Brighton, ONT - Josh Richards was fast all night at Saturday's Dibbits Excavating and Vanderlaan Building Products Mud Slinger 50 presented by Excel Tower Service at Brighton Speedway. But in the final 10 laps, the three-time World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion needed more patience than speed to claim his fourth series victory of the season.
After leading from the start of the 50-lap race, Richards, 27, of Shinnston, W.Va., expertly picked his way through heavy traffic during the race's closing laps and held off points leader Shane Clanton's furious late charge to win the second round of the Great Northern Tour in a side-by-side finish at the third-mile oval.
"It was all about patience tonight," said Richards, who earned the 53rd WoO LMS victory of his career in just the second series race ever held at the Ontario track. "I just stayed really patient because there was really nowhere to go.
"I knew Shane was coming and we kept getting boxed in. I saw Shane at the white flag, but I knew if I could just keep my speed up and not have (a lapped car) push up into me I could win it."
Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., nearly pulled off the last-lap pass when Richards was forced to drive to the high side of the slower machine of Boom Briggs entering turn three, but the low line was blocked just enough by Briggs to slow Clanton's run off the corner. Richards edged back ahead to claim a $10,650 victory by a thin margin of 0.142 seconds.
The victory was a nice rebound for Richards, who finished seventh in the Great Northern Tour opener at Fonda (N.Y.) Speedway on Thursday after an engine problem forced him to start from the tail of the main event in a backup car.
With Clanton winning the Fonda race and scoring points in the championship chase, Richards was happy to regain at least a few points on Saturday. He heads into round three of the Great Northern Tour at Cornwall (Ont.) Motor Speedway on Sunday 94 points behind Clanton.
"I feel like we've had a really fast car most of the year, but we've just had a lot of bad breaks like what happened at Fonda," said Richards, who thanked the crew on his Valvoline-sponsored Rocket Chassis house car team for their hard work repairing the issues from Thursday to get ready for Saturday's race. "Shane's been really fast and consistent. We've just got to focus on winning races and finishing up front. It felt really good to get a win tonight and pick up some points, even if it was only a few."
Clanton settled for the runner-up spot in notching his 15th top-five finish in 18 races this season. Tim McCreadie of Watertown, N.Y., crossed the finish line third, well behind the lead battle. Morgan Bagley of Longview, Texas, was just behind McCreadie in fourth with Rick Eckert of York, Pa., rounding out the top five.
Chub Frank of Bear Lake, Pa., was sixth at the finish, while Ross Robinson of Georgetown, Del., advanced from the 11th starting spot to finish seventh. Eric Wells of Hazard, Ky., finished eighth with Chase Junghans of Manhattan, Kan., ninth and Gregg Satterlee of Indiana, Pa., 10th.
Gunning for what would have been his second straight WoO LMS victory and his sixth on the season, Clanton challenged Richards through the middle portions of the race and gave all he had to catch Richards in the closing laps. But his Weldbank Energy Capital Race Cars house car came up half a car short of completing the winning pass.
"I tried the top, bottom, middle - it didn't matter," Clanton said of his late-race bid for the lead. "We were doing all we could to get by him, but he was just a bit better in lapped traffic.
"I got to running the top and caught him a little bit, but then I think I hurt my tires and got them a little too hot. I caught him at the end when he got boxed in behind those cars and made a valiant effort on the last lap."
The race was slowed by four cautions. The first appeared with two laps complete for a tangle back in the pack involving Jim Bernheisel of Lebanon, Pa., and Steve Baldwin of Trenton, Ont. Another yellow flag waved just after the restart for the slowing machine of Charlie Sandercock of Belleville, Ont. A lap-8 caution was for Union, Ky., driver Darrell Lanigan's brief adventure off the banking in turn four, and a flat tire for Bernheisel brought out the final caution with nine laps complete.
WoO LMS competitors move to another Canada oval on Sunday in Cornwall (Ont.) Motor Speedway for round three of the Great Northern Tour. The four-race trek concludes on Tuesday with a visit to Weedsport (N.Y.) Speedway.
The Great Northern Tour serves as a precursor to one of the season's biggest race weekends in Lernerville Speedway's ninth annual Firecracker 100 presented by GottaRace.com. The crown jewel event features three nights of WoO LMS action kicking off Thursday, June 25. It all builds toward the 100-lap, $30,000-to-win Firecracker 100 finale on Saturday, June 27.
Results of World of Outlaws Late Model Series Dibbits Excavating and Vanderlaan Building Products Mud Slinger 50 presented by Excel Tower Service at Brighton Speedway (Finishing Position/Start/Driver/Laps Completed/Money Won):
1. (1) Josh Richards/50 $10,650
2. (2) Shane Clanton/50 $5,600
3. (3) Tim McCreadie/50 $3,650
4. (5) Morgan Bagley/50 $3,050
5. (7) Rick Eckert/50 $2,650
6. (9) Chub Frank/50 $2,250
7. (11) Ross Robinson/50 $1,900
8. (4) Eric Wells/50 $1,850
9. (17) Chase Junghans/50 $1,750
10. (8) Gregg Satterlee/50 $1,200
11. (14) Darrell Lanigan/50 $1,700
12. (6) Frank Heckenast Jr./50 $1,550
13. (10) Greg Oakes/50 $1,000
14. (13) Boom Briggs/50 $1,450
15. (19) Andrew Reaume/49 $850
16. (15) Jordan Yaggy/49 $1,050
17. (20) Brandon Overton/49 $1,320
18. (16) Bryan Bernheisel/45 $750
19. (23) Philip Potts/38 $730
20. (24) Steve Baldwin/36 $700
21. (22) Jim Bernheisel/22 $700
22. (18) Corey Earl/9 $700
23. (12) Charlie Sandercock/2 $700
24. (21) Michael Oakes/2 $725
Time of Race: 24 Mins., 10 Secs.
Margin of Victory: 0.142 Secs.
Yellow Flags: Four (laps 2, 2, 8, & 9)
Lap Leaders: Richards (1-50)
Provisional Starters: Potts, Baldwin
WoO LMS 'Bonus Bucks' Winner: Robinson ($500)
WoO LMS 'Rookie of the Race' Winner: Yaggy ($250)
Ohlins Shocks Time Trial Results (Position/No./Driver/Hometown/Best Lap):
1. 22-Gregg Satterlee, Rochester Mills, Pa., 13.289
2. 22G-Greg Oakes, Franklinville, N.Y., 13.423
3. 1*-Chub Frank, Bear Lake, Pa., 13.431
4. 29-Darrell Lanigan, Union, Ky., 13.465
5. 18-Eric Wells, Hazard, Ky., 13.516
6. 99jr-Frank Heckenast Jr., Frankfort, Ill., 13.553
7. 99B-Boom Briggs, Bear Lake, Pa., 13.594
8. 18c-Chase Junghans, Manhattan, Kan., 13.624
9. 88-Andrew Reaume, Blenheim, Ont. , 13.745
10. 39-Tim McCreadie, Watertown, N.Y., 13.758
11. 22JR-Michael Oakes, Franklinville, N.Y., 13.824
12. 29P-Philip Potts, Frankford, Ont., 14.131
13. 5-Steve Baldwin, Trenton, Ont., 14.303
14. 46-Brandon Mowat, Brighton, Ont., 14.440
15. 77-Caley Weese, Carrying Place, Ont., 14.819
16. 11P-Jordan Peters, Fort Erie, Ont., 15.755
1. 25-Shane Clanton, Zebulon, Ga., 13.205
2. 14m-Morgan Bagley, Longview, Texas, 13.468
3. 76-Brandon Overton, Evans, Ga., 13.493
4. 1-Josh Richards, Shinnston, W.Va., 13.520
5. 77-Jordan Yaggy, Rochester, Minn., 13.523
6. 57-Charlie Sandercock, Belleville, Ont., 13.559
7. 7v-Rick Eckert, York, Pa., 13.560
8. 119B-Bryan Bernheisel, Lebanon, Pa., 13.566
9. 7R-Ross Robinson, Georgetown, Del., 13.707
10. 119-Jim Bernheisel, Lebanon, Pa., 13.925
11. 92-Adam Turner, Cherry Valley, Ont., 14.425
12. 42-Adam Nayler, Wooler, Ont., 14.460
13. 97-David McDonald, Brighton, Ont., 14.478
14. 12-Kyle Sopaz, Trenton, Ont., 14.515
15. 1M-Andy Mayhew, Pickon, Ont., 14.666
16. 11-Corey Earl, Picton, Ont., 15.266
Heat No. 1 (10 laps - Top 4 Transfer): Wells, Satterlee, Frank, Briggs, Reaume, M.Oakes, Weese, Baldwin.
Heat No. 2 (10 laps - Top 4 Transfer): Heckenast, McCreadie, G.Oakes, Lanigan, Junghans, Potts, Mowat, Peters.
Heat No. 3 (10 laps - Top 4 Transfer): Clanton, Eckert, Robinson, Yaggy, Overton, McDonald, Turner, Mayhew.
Heat No. 3 (10 laps - Top 4 Transfer): Richards, Bagley, Sandercock, B.Bernheisel, Earl, J.Bernheisel, Sopaz, Nayler.
B-Main No. 1 (10 laps - Top 3 Transfer): Junghans, Reaume, Oakes, Potts, Baldwin, Mowat, Peters, Weese.
B-Main No. 2 (10 laps - Top 3 Transfer): Earl, Overton, J.Bernheisel, Turner, McDonald, Mayhew, Sopaz, Nayler.
World of Outlaws Late Model Series Contingency Award Winners (awards presented to noted finisher/qualifier or next highest displaying decal):
Ohlins Shocks ($50 cash to fast qualifier): Clanton
Comp Cams ($50 certificate to A-Main winner): Richards
MSD Ignition ($50 cash to A-Main winner): Richards
Quartermaster ($100 certificate to A-Main winner): Clanton
Wrisco (three sheets of aluminum/certificate to A-Main winner): Richards
Mobil 1 ($50 cash to 4th-place finisher in A-Main): Bagley
JE Pistons ($50 cash to 5th-place finisher in A-Main): Eckert
Lincoln Welders ($50 cash to 6th-place finisher in A-Main): Frank
VP Racing Fuels ($50 cash to 8th-place finisher in A-Main): Satterlee
Edelbrock ($50 cash to 9th-place finisher in A-Main): Junghans
Comp Cams ($50 cash to 10th-place finisher in A-Main): Satterlee
Cometic ($50 cash to 12th-place finisher in A-Main): Heckenast
JRI Shocks ($50 cash to 13th-place finisher in A-Main): G.Oakes
Superflow Dynos ($50 cash to 14th-place finisher in A-Main): Briggs
Quartermaster ($25 certificate to 15th-place finisher in A-Main): Reaume
JE Pistons (one set of rings certificate to 16th-place finisher in A-Main): Yaggy
Quartermaster ($50 certificate to 19th-place finisher in A-Main): Potts
Mobil 1 (20 percent certificate to 20th-place finisher in A-Main): B.Bernheisel
JE Pistons (one set of rings certificate to 21st-place finisher in A-Main): J.Bernheisel
MSD Ignition ($25 cash to 24th-place finisher in A-Main): M.Oakes
QA1 ($50 to driver with fastest lap of the night): Clanton
Arizona Sports Shirts ($100 certificate to highest-finishing non-WoO driver): Robinson
2015 World of Outlaws Late Model Series Point Standings as of June 20 - 18 A-Mains completed (rank/driver/points/deficit to leader):
1. Shane Clanton 2558
2. Josh Richards 2464 (-94)
3. Darrell Lanigan 2418 (-140)
4. Chub Frank 2396 (-162)
5. Tim McCreadie 2312 (-246)
6. Morgan Bagley 2300 (-258)
7. Rick Eckert 2280 (-278)
8. Eric Wells 2250 (-308)
9. Frank Heckenast Jr. 2246 (-312)
10. Chase Junghans 2194 (-364)
11. Brandon Overton 2188 (-370)*
12. Boom Briggs 2008 (-550)
13. Jordan Yaggy 1886 (-672)*
WoO DLM PR - Paul Arch photo