Josh Richards: “We work way harder in the off-season.”
Last year, Josh Richards claimed the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series title. The year before, he also claimed the World of Outlaws Late Model Series title. Dual titles, which he earned with two different teams.
In 2017, he placed a bow on his season when he won the final race of the year, on the debut throwback weekend. But, the move he made to win that race has had me confused for the last 3 months.
It’s not uncommon for a racer to dive 5 feet or even 10 feet deeper into the corner to try and make something work. That’s racing across the board. But, what Josh Richards did at Portsmouth Raceway Park blew my mind. He literally drove 50 feet deeper into the corner, into a line that wasn’t run by anyone else all weekend.
I’m still stuck on something from last year. In the last race, you drove 50 feet deeper into turn 1 than anyone else did all weekend. So, I’m confused by what you did and what I saw.
“I don’t know. Just trying to run as hard as I could, I guess,” Josh Richards told RacingNews.co. “It was just one of those things where there was a lot on the line. We were just trying to get as much as we could out of what we had.”
“But, yet maintain and not wear our stuff out. We had the car balanced pretty well to be able to do that.”
But, it was like it was timed. I think you did it right at lap 50 of 100. I can’t remember if it was right after a restart. I think it was. Then, you did it again two laps later. Was it planned?
“No, not really. I was trying to save my stuff early. Just trying to ride around there and save our tires.”
“Then, I got hung out on the outside by Scott or somebody. I kinda drove around there and I felt like there was some pretty good grip out there, if you drove it right. So then I was like, ‘Ok.’ ”
“I knew we had somethin’. Then, Scott decided to choose the bottom on the restart. I was actually feeling really good at that point. He was on the bottom and I was where I wanted to be anyway.”
So you kinda accidentally stumbled upon a line?
I’ve seen you do a lot of interviews and I’ve done many with you as well. But, I still feel like I don’t know anything about you. So, what do you do in the off-season? Is there a vacation?
“Well, not much. We work way harder in the off-season. I guess that’s what people don’t see. Is that I’m at the shop, every day of the week. Morning ’til night, just getting this stuff ready.”
“All winter long, yeah. It doesn’t stop.”
“That’s why I don’t ever race the Gateway Nationals or out in Arizona because we’re busy rebuilding, to be here now. It just takes so much to get ready.”
The Gateway Dirt Nationals is hosted in the middle of December. The indoor race made it’s debut in the 2016 season and recently hosted the second event. Both times, Josh Richards hasn’t appeared on the entry list.
“Your preparation work needs to be done in the winter.”
Now, you’ve won both championships, back-to-back. What else? Where do you go from here?
“Just have fun.”
Are there any specific races you still want to win?
“Of course. I mean, Eldora and Knoxville would be at the top of the list, for sure. I would certainly like to achieve that sometime. It’s just kinda one of those races where we’ve just always fallen a little bit short.”
“There’s a lot of other big races out there. Anytime you can win against these guys, it means a lot. Those two places, in particular, would be extra special.”
Josh Richards has won a few preliminary nights at Knoxville Raceway. Last year, he was leading on lap 92 but suffered a flat tire.
He’s finished 2nd in the Lucas Oil Late Model Nationals 4 times; 2015, 2013, 2010, 2008.
Last night, the first Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series drivers hit the track for the first time. Golden Isles Speedway hosted an open practice, Josh Richards was fastest overall.
Tonight, it’s the first race of the year for the LOLMDS. The green flag drops on night one of two in the Super Bowl of Racing. Tonight’s main event pays $10,000 to the winner.
Related: DTWC Results – 2017
Related: Knoxville Results – 2017