixth and snatched the lead from Flaherty on a fourth lap restart and led the fifth before the caution waved again.

Axtell pulled away to a 12 car distance with the caution displayed four times in the final ten circuits and in the final one on lap 18, pulled out to take the win by ten lengths over Flaherty.

Richard Walls held to third after passing Cory Houck on lap 15 while Andy Fries and Kyle Lear got by Houck three laps later to complete the front five. Arlin Brougher took the sixth spot on the final lap with Houck, Mike Walls, from 19th, Scott Palmer and Barry Miller rounding out the top ten.

Cody Lear, Flaherty and Al Shawver Sr. won the heats for the 25 entries with Eugene Conlee earning the St. Thomas Towing/Checkered Flag Lube hard charger for advancing 12 positions.   

Returning to action following a weekend of the Hub City Classic for the AMA motorcycles, Hagerstown with present another sanctioned show on August 4th, the 27th Annual Short Bowers/ Bull Durham (40 lap) Championship sanctioned by the IRS late model series. It will be the first appearance of the IRS group at Hagerstown for the Cindy Rowe Auto Glass late models. The Ernie’s Auto Enterprises pure stocks will also be on the program. Pit gates will open at 4 p.m. with the grandstands opening at 5 p.m. and warm-ups beginning at 7 p.m.

Hagerstown Speedway Results

World of Outlaws Late Models

Time Trials: 1.D.J.Myers, 19.811; 2.Alan Sagi, 19.915; 3.Tim Fuller, 19.946; 4.Keith Jackson, 20.046; 5.Steve Francis, 20.083; 6.Josh Richards, 20.149; 7.Bo Feathers, 20.352; 8.Clint Smith, 20.384; 9.Brent Smith, 20.391; 10.Booper Bare, 20.399; 11.Darrell Lanigan, 20.409; 12.Todd Andrews, 20.425; 13.Les Hare, 20.472; 14.Jack Pencil, 20.505; 15.David Williams, 20.516; 16.Jamie Lathroum, 20.539; 17.Jeremy Miller, 20.549; 18.Brian Shirley, 20.555; 19.Frankie Plessinger, 20.593; 20.Ronnnie DeHaven Jr.; 21.Kirk Ryan Jr., 20.684; 22.Rick Eckert, 20.689; 23.Marvin Winters, 20.707; 24.Ricky Elliott, 20.716; 25.Jeff Shearer, 20.738; 26.Darryl Hills, 20.760; 27.Billy Decker, 20.776; 28.Matt Lux, 20.785; 29.Waylon Wagner, 20.785; 30.J.T.Spence, 20.895; 31.Dan Stone, 20.946; 32.Al Shawver Jr., 20.970; 33.Chub Frank, 20.980; 34, Gary Stuhler, 21.015; 35.Ray Kable Jr, 21.017; 36.Jason Covert, 21.047; 37.Shane Clanton, 21.079; 38.D.J. Troutman, 21.111; 39.Paul Crowl, 21.119; 40.Mike Lupfer, 21.129; 41.Travis Dillman, 21.152; 42.Scott LeBarron, 21.162; 43.Vic Coffey, 21.169; 44.Jim Yoder, 21.277; 45.Devin Friese, 21.425; 46.Sean Cosgrove, 21.821 

WoO Late Model Finishing Order: 60 Laps, 46 entries, (Lap Leader Josh Richards 1-60); 1.Josh Richard; 2.Clint Smith; 3.Jason Covert; 4.Steve Francis; 5.Shane Clanton; 6.Tim Fuller; 7.Bo Feathers; 8.Jeremy Miller; 9.D.J. Myers; 10.Keith Jackson; 11.Darrell Lanigan; 12.Rick Eckert; 13.Alan Sagi; 14.Matt Lux; 15.J.T. Spence; 16.Brent Smith; 17.Marvin Winters; 18.Jack Pencil; 19.Booper Bare; 20.Ricky Elliott; 21.Darryl Hills; 22.Todd Andrews; 23.David Williams; 24.Chub Frank; 25.Brian Shirley

DNQ – Dan Stone, Devin Friese, Jeff Shearer, Jamie Lathroum, Travis Dillman, Paul Crowl, Jim Yoder, Gary Stuhler, Billy Decker, Les Hare, Ronnie DeHaven, Waylon Wagner, Ray Kable Jr., Al Shawver Jr., Kirk Ryan Jr., Mike Lupfer, D.J. Troutman, DNS- Frankie Plessinger, Sean Cosgrove, Scott LeBarron

Hoosier Tire Mid – Atlantic Late Model Sportsman, 20 Laps )Lap Leaders 1.Terry Flaherty 1-4, Steve Axtell Jr. 5-20): 1.Steve Axtell; 2.Terry Flaherty; 3.Richard Walls; 4.Andy Fries; 5.Kyle Lear; 6.Arlin Brougher; 7.Cory Houck; 8.Mike Walls; 9.Scott Palmer; 10.Barry Miller; 11.Al Shawver Jr.; 12.Michael Collins; 13.Dugen Conlee (Hard Charger) 14.Cody Lear; 15.Brian Lessley; 16.Howie Bussard; 17.Nick Pappas; 18.Scott Adams; 19.Ashley Barrett; 20.Curt Shreiner; 21.Tom Lainhart; 22.Pete Weaver; 23.James Myers; 24.Donnie Dawson; 25.Barry Lear Sr.


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