KNOXVILLE, IOWA – Josh Richards picked up his fifth Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of the season on Friday Night at Knoxville Raceway. Richards took the lead from Shannon Babb and then pulled away for the win on the second preliminary night. For Richards it was his 26th overall win of the season.


Owens and Babb had a near photo-finish for second at the finish line, with Owens just edging out Babb for the runner-up spot. Dale McDowell came home in fourth, followed by Mike Marlar.


Richards, who has four runner-up finishes in his career in the Saturday Night finale of the Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals, set himself up for a good starting spot, completing a perfect night in points. Richards started seventh and took the lead with nine laps to go from Babb.


Richards; in the Mark Richards Racing/Valvoline/Seubert Calf Ranches/Rocket House Car; was happy with his car’s performance. “We had a good point night last night. The track was in good shape tonight with the rain they had overnight. The car was phenomenal, I can’t thank my crew enough. Andy Durham builds an awesome race engine.”


“We have had an awesome season, but tomorrow night is one that we really want to win. There are a lot of great cars here. We have been so close to winning the big one at Knoxville. It is one that we circle on our calendar every year to come to. You really don’t feel that you are in a comfort spot here. It was a handful tonight, but it was a lot of fun.”


Owens led the first lap until Babb took over the lead. The two didn’t meet up again until the final lap when Owens nipped him at the line. “We made several changes to the car. Shannon was good and then Josh got up there. Most of the time we have a really good race track here. We ran the bottom for several laps and then the top. I want to thank R&W Racing for putting me in good equipment.”


Babb, who led several laps of the 25-lap event was pleased with his run. “Absolutely we are tickled to death to get a podium finish. We just wanted to see what our car could do up front. It was definitely strong. It could be a little bit better. I slid up there in four and Jimmy got underneath me. I can’t wait until tomorrow night now,” said the driver of the Petroff Towing/Rocket.


Completing the ten were Rodney Sanders, Jimmy Mars, Scott Bloomquist, Jonathan Davenport, and Chris Simpson.


In preliminary action, Josh Richards set the overall Miller Welders Fast Time (Group A) amongst the 65 entrants, with a lap of 17.090 seconds. Dale McDowell set the fastest time in Group B with a time of 17.402 seconds. Josh Richards, Tim Lance, Brandon Sheppard, Chase Junghans, Dennis Erb Jr. and Chad Mahder won their respective heat races. Gregg Satterlee won the C-Main. Tim McCreadie won the B-Main.


Feature Finish (25 Laps):

1 7 1R Josh Richards Shinnston, WV $7,000
2 3 20 Jimmy Owens Newport, TN $4,000
3 1 18b Shannon Babb Mowequa, IL $3,000
4 8 17m Dale McDowell Chickamauga, GA $2,000
5 5 157 Mike Marlar Winfield, TN $1,500
6 4 20x Rodney Sanders Happy, TX $1,000
7 16 28m Jimmy Mars Menomonie, WI $900
8 6 0 Scott Bloomquist Mooresburg, TN $800
9 12 6 Jonathan Davenport Mount Airy, NC $700
10 9 32 Chris Simpson Oxford, IA $600
11 19 39m Tim McCreadie Watertown, NY $780
12 18 33c Chad Mahder Eau Claire, WI $560
13 20 5 Don O’Neal Martinsville, IN $740
14 21 15 Darrell Lanigan Union, KY $720
15 10 28E Dennis Erb, Jr. Carpentersville, IL $500
16 11 51M Joey Moriarty Glendale, AZ $490
17 13 48L Tim Lance Brimfield, IL $480
18 22 1 Earl Pearson, Jr. Jacksonville, FL $670
19 23 15F Steve Francis Bowling Green, KY $660
20 14 29d Spencer Diercks Davenport, IA $450
21 17 7R Kent Robinson Bloomington, IN $440
22 15 B5 Brandon Sheppard New Berlin, IL $430
23 24 21 Billy Moyer Batesville, AR $410
24 2 18 Chase Junghans Manhattan, KS $400


-Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Press Release. Photo credit: Heath Lawson

Rocket Man Rolls to Friday Knoxville Nationals Victory