TAMPA, FL (February 11, 2015) – Josh Richards took the lead from Billy Moyer on lap 17 and raced on to take the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win Wednesday Night at East Bay Raceway Park. It was Richards’ fourth career win at “The Clay by the Bay.” Florida native Mark Whitener had his best career LOLMDS finish by taking second ahead of 25th starting, Steve Francis, Don O’Neal, and Billy Moyer.
Richards started third and rocketed to the lead on the opening lap of the 35-lap event. He led until Moyer passed him for the top spot on lap eight. Moyer then held the advantage over Richards for several laps as the two drivers swapped the lead. Richards retook the lead with 19 laps remaining and never looked back.
“We had a really good car all night. It was tough sitting out most of last year; it makes you appreciate this sport even more. We have always run well here at East Bay. I want to thank all of my crew, my dad, and Steve Baker as well. I also have to thank our sponsors Valvoline, Seubert Calf Ranches, Ace Metal Works, Ernie D’s, Petroff Towing, Durham Racing Engines, and of course Rocket Chassis.”
“The track was weird like last night. The heats and B-mains were really good. Our car ran better up top in three and four and we had to get down low going into one. These hard tires take some time getting used to. You have to have momentum and be smooth on them. I think the track did a great job with the track.”
Whitener was extremely happy with his runner-up finish. “To run second in a Lucas Oil race is just terrific, these guys are the best-of-the-best. I don’t really have a whole lot of experience on open motor racing, but we proved as a team we have what it takes to run up front. I have to thank Dave’s Towing, Miller Lite, and Barry Wright Race Cars.”
Francis broke a rocker arm before his heat race and took a fast time provisional starting spot. Francis would roar from the last row to finish third. “Our car has been fast the last two times out. If we can beat the gremlins, we are going to win some races here soon. I want to thank Clint Bowyer, Georgia Boot and Crawford Supply, and all of our other sponsors for their help.”
Completing the top ten were Brandon Sheppard, Tim Dohm, Devin Moran, Earl Pearson Jr., and Jason Papich.
In preliminary action, Tim Dohm set the overall Miller Welders Fast Time (Group A) amongst the 43 entrants, with a lap of 14.663 seconds. Steve Francis set the fastest time in Group B with a time of 14.844 seconds. Billy Moyer, Dennis Erb Jr., Devin Moran and Josh Richards won their respective heat races. Jason Papich and Don O’Neal won their respective B-Mains. Dan Stone won the DirtonDirt.com Strawberry Dash.
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