Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series Press Release:
WHEATLAND, MO (July 15, 2017) – Current Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series points leader, Josh Richards extended his lead over his competitors as he won the CMH Diamond Nationals on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Speedway. For the 29-year-old driver in his first season of following the tour, it was his seventh series win of the year and his first ever at the Wheatland, MO facility.
Jimmy Owens looked to be on his way to another victory at the track, but Richards, tracked him down and took the lead with 8 laps to-go. Owens then got too high in turn four while trying to get back around Richards and his car stalled with three laps remaining in the race. Richards then went unchallenged for the win.
“We weren’t very fast in hot laps or qualifying. We basically went with the same set-up as last night, and then we made some adjustments. We weren’t that great at the beginning, but the longer the race went, the tires on the car felt good; I hate it for Jimmy though. I saw that he tried to get back by me on the outside and he got up close to the wall and the car must have stalled or something.”
The race went the first 57 laps caution-free until Owens brought out the only caution of the race. The long green-flag conditions helped Richards out he said. “Jimmy was pretty good early, and he was so far out there, but he eventually came back to us. We just have to focus on being fast, the last two nights helped a lot. It can turnaround in a heartbeat.”
The Eric and Kelly Brock-owned Best Performance Motorsports Rocket is powered by a Durham Racing Engine and sponsored by Bulk Material Lift.com, Peoples National Bank, Corey Frazier-State Farm Insurance, Valvoline, Keyser, Riggs Motorsports, Integra, Sunoco, and Alexander Lawn and Garden.
Hudson O’Neal started on the outside of row number one and trailed Owens for the first 37 laps of the race until Richards went by him. At one-point Hudson O’Neal had pulled to within two car lengths of Owens in traffic, but Owens pulled out to a straightaway lead after that.
Don O’Neal made a late-race charge, passing his son to move into third-place. After the caution for Owens, O’Neal fought off challenges from his son and his Clint Bowyer Racing-teammate, Darrell Lanigan, who came home in third.
“We still have some work to do to catch the number 1 car, but we are getting there,” said the 2014 LOLMDS National Champion, Don O’Neal. “We have a third last night and a second tonight, so we are getting close to having this Peak Antifreeze and Coolant and Cometic Gasket car back to Victory Lane.
“We keep coming up short, but we have got to keep digging. We were good out in the open and with traffic. This was a new car last night and we are happy to keep getting these podium finishes. If we keep running like this, the wins will come.”
Lanigan commented on his podium finish as well. “Tonight was a good night for the Clint Bowyer team. On that final restart, I thought I could roll the top and go by those guys ahead of me, but it just didn’t work out as I had planned.”
Completing the top ten were Tim McCreadie, Dennis Erb Jr., Jake O’Neil, Earl Pearson Jr. and Steve Francis.