"Rocket Man" Josh Richards Looking to Wrap Up Third Championship at the World of Outlaws World Finals
The racing season may be coming to a close, but that means only one thing: The Greatest Show on Dirt is returning to The Dirt Track at Charlotte. Dirt will fly when the World of Outlaws Series drivers take to the lightning-fast, four-tenths-mile clay oval for the World of Outlaws World Finals. One of those drivers looking forward to the trip is "Rocket Man" Josh Richards.
Richards, driver of the No. 1 Valvoline/Ernie D's Rocket Late Model, already has four wins at The Dirt Track at Charlotte, including one World Finals win, and is looking for more to wrap up this year.
"Charlotte is one of my favorite tracks to run," said Richards. "I think it just fits my driving style. You have to be really aggressive at Charlotte. It's a fast place with its shape and layout. It's one of the best tracks to go to all year."
Richards, a 25-year-old native of Shinnston, W.V., knows nothing else but going fast, turning left, and slinging dirt. Racing was in his blood at a young age from working at local tracks at the age of 5 to working his way up to full-time driver by 14. He has since accumulated more than a decade of racing knowledge.
"It's been in my family for many years and actually a few generations now," said Richards. "I was always around it as a kid so it's really all I know and have been around all of my life."
In 2011 and 2012, Richards tried his luck on asphalt in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and the Nationwide Series, but made his return back to his dirt roots in 2013. Since his full-time return to the World of Outlaws Late Model Series, Richards has racked up 9 wins, 30 top-5s, 39 top-10s and the point lead over Darrell Lanigan heading in to the last races of the season.
With two World of Outlaws Late Model Series championships under his belt already and two runner-up finishes, Richards shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. His eye is on the ultimate prize, another World of Outlaws Late Model Series title.
"It means everything," said Richards. "We have been really successful, but to win it again means a lot to me, my crew, my sponsors, family, friends and supporters. There are a lot of people who have put a lot of dedication into the team. To win it is even more for them and it means a lot to me to do it for them."
Fans won't want to miss Richards, Lanigan and all the other stars of the World of Outlaws Series battle it out for not only the win but the championship at the World of Outlaws World Finals.
"World Finals, in my opinion, is the biggest dirt racing spectacle that has ever existed," said Richards. "It may not be the largest event for each class, but it's definitely the largest event as a whole to have the top three premier classes wind down in one place."
Three-day tickets to the World of Outlaws World Finals are just $79, and tickets for children 13 and under are $34. Single-day tickets are $20 for adults on Thursday and $39 for Friday and Saturday. Single-day tickets for kids 13 and under are $10 for Thursday and $15 for Friday and Saturday. A three-day pit pass is just $85. Tickets will go up by $5 the week of the event. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267) or go online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com/dirt.
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