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Richards Battles Track and Field in Carolina Speedway Win

Claims win No. 63 in seriesÂ’ first appearance at Carolina Speedway

GASTONIA, N.C. - April 29, 2016 - Josh Richards battled from an eighth place starting position and through tough track conditions and cautions on Friday night at Carolina Speedway as he claimed the inaugural World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series win at the track.

"We were able to survive," said Richards, who took home the $10,000 purse. "We had a great car there. It was starting to get rough off Turn 4, but I want to thank all the fans for coming out. It's great to come out with a win."

Challenging track conditions proved to be a test for the 24 drivers that started the A-Main - in the 50-lap feature, there were 12 cautions with eight drivers finishing on the lead lap. A caution on Lap 24 allowed drivers to replenish their tear-off visor sheets, making track visibility less of a struggle through the remainder of the race.

Some of those earlier cautions however, made way for Richards to eventually claim the lead position on the restarts. Richards started eighth.

"That was the biggest thing: trying to find a clean spot," said Richards about finding a favorable groove. "Once you got up on somebody, you couldn't see anything. It was just a matter of trying to be smooth. You were forced to move around a little bit."

Following the race's first caution on Lap 5, Richards' strong restart catapulted him into third position. Less than 10 laps later, Richards took over the second spot in turn 2 from Frank Heckenast Jr., who drifted up the track. Heckenast wheeled his car to a season-best fourth-place finish.

Richards claimed the lead on lap 16 after Greg Pursley, who started the race in the top spot, lost a right rear tire. There on, Richards never looked back.

Chub Frank's No. 1* Cory Rubber Corporation machine followed behind Richards for the latter-half of the race, recording his best finish in not only 2016, but also since his second-place finish at Delaware International Speedway in August 2015. The Bear Lake, Penn.-native said he'd rather be in victory lane, but rebounding from qualifying 14th earlier in the night made it a successful night.

"The track was choppy, but you could at least race on it," Frank said. "It was definitely a handful. I never knew which way my car was going. I don't think my car was bad, but [Richards'] car ran through all the rough stuff better than mine. He was more consistent."

Rounding-out the podium was York, Penn.-native Rick Eckert, who also took advantage of the lower groove earlier in the race. Eckert's No. 7 Paul Crowl Racing car claimed the third spot on Lap 17, passing Heckenast in Turn 2 like Richards did earlier.

"It's about time," Eckert said. "At least we made it on the inside, but got beat on the outside. In the middle of the race right before the track started getting rough, we had a good car. Everyone was in there, starting to rip it up. I couldn't maneuver through the holes and everyone else couldn't too. But Josh's seemed to maneuver through the holes. He earned it."

Richard's win Friday night was his fifth of the season and 63rd-career series win which moves him one step closer to surpassing Darrell Lanigan on the all-time wins list for A-Mains. Lanigan has a record 72 wins in the series.

World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series Statistical Report; April 29, 2016; Carolina Speedway; Gastonia, N.C.

A-Main (50-laps): 1. Josh Richards, 2. Chub Frank, 3. Rick Eckert, 4. Frank Heckenast Jr., 5. Shane Clanton, 6. Brian Shirley, 7. Billy Moyer Jr., 8. Eric Wells, 9. Morgan Bagley, 10. Tyler Erb, 11. Steve Casebolt, 12. Chase Junghans, 13. Brandon Overton, 14. Dennis Franklin, 15. Jason Covert, 16. Johnny Pursley, 17. Joey Coulter, 18. Josh Langley, 19. Donald Bradsher, 20. Jordan Yaggy, 21. G.R. Smith, 22. Doug Sanders, 23. Ricky Weeks, 24. Chris Ferguson.

Points (April 29, 9 A-Mains)
1. Josh Richards 1320
2. Shane Clanton 1200
3. Rick Eckert      1184
4. Brian Shirley 1174
5. Chub Frank      1124
6. Brandon Overton 1120
6. Morgan Bagley   1120
8. Steve Casebolt  1106
9. Billy Moyer Jr. 1082
9. Frank Heckenast Jr. 1082

-end-

At A Glance: Chub Frank embraces new challenges

Racing returns with Tar Heel Tour

CONCORD, N.C. - April 26, 2016 - Chub Frank, one of the 12 original drivers to sign with the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series in 2004, is no stranger to many of the regular series tracks - until this week. Frank will face unpredictability in a first-time trip to Carolina Speedway (April 29) and with the ever-changing track conditions of Fayetteville Motor Speedway (April 30).

Not to say this week will be nearly impossible for the seasoned driver to handle. Frank not only sees this week as an equalizer among the field, but Frank also grew up on a track, grooming Stateline Speedway as early as when he was five-years-old. His father owned the speedway.

"...and I guess my advantage was I started driving cars when I was five," Frank said. "It taught you a lot of car control then because you were always in the mud. You always knew where the car was going and stuff."

Nowadays, young guns have the advantage to race before 16 years old; Frank had to wait back then. It paid off: he became dominant at his home tracks, winning the Stateline/Eriez circuit Limited Late Model titles from 1983-87 and capturing the Stateline Super Late Model championship in 1989 and '90. Frank currently sits ninth all-time in career A-Main victories in series history (16).

"[My dad] didn't intend me to race, especially to do it as a living," Frank said. "Nobody ever pushed me into it. We were good right off the bat, and even then I didn't expect doing this as a career. But it's competitive."

Between this week's curve-balls and the other 15 full time drivers jockeying for a win, Frank is looking for the edge. He did say these tracks are an equalizer, but a level playing field just isn't enough. Frank is watching past races from Carolina Speedway, documenting all the little nuances that may give him the boost he needs.

"We'll probably go there standard (ready for anything) like we normally would and then figure out when we get there what we really need to do," Frank said. "That doesn't bother me. I enjoy going to new tracks."

The following night, Frank will be trying for his first victory at Fayetteville Motor Speedway, which entered the World of Outlaws circuit in 2008. Last season, Frank resorted to a backup car because of a previous race, and there was "no getting ahead."

"That place does throw you a curve," Frank said. "You never know what you're going to get. It could be rubbered up...wide open...but I like the track. It's a fast track. That's one of the tracks they take good care of and I enjoy racing there."

Frank is preparing for anything and everything. But even with all this unpredictability looming, he said he knows one thing for sure in his experience with the Outlaws: fans are going to show.

"The races that we go to, they're standing room only," Frank said. "So that tells you a lot how our fan-base is, the people who love this series. There're a lot of die-hard fans in late model and they've been around for a while."

Tickets for the first-ever World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series event at Carolina Speedway will be available at the gate on the day of the event and are $30 for general admission and $40 for the pits. Children ages 6 to 12 are $10.

Gates for the Tarheel100 at Fayetteville Motor Speedway open at 4 p.m., while racing is at 7 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the door.

ABOUT THE TRACK
CAROLINA SPEEDWAY , also known as "the Action Track," is a 4/10th-mile clay oval. The track record is 14.784 and was established by Chris Ferguson.

Previous A-Feature winners:
No previous A-Feature winners.

FAYETTEVILLE MOTOR SPEEDWAY is a 1/2 semi-banked red clay oval.

Previous A-Feature winners:
2015 - Chris Ferguson on May 2
2014 - Darrell Lanigan on May 3
2010 - Josh Richards on April 30
2009 - Jeff Smith on April 17
2008 - Josh Richards on Oct. 7

SEASON WINNERS: Josh Richards - 4 (Volusia on Jan. 18,19, Farmer City April 3,4); Shane Clanton - 2 (Volusia Speedway Park on Feb. 20, Screven Motor Speedway

on Feb. 12); Rick Eckert - 1 (Screven Motor Speedway on Feb. 13); Dale McDowell - 1 (Duck River Raceway Park on April 8).

2016 World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series Schedule & Winners
No. / Day, Date / Track / Location / Winner (Number of Wins in 2016)
1. Friday, Feb. 12 / Screven Motor Speedway / Sylvania, Ga. / Shane Clanton (1)
2. Saturday, Feb. 13 / Screven Motor Speedway / Sylvania, Ga. / Rick Eckert (1)
3. Thursday, Feb. 18 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barbersville, Fla. / Josh Richards (1)
4. Friday, Feb. 19 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barbersville, Fla. / Josh Richards (2)
5. Sat., Feb. 20 / Volusia Speedway Park / Barbersville, Fla. / Shane Clanton (2)
6. Sat., April 2 / Farmer City Raceway / Farmer City, Ill. / Josh Richards (3)
7. Sun., April 3 / Farmer City Raceway / Farmer City, Ill. / Josh Richards (4)
8. Fri., April 8 / Duck River Raceway Park / Wheel, Tenn. / Dale McDowell (1)

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Dale McDowell Snaps World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series Winless Streak with Duck River Win

Holds off three-time series champ Lanigan to score the win

WHEEL, Tenn. - April 8, 2016 - Dale McDowell hopped out of his car, pumping his fist to a near-capacity crowd Friday night at Duck River Raceway Park in Wheel, Tenn. This is a feeling of accomplishment he has not felt in 11 years.

McDowell snapped his winless streak with the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series, a streak dating back to May 20, 2005 when he was last victorious at Brushcreek Motorsports Complex in Peebles, Ohio. But, this was not an easy feat, as the 26-car feature was one filled with many battles.

"The draw was big for us tonight," said McDowell, whose No. 17M Bad Boy Off Road Team Dillon Racing Inc. car started the race in the top spot. "It's was awfully racey, especially in lapped traffic."

McDowell held the inside groove of the track for most of the race, while others - Darrell Lanigan especially - tested him on the high side. Lanigan, who finished runner-up to McDowell, kept his No. 15 Georgia Boot/Peak Performance car at the top of the track, building speed to close less than the two-second gap between them.

On lap 29 Lanigan closed the margin; he contested McDowell further with five laps to go. But, on the 1/4-mile oval, lapped traffic kept McDowell safe from losing his lead.

"Yeah, I had to get him hung-up in traffic and get a good groove around that top," Lanigan said. "But, the top was so far out there so there really wasn't a whole lot left. He didn't miss his marks on the bottom, so it was going to be really hard to win it."

Others gambled when choosing their line for the race. Josh Richards kept his No. 1 Valvoline Rocket Chassis low on the track, but moved up to the center of the track towards the latter part of the race. The ever-changing track conditions coupled with some "missed adjustments" resulted in him rounding out the podium.

"The bottom early was definitely good, but then it got a black ring around the bottom," said Richards about the bottom race-line becoming slick late in the race. "Dale did a great job. He was definitely the car to beat."

McDowell had another ulterior motivation fueling him toward the checkers. After the race, he smiled not for the winless streak he just snapped, but for his late-mother. His mother passed away in 2011, and all he could say after the race is that the win was for her.

"My mom has always loved this place," McDowell said. "I'd like to dedicate this win to her."

Shane Clanton maintained his quick lap-times from last weekend, recording the fastest qualifying time of both groups with a 12.472. Clanton won his heat race before eventually placing fourth in the A-Main. Clanton's No. 25 Weldbank Energy Corporation car and Richards' car rubbed paint throughout the race.

"I got a little bit of body damage being stuck in the middle," said Richards about the battle for third. "It was just racing. Shane was right there on our bumper the whole time."

The World of Outlaws will travel to Carolina Speedway in Gastonia, N.C. next, where they will take-on the 4/10th mile clay oval. Tickets will be available at the track on the day of the event.

To learn more about the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series visit WoOLMS.com. Follow the World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series on Twitter at Twitter.com/WoOLateModels, like it on Facebook at Facebook.com/WorldofOutlawsLateModelSeries, or check out the latest videos on YouTube at Youtube.com/WorldofOutlaws.

World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series Statistical Report; April 9, 2016; Duck River Raceway Park; Wheel, Tenn.

A-Main (50-laps): 1. 1Dale McDowell, 2. Darrell Lanigan, 3. Josh Richards, 4. Shane Clanton, 5. Brian Shirley, 6. Rick Eckert, 7. Mike Marlar, 8. Chase Junghans, 9. Casey Roberts, 10. Josh Putnam, 11. Morgan Bagley, 12. Cody Mahoney, 13. Brandon Overton, 14. Tim McCreadie, 15. Frank Heckenast Jr., 16. Steve Casebolt, 17. Eric Wells, 18. Chub Frank, 19. Brad Skinner, 20. Billy Moyer Jr., 21. Joey Coulter, 22. Don O'Neal, 23. Tyler Erb, 24. Tanner English, 25. David Siebers, 26. Jared Landers.

Point of April 8
1. Josh Richards 1170
2. Shane Clanton 1060
3. Rick Eckert 1040
4. Brian Shirley 1036
5. Brandon Overton 996
6. Morgan Bagley 988
7. Steve Casebolt 978
7. Chub Frank 978
9. Billy Moyer Jr. 946
10. Frank Heckenast Jr.940

-end-

The World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series Varner Ford 50 at Tazewell Speedway Cancelled

The Varner Ford 50 rains out for only the second time in six years

TAZEWELL, Tenn. - April 8, 2016 - An unfavorable weather forecast that includes rain, snow and cold temperatures has prompted an early cancellation of this weekend's World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series Varner Ford 50 at Tazewell Speedway.

With a collaborative effort between Tazewell Speedway owner Gary Hill and World Racing Group, the event was scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. with gates opening at 4 p.m. The night consisted of time trials, heat races, last chance races and the 50-lap main event for $10,000.

"Gary and the crew at Tazewell always hit a home run with this event, but in the best interest of everybody it did not give him an option," Series Director Tim Christman said.

Series officials considered rescheduling the event but concluded there will be no make-up date. The last rain-out at Tazewell Speedway came in 2013. This is the second rain-out at Tazewell since the Outlaws started making an annual appearance in 2010.

The World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series returns to action April 29 at Carolina Speedway in Gastonia, N.C. All tickets will be sold at the door as "general admission."

-end-

Wells and Ogle Jr. Make A Straight Shot to Tennessee

The World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series takes on Duck River Raceway Park on Friday, April 8 and Tazewell Speedway on Saturday, April 9.

CONCORD, N.C. - April 6, 2016 - To this day, Eric Wells still thinks luck played a role in his first World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series victory at Duck River Raceway Park in 2013. But, winning this weekend may prove that it is more than luck.

With the first victory, Wells became the fifth driver in the series' history to win an A-Main while chasing the Rookie of the Year honor (Fuller ('07), Brian Shirley ('07), Austin Hubbard ('10) and Bub McCool ('12)), which he ended up winning at the end of the 2013 campaign.

"It was unexpected to say the least," said Wells about the race. "The weather was bad, everyone was complaining. But, we had to make the best of what we had."

Wells has four big-pursed career wins, but his first with the Outlaws is special - in front of a near capacity crowd for coincidentally Duck River's

inauguration into the series circuit. This weekend offers him the chance to relive the action - not only trying for his first 2016 win (second series win), but also breaking into the Top 10 in the points race (12th-792).

The race in 2013 remains vivid in his memory: a late pass for the lead and a classic shootout between fellow Kentucky-native Darrell Lanigan for the win.

Oddly enough, the three front-runners in a 30-car field collided at lap 47. Three laps left. Wells avoided the scramble, taking the lead. He went on to beat Lanigan by 0.696 of a second.

He reminisced: "We rode off the high of that win for two or three months," Wells said. "It's pretty incredible. It's the only win we got. The competition is really high and those wins are hard to get."

Wells placed 8th in 2014, while Langian avenged the previous close-margined loss by winning the feature; it was Lanigan's 57th victory of his series record 72 A-Main wins. Now with a year's separation between these series of events, Wells will look to Duck River again.

"It's easy to lose focus and get tunnel-vision in racing," Wells said. "It's so demanding of your time and focus. But I guess what keeps us doing it is the lack of being able to dominate and conquer. We're excited to go back to a track we've had success at."

As for Billy Ogle Jr., he returns to Tazewell Speedway April 9, no more than 50 miles from his home in Knoxville, Tenn. Proximity is not where he finds solace, but in what the track means to him. To Ogle, the track is where his first World of Outlaws Late Models Series victory was in 2015.

In stunning fashion, Ogle found his window to the top-spot on the last laps of Tazewell Speedway's Varner Ford 50. He was running third behind Josh Richards and then-series points leader Shane Clanton for most of the race until…Lap 42: A fading Clanton leaves room for Ogle to continue his prowl to the front.

Lap 49: Ogle dove into turn two and using his car as a wedge passed Richards. Richards attempted to reclaim first in Turn 3, but Ogle shut the door and sails to the checkers.

Ogle knew he had to make a move on the last lap: "When we got the white [flag], I said this is it," he said.

The 2015 win was a check off Ogle's bucket list; Ogle spent the early years of his career racing weekly at Tazewell's high-banked third-mile oval. Ogle - like Wells - will try for his second career series win at the very track where he won his first.

Tickets for the World of Outlaws Craftsman® Late Model Series events at Duck River Speedway and Tazewell Speedway are available at the gate on the day of the event.

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2016 Points
April 29
1. Josh Richards 1320
2. Shane Clanton 1200
3. Rick Eckert  1184
4. Brian Shirley 1174
5. Chub Frank  1124
6. B. Overton 1120
6. Morgan Bagley 1120
8. Steve Casebolt 1106
9. Billy Moyer Jr. 1082
9. F. Heckenast Jr. 1082
 
 
 
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