FARMER CITY, Ill. — official series release — Connor Hamilton photo —
Josh Richards rolled through traffic and battled his competition in Saturday night’s Douglas Dodge Ram Trucks Illini 100 weekend opener at Farmer City Raceway, ultimately claiming his third World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series victory of the season.
“The car has been phenomenal to drive, and the guys have done a great job with adjustments and figuring out what to do,” said Richards, who took home a $6,000 prize for his No. 1 Valvoline Rocket Chassis team.
Ryan Unzicker and Brandon Overton led the pack early in the 25-lap feature despite a crash on the start that left Overton with heavy body damage. The two drivers traded the lead nine times in the first ten laps as Billy Moyer Jr. and Bobby Pierce closed in. As the field began working its way through traffic, Richards closed the gap and picked up several positions.
Pierce brought out the caution with four laps left in the feature. On the restart, Richards pulled away from Unzicker to score the win. Moyer Jr. rounded out the podium finishers in his No. 21jr DynaGro Moyer Victory Chassis.
“This win — it’s very personal to me,” Richards said. “We finally won at Farmer City, but we still have another night tomorrow. Tomorrow’s the big one. [Tonight’s win] gives us confidence for tomorrow, for sure.”
Richards, who has eight total wins this season – including three series wins – expanded his championship point lead to 94 over Rick Eckert.
Unzicker, a native of nearby El Paso, Ill., said he was happy with the performance of his No. 24 Kingdom Farms/RJR Transportation team.
“That was awesome,” Unzicker said. “We both raced each other clean there. I’m glad we could show you some stuff here in Farmer City. It was a heck of a good show.”
Moyer not only thanked his crew, but also the fans who stuck it out in the cold weather all day. Thursday’s practice was cancelled and Friday’s event postponed the weekend by one day due to the inclement weather.
“I can’t say enough about my guys,” Moyer said. “They worked so hard. I’ve been to a lot of cold races in my life but I really appreciate them. Congrats to Josh. That was a lot of fun.”
Earlier in the day, Richards qualified third in his group. Richards, Unzicker and Moyer all won their heat races to advance to the feature race, where Richards started on the inside third row.
Steve Casebolt was the night’s fast qualifier with a lap of 12.31 seconds.
The World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series returns to action Sunday night at Farmer City Raceway for the Douglas Dodge Ram Trucks Illini 100.
World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series Statistical Report; April 2, 2016; Farmer City Raceway; Farmer City, Ill.
A-Main (25-laps): 1. 1-Josh Richards; 2. 24-Ryan Unzicker; 3. 21JR-Billy Moyer Jr; 4. 76-Brandon Overton; 5. C9-Steve Casebolt; 6. 25-Shane Clanton; 7. 157-Mike Marlar; 8. 10-Scott Schmitt; 9. 32s-Chris Simpson; 10. 7-Rick Eckert; 11. 4-Cody Mahoney; 12. 1g-Devin Gilpin; 13. 14M-Morgan Bagley; 14. 77M-Jay Morris; 15. 42-Mckay Wenger; 16. 1*-Chub Frank; 17. 3s-Brian Shirley; 18. 99jr-Frank Heckenast Jr; 19. 21-Billy Moyer; 20. 25z-Mason Zeigler; 21. 99B-Boom Briggs; 22. 18-Eric Wells; 23. 18c-Chase Junghans; 24. 91-Tyler Erb; 25. 2c-Joey Coulter; 26. 32-Bobby Pierce; 27. 7R-Kent Robinson; 28. B1-Paul Wilmoth; 29. B12-Kevin Weaver; 30. 18b-Shannon Babb.
CREDIT: World of Outlaws