Richards wins everything in sight at Speedway

April 24, 2011|By C.J. LOVELACE |

HAGERSTOWN — Recently, when Late Model driver Josh Richards decides to run at Hagerstown Speedway, the most exciting race of the night isn’t usually for the lead.

The 23-year-old Shinnston, W.Va., racer dominated the 24-car field and was never challenged as he led all 35 laps of Saturday night’s 30th annual Stanley Schetrompf Classic, the season-opening race of the Three State Flyers series.

Richard won pole position by winning a six-lap dash featuring the top two finishers in the three heat races. He hit the gas on the green flag and left the rest of the field behind, opening a full straightaway lead by his eighth circuit around the half-mile oval.

The race ended on a green-white-checkered situation after a late caution for Jerry Bard with two laps to go. Still, it was Richards’ night.

He pulled away from Kyle Lear by more than 10 car-lengths over the final two laps for the win and a $3,000 payday.

“I always enjoy coming here,” said Richards, the two-time World of Outlaw Late Model Series champion. “This place is phenomenal, not a bump anywhere; always fun to race on.”

In Hagerstown’s season-opener on April 2, Richards looked like the sure winner of the 25-lap Late Model event, but was blocked by lapped traffic, which gave Littlestown, Pa., driver Jeremy Miller the win in the final laps.

Not this time.

“When we got into lapped cars there, I just wanted to back the pace off because I didn’t know where they were going to go,” Richards said. “Once you get in dirty air, your car just gets loose.”

Richards had no problems this time around — mostly because Lear was never close enough to make a move.

“Everybody did a great job,” he said. “I know it helps starting on the pole.”

Lear finished second, followed by Austin Hubbard, Jason Covert and Dylan Yoder, who came from the 13th starting spot. J.T. Spence, Jamie Lathroum, Nick Dickson, Roy Deese Jr. and Jared Hawkins rounded out the top 10.

In the night’s other feature, Eddie McClellan appeared to win his first career Pure Stock feature at Hagerstown until he was later disqualified after the failing the post-race inspection. The victory was handed to runner-up Steve Lowery of Chambersburg, Pa.

Sixth-starting McClellan grabbed the lead from polesitter Bill Ecton Sr. on the second lap and held off late charges from Lowery to gain his first unofficial trip to Victory Lane. It never became official.

McClellan said bad luck keeps following him.

“Last year was really tough for us,” he said. “It seemed like if something was going to happen, we were going to be right in the middle of it.”

Drew Fitzsimmons finished second, followed by Ecton Sr., Charlie Pensinger and Wayne Hawbaker to round out the top five.

Only 13 total Pure Stocks registered to race, so no heat races were run and the feature wrapped up a quick two-hour show just before a thunderstorm downpour hit the Hagerstown area shortly after 9 p.m.

Racing returns Saturday as the Steel Block Bandits Late Model Racing Series comes to the track for the Greg Kerr Memorial with a $4,100 paycheck to the winner. The Hobby Stock Cruiser division will also race. Warm-ups begin at 7 p.m.

Late Models – 30 entries (Lap leaders: Josh Richards 1-35)
1. Josh Richards, 2. Kyle Lear, 3. Austin Hubbard, 4. Jason Covert, 5. Dylan Yoder, 6. J.T. Spence, 7. Jamie Lathroum, 8. Nick Dickson, 9. Roy Deese Jr., 10. Jared Hawkins, 11. Bart Hartman, 12. Marvin Winters, 13. Brent Smith, 14. Alan Sagi, 15. Frankie Plessinger, 16. Gary Stuhler, 17. Ashley Barrett, 18. Keith Jackson, 19. Scott LeBarron, 20. Derek Byler, 21. Jerry Bard, 22. Devin Friese, 23. Matt Parks, 24. Duane Harbaugh; DNQ – Bob Gordon, C.S. Fitzgerald, Matt Murphy, Tim Murphy
Pure Stocks – 13 entries (Lap leaders: Bill Ecton Sr. 1, Eddie McClellan 2-15)
1. Steve Lowery, 2. Drew Fitzsimmons, 3. Bill Ecton Sr., 4. Charlie Pensinger, 5. Wayne Hawbaker, 6. Kenny Dillon, 7. Dave Stouffer Jr., 8. Billy Ecton Jr., 9. Mike Kratovil, 10. Charles Shearer, 11. Darrin Younker (DNS), 12. Tony Catlett (DNS), 13. Eddie McClellan (DQ)

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