MACON, Ill. — Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series points leader Josh Richards took the lead on lap 60 and held off Shannon Babb in a one-lap shootout to win Tuesday night’s St. Louis U-Pic-A-Part 100 at Macon Speedway.
For Richards, it was his eighth series win of the season and extended his lead in the championship chase.
Babb finished in second, with Darrell Lanigan coming home in third. Jason Feger and Jimmy Owens completed the top-five finishers.
Scott Bloomquist led the first 32 laps of the race until he relinquished the lead to Babb. Babb then held the point until Richards took over the top spot on lap 60.
Babb hounded Richards for the next 39 laps, before a caution after the white flag set up a one-lap dash to the finish in which Richards prevailed.
“When you are at Macon and you have Shannon Babb on your bumper it makes you nervous … even so with one lap to go,” Richards admitted. “I can’t thank these guys enough. It was my first time here and it was a fun track to race at. It might be one of my favorite tracks to run on now. I didn’t know quite what to do in hot laps. So, we went back and made some changes for the heat race and feature. He [Babb] was getting better and better, and before that caution came out, I was sweating it for sure.”
Richards, who started ninth, gave Babb credit for his win.
“Every time I am at his shop, he makes me watch video of Macon,” Richards explained. “It’s a great place to be. We just did what we thought would work best. The bottom was good there early and then it developed a black streak. I went to the top there for a while nd got up there where he [Babb] was running. I just tried to ride it out and find a good pace and it worked out.”
Babb, who was trying to win his second LOLMDS event of the season, drove hard in front of his hometown fans.
“It was a heckuva race for sure,” said Babb. “He got me down on the bottom. It looked like Josh was good everywhere on the track. Darrell [Lanigan] was right in there as well. Congrats to both of those guys on a good run.”
“We grew up right here and have made a lot of laps around this track no doubt. It’s action-packed, everybody saw that tonight. Every lap is intense; you have to be up on the wheel for every lap.”
Lanigan finished third in the race, with car owner Clint Bowyer watching.
“It was actually quite fun out there,” Lanigan said. “When it slicked off you could race all over. It had to be a great race for the fans to watch. We were good around the bottom until it kind of gave up. Like I said we will take a top three. The way our luck has been this year. It feels like a win.”
Curt Rhodes won the modified feature and Tim Hancock topped the B-mod main event.
RESULTS: Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series; Macon Speedway; July 25, 2017
A-Feature (100 laps): 1. Josh Richards, 2. Shannon Babb, 3. Darrell Lanigan, 4. Jason Feger, 5. Jimmy Owens, 6. Hudson O’Neal, 7. Earl Pearson Jr., 8. Dennis Erb Jr., 9. Tim McCreadie, 10. Scott Bloomquist, 11. Tony Jackson Jr., 12. Bobby Pierce, 13. Timothy Culp, 14. Boom Briggs, 15. Brent Larson, 16. Gordy Gundaker, 17. Brandon Sheppard, 18. Steve Francis, 19. Gregg Satterlee, 20. Greg Kimmons, 21. Kolby Vandenbergh, 22. Cody Maguier, 23. Jason Suhre, 24. Don Hammer, 25. Don O’Neal.
CREDIT: Lucas Communications