Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Richards Goes Back-to-Back in Winning Friday Night at Knoxville
KNOXVILLE, IA (September 27, 2013) – Josh Richards showed his speed at Knoxville Raceway, winning the $7,000-to-win feature event on Friday Night. Richards also captured Thursday Nights’ preliminary feature. On Saturday Night, Richards can become the second driver in the history of the Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals to sweep all three nights. Billy Moyer completed the feat in 2010.
Jimmy Owens came home in second followed by A.J. Diemel, Earl Pearson Jr., and 21st starting, Tim McCreadie.
The 25 lap main event got off to a rocky start with a pair of caution flags during the first five laps of the race. Jimmy Owens led the first four laps, until A.J. Diemel took over the point. Diemel held the lead for four circuits until Richards powered by him on lap nine.
“It was a crazy start to the race,” said Richards, who is racing at Knoxville for the first time in three years. “Our car was real good again tonight. This track suits our driving style, and we go into the turns wide-open and let the car rotate through the turns. As I said last night, this is one of my favorite tracks. I certainly have missed coming here the last three years, and to win the first two nights, it’s just unbelievable.”
Richards held a sizable lead over Diemel and Owens with ten laps to go. Owens tried several times to get around Diemel. Finally, with seven to go, Owens made the pass on Diemel for second, coming out of turn number two. A caution with five laps to go set-up a dash between Richards and Owens, but Richards would prevail, holding off Owens for the victory.
“I have to thank Valvoline, Seubert Calf Ranches, Ernie D’s Enterprises, Ace Metal Works and Sunoco Race Fuels. This Roush-Yates Ford engine has been solid all-year long,” said the driver of the Mark Richards Racing Rocket Chassis house-car.
Owens, the 2-time LOLMDS National Champion, commented, “We were having electrical problems on the restarts, it was cracking and popping, I thought it was going to die on us, and then finally it ran like it should towards the end. We got around him (Diemel), but Josh was already so far out in front, we weren’t going to catch him. We got that caution with five to go, and I was going to try a move going into one, but if I couldn’t clear him, I wasn’t going to take a chance of tearing us both up”.
Diemel had his best career finish at Knoxville, earning a podium finish. “We are extremely happy to come home third against these Lucas guys. I thought maybe early on we had a real good chance to win tonight. We learned so much here the last two nights. It builds our confidence heading into Saturday Night’s big race.”
Completing the top ten were Steve Francis, Jimmy Mars, Jason Feger, Ryan Gustin, John Blankenship. In preliminary action Ryan Gustin set the RED BUCK Fast Time (Group A) with a lap of 17.941 seconds. John Blankenship set the RED BUCK Fast Time (Group B) with a lap of 18.021 seconds. Brady Smith, Steve Francis, Chris Simpson, Ryan Unzicker, Darrell Lanigan, and Shannon Babb won their respective heat races. Denny Eckrich won the D-Main. Jason Rauen won the C-Main. Ryan Gustin won the B-Main.
The Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series will return to action tomorrow night, Saturday, September 28th, with a D-Main, C-Main, B-Main, and the $40,000-to-win 100-Lap main event. For more information, log on to www.knoxvilleraceway.com.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
Friday Night, September 27th, 2013
Lucas Oil Late Model Knoxville Nationals presented by Casey’s General Stores
Knoxville Raceway – Knoxville, IA
RED BUCK Fast Time Group A: Ryan Gustin / 17.941 seconds
RED BUCK Fast Time Group B: John Blankenship / 18.021 seconds
Wiles Drive Shafts Heat Race #1 (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Brady Smith, Jason Feger, Jimmy Mars, Ricky Weiss, Ryan Gustin, Chase Junghans, Bub McCool, Jason Rauen, Charlie McKenna, Jonathan Brauns, Michael Smith, Frank Heckenast, Jr.
Eibach Springs Heat Race #2 (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Steve Francis, AJ Diemel, Earl Pearson Jr., Morgan Bagley, Jason Utter, Tony Jackson, Jr., Tim Lance, Travis Dickes, Darrel DeFrance, Greg Kimmons, Tim Isenberg, Stewart Hayward
Simpson Performance Products Heat Race #3 (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Chris Simpson, Scott Bloomquist, Rodney Sanders, Rich Bell, Justin Kay, Austin Hubbard, Mike Fryer, Skip Frey, Dave Eckrich, Curt Schroeder, Denny Eckrich
FK Rod Ends Heat Race #4 (12 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): Ryan Unzicker, Billy Moyer, Matt Furman, Tim McCreadie, John Blankenship, Mike Marlar, Dennis Erb Jr., Terry Phillips, Jason McBride, Tyler Bruening, Dustin Walker, Joel Callahan
DirtonDirt.com Heat Race #5 (12 Laps – Top 3 Transfer): Darrell Lanigan, Eddie Carrier Jr., Dale McDowell, Chad Simpson, Brandon Sheppard, Brian Birkhofer, Jared Landers, Jason Jaggers, Ray Guss, Jr., Steve Lance, Brian Shirley, Dennis Vandermeersch
RED BUCK Heat #6 (12 Laps – Top 3 Transfer): Shannon Babb, Jimmy Owens, Josh Richards, Don O'Neal, Andy Eckrich, Billy Moyer Jr., Jay Johnson, Spencer Diercks, Ray Sveeggen, Kent Robinson, Chris Spieker
CV Products D-Main (10 Laps, Top 4 Transfer to C-Main): Denny Eckrich, Steve Lance, Tyler Bruening, Michael Smith, Kent Robinson, Greg Kimmons, Tim Isenberg, Curt Schroeder, Dustin Walker, Joel Callahan, Dennis Vandermeersch, Stewart Hayward, Brian Shirley, Frank Heckenast, Jr., Jonathan Brauns, Chris Spieker
Wrisco Aluminum C-Main (12 Laps, Top 4 Transfer to B-Main): Jason Rauen, Jared Landers, Terry Phillips, Jason McBride, Bub McCool, Tim Lance, Mike Fryer, Dennis Erb Jr., Jason Jaggers, Ray Guss, Jr., Spencer Diercks, Dave Eckrich, Denny Eckrich, Travis Dickes, Jay Johnson, Tyler Bruening, Darrel DeFrance, Michael Smith, Charlie McKenna, Steve Lance, Ray Sveeggen, Skip Frey
CV Products B-Main (15 Laps, Top 6 Transfer to A-Main): Ryan Gustin, John Blankenship, Tim McCreadie, Jason Utter, Chad Simpson, Don O'Neal, Brandon Sheppard, Ricky Weiss, Justin Kay, Morgan Bagley, Brian Birkhofer, Andy Eckrich, Tony Jackson, Jr., Terry Phillips, Jason McBride, Billy Moyer Jr., Mike Marlar, Jason Rauen, Chase Junghans, Rich Bell, Austin Hubbard, Jared Landers
Feature Finish (25 Laps): 1. 1-Josh Richards; 2. 20-Jimmy Owens; 3. 58-AJ Diemel; 4. 44-Earl Pearson Jr; 5. 39-Tim McCreadie; 6. 15-Steve Francis; 7. 28M-Jimmy Mars; 8. 25F-Jason Feger; 9. 19R-Ryan Gustin; 10. 23-John Blankenship; 11. 0-Scott Bloomquist; 12. 2-Brady Smith; 13. 31U-Jason Utter; 14. 28-Eddie Carrier Jr; 15. 32X-Chris Simpson; 16. 51-Matt Furman; 17. 24X-Ryan Unzicker; 18. 20X-Rodney Sanders; 19. 29-Darrell Lanigan; 20. 21-Billy Moyer Sr; 21. 18-Shannon Babb; 22. 71-Don O'Neal; 23. 25C-Chad Simpson; 24. 17M-Dale McDowell
Lap Leaders: Jimmy Owens (Laps 1 – 4); AJ Diemel (Laps 5 – 8); Josh Richards (Laps 9 – 25)
Caution Flags: Dale McDowell (Lap 4); Darrell Lanigan (Lap 5); Chris Simpson (Lap 20)
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Provisionals: none
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Emergency Provisionals: none
RED BUCK Fast Time Provisionals: none
Submitted By: Jeremy Shields