Barberville, FL — Josh Richards is scrawling his name all over the 38th annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH.
The 20-year-old sensation from Shinnston , W.Va. , rolled to his second $10,000 victory in as many nights on Friday, capturing the mid-winter racing extravaganza’s 40-lap UMP DIRTcar Super Late Model finale at Volusia Speedway Park .
Richards continued his February assault on dirt tracks in the Sunshine State , winning for the second time during the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH and fifth time overall in Florida over a one-week span. He authored a virtual repeat of his triumph in the previous night’s World of Outlaws Late Model Series season opener.
“To win three last week and two this week is pretty unreal,” said Richards, who joined Billy Moyer of Batesville , Ark. , as the only drivers since 2004 to win the week-ending UMP DIRTcar special and a WoO LMS event during the same Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH. “It’s starting to sink in a little bit, but I still don’t even know what to say.
“We did everything exactly the same (as Thursday night) – qualified the same, ran the heat race the same, ran the same tires in the feature. The track was just a little bit wetter tonight so you had to be down against the brown in (turns) three and four, but everything worked out great again.”
Richards, who started fifth in Friday’s extra-distance A-Main, moved steadily forward in his Mark Richards Racing Enterprises Rocket car to grab the lead from outside-polesitter Moyer on lap 13. He was never seriously challenged for the remainder of the event, which was slowed by a single caution flag, on lap 31 for a turn-four spin by Dan Schlieper of Sullivan , Wis.
Rick Eckert of York , Pa. , slipped by Shane Clanton of Locust Grove , Ga. , for second place following the lap-31 restart and finished there in his Raye Vest Racing Bloomquist Chassis car. He crossed the finish line 1.939 seconds behind Richards.
Defending WoO LMS champion Darrell Lanigan of Union , Ky. , who started eighth, advanced two spots after the restart to claim third in his Rocket mount. Ninth-starter Scott James of Greendale, Ind., got his Scott Riggs-owned Rocket car hooked up on the outside of the half-mile oval over the final nine circuits to vault from eighth to a fourth-place finish, while Clanton, who started from the pole position, faded to fifth at the checkered flag in his RSD Enterprises Rocket machine.
Four of the top five finishers were regulars on the WoO LMS, which ends the 38th annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH on Saturday night (Feb. 14) with a 50-lap event paying $10,000 to win. James was the only driver who doesn’t follow the national tour.
Eckert, 43, registered his best finish of the Alltel DIRTcar Nationals, improving upon the third-place run he enjoyed on Wednesday night. He hasn’t finished outside the top 10 in the week’s five events but is still searching for the extra speed to reach Victory Lane .
“We just lack a little bit,” said Eckert. “I can’t get quite as aggressive getting into the corners as Josh can. Exiting the corner I might be a little bit better, but I can’t hustle in there like he can.”
Eckert paused, and then quipped with a smile, “I think we’re gaining on it and getting better every night, but it’s looking like we might run out of nights.”
Finishing in positions 6-10 was Scott Bloomquist of Mooresburg , Tenn. , who started 11th; Darren Miller of Milledgeville , Ill. ; 19th-starter Steve Francis of Ashland , Ky. ; Billy Decker of Unadilla , N.Y. ; and 20th-starter Jimmy Owens of Newport , Tenn.
Moyer, who won three times during last year’s Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH, pulled out of the event during the lap-31 caution flag while running third due to a broken lifter in his engine.
Earlier in the night Moyer turned the overall fastest lap of the 64-car group time-trial session, roaring around the track in 16.021 seconds.
Other group fast-timers included Dillon Wood of Daytona Beach , Fla. (16.125), Eckert (16.352), Chris Madden of Gaffney , S.C. (16.086), Bloomquist (16.354) and Miller (16.402).
Heat winners were Dennis Erb Jr. of Carpentersville , Ill. , Moyer, Eckert, Richards, Schlieper and Clanton. The B-Mains were captured by Francis, Owens and Eddie Carrier Jr. of Salt Rock, W.Va.
The 38th annual Alltel DIRTcar Nationals by UNOH conclude on Saturday (Feb. 14) with a doubleheader headlined by the WoO LMS. A 50-lap finale for the big-block Modifieds of the Advance Auto Parts Super DIRTcar Series is also part of the program, which begins at 7:30 p.m.
UMP DIRTcar Super Late Model A-Main Finish (40 laps):
1. Josh Richards
2. Rick Eckert
3. Darrell Lanigan
4. Scott James
5. Shane Clanton
6. Scott Bloomquist
7. Darren Miller
8. Steve Francis
9. Billy Decker
10. Jimmy Owens
11. Shannon Babb
12. Dan Stone
13. Dennis Erb Jr.
14. Dan Schlieper
15. Earl Pearson Jr.
16. Eddie Carrier Jr.
17. Brady Smith
18. Chub Frank
19. Justin Rattliff
20. Rusty Schlenk
21. Jason McBride
22. Tommy Weder
23. Billy Moyer
24. John Blankenship
25. Chris Madden
26. Rick Briggs
Heat No. 1 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Dennis Erb Jr., 2. Brady Smith, 3. John Blankenship, 4. Shannon Buckingham, 5. Chris Shannon, 6. Dillon Wood, 7. Dale McDowell, 8. Greg Johnson, 9. Jordan Bland, 10. Clint Smith, 11. Brad Eitniear
Heat No. 2 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Billy Moyer, 2. Darrell Lanigan, 3. Earl Pearson Jr., 4. Steve Francis, 5. Justin Rattliff, 6. Kelly Boen, 7. Wendell Wallace, 8. Chad Mahder, 9. Dave Hess Jr., 10. Tim Isenberg, 11. Russell King
Heat No. 3 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Rick Eckert, 2. Scott James, 3. Billy Decker, 4. Shannon Babb, 5. Jimmy Owens, 6. Eric Jacobsen, 7. Mark Pettyjohn, 8. Greg Kendall, 9. A.J. Kirkpatrick, 10. John Anderson, 11. Tyler Reddick
Heat No. 4 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Josh Richards, 2. Chris Madden, 3. Tommy Weder, 4. David Breazeale, 5. Davey Johnson, 6. Tyler Ivey, 7. Tommy Kerr, 8. Vic Coffey, 9. Tim Fuller, 10. Chub Frank, 11. Gregg Hill
Heat No. 5 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Dan Schlieper, 2. Scott Bloomquist, 3. Dan Stone, 4. Eddie Carrier Jr., 5. Rick Briggs, 6. Austin Hubbard, 7. Ronnie Rihn, 8. Jill George, 9. Win Ingersoll (DNS) Ivedent Lloyd
Heat No. 6 (10 laps – Top 3 Transfer): 1. Shane Clanton, 2. Darren Miller, 3. Jason McBride, 4. Dustin Hapka, 5. Brent Robinson, 6. Brandon Kinzer, 7. Jayme Zidar, 8. Rusty Schlenk, 9. Peter Mantha, 10. Mike Hammerle
B-Main No. 1 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): Francis, Rattliff, Buckingham, Wood, Boen, C. Smith, Bland, Shannon, G. Johnson, King, Eitniear, Mahder, McDowell, Isenberg, Wallace, Hess
B-Main No. 2 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): Owens, Babb, Breazeale, Ivey, Jacobsen, Coffey, Kerr, Pettyjohn, Anderson , Kendall , Hill, Frank, Fuller, Reddick, D. Johnson (DNS) Kirkpatrick
B-Main No. 3 (12 laps – Top 2 Transfer): Carrier, Briggs, Robinson, Hubbard, Kinzer, Hapka, Rihn, Zidar, Schlenk, Mantha, George, Hammerle, Ingersoll, Lloyd