INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Josh Richards’ maiden season with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series officially came to a close Friday night with the annual Awards Gala at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, where he was awarded the Championship title.
The 29-year-old, Shinnston, WV native was rewarded with a $75,000 points-fund check, along with a $10,000 bonus from Sweet Manufacturing. Other awards claimed by the 2017 National Champion include: Eibach Springs Most Heat Race Wins ($500), Midwest Sheet Metal Points Leader Spoiler Challenge ($1,000), Simpson Most Top Five Finishes ($500), and the Sunoco Race for Gas ($3,000).
Richards and the Best Performance Motorsports team ended their banner season with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series with 10 wins, 28 top-fives, 38 top-ten performances and collecting a total of $415,050 in earnings.
“I’m so blessed to be able to do what I love,” said Richards. “I’d like to thank Eric [Brock] for believing in me and giving me this opportunity. “Without so many great people putting their faith in me, none of this would be possible. The team … Randall [Edwards] and Tyler [Nevins] and everyone involved with this the team, it means more to me to win it for them than it does for myself. I’m happy for all of them.”
Richards’ #1 entry is sponsored by: Bulk Material Lift.com, Corey Frazer-State Farm Insurance, Alexander Lawn and Landscaping, Ultimate Firepit, Sunoco Race Fuels, Integra Shocks, Keyser Manufacturing, and Valvoline.
Richards, who will drive for Best Performance Motorsports again in 2018, is ready to return to action. “I’m just ready to go race,” Richards said. “We’re not putting any pressure on ourselves. It’s the same as this year – just go out and race and try and get better each and every day.”
Hudson O’Neal received the 2017 Lucas Oil Rookie of the Year – Presented by Hot Rod Processing award. Seventeen-year-old O’Neal, the son of former Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion, Don O’Neal, finished ninth in the overall Championship Standings during his first-ever year on a national tour.
O’Neal completed his first season with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series totaling 7 top-five finishes and 17 top-ten performances. In addition to his $10,000 in prize money, O’Neal received product certificates from: AR Bodies, Earnhardt Technologies Group, FAST Shafts, Keyser Manufacturing, Performance Bodies, QA1, and Wrisco Industries.
“Todd Burns has given me the world,” said an emotional O’Neal. “What an accomplishment this is for me and my team. It’s an honor to be standing on this stage in front of the best drivers in the world. I want to thank all my competitors for their advice, their support, and allowing me to live my dream. I am excited to be back with this team and chase the Lucas Oil tour in 2018.”
O’Neal attributes his success this season to the support of his sponsors, which include: Peak Antifreeze and Motor Oil, Tarpy Trucking, Sub-Surface of Indiana, West Side Tractor Sales Co, Kimball Midwest by Krissie, Mark Martin Automotive and Penske Racing Shocks.
Other awards presented included:
ASi Racewear Crown Jewel Cup – Presented by DirtonDirt.com: Tim McCreadie ($10,000)
Bad Boy Mowers TV Race Challenge – Presented by E3 Spark Plugs: Tim McCreadie ($10,000)
Ohlins Shocks Chassis Builder of the Year: Rocket Chassis ($1,000)
COMP Cams Engine Builder of the Year: Durham Racing Engines ($1,500)
DirtonDirt.com Cash Clip of the Week: Tim McCreadie ($2,000)
Allstar Performance Power Move of the Year: Scott Bloomquist ($500)
Simpson Most Top Five Finishes: Josh Richards ($500)
Midwest Sheet Metal Point Leader Spoiler Challenge: Josh Richards ($1,000)
Eibach Springs Most Heat Race Wins: Josh Richards ($500)
Miller Welders Most Fast Time Awards: Scott Bloomquist ($500)
Sunoco Race Fuels Show-Me 100 Bonus: Earl Pearson Jr. ($2,000)
Sunoco Race Fuels Race For Gas: Josh Richards ($3,000)
Wrisco Most Feature Wins: Scott Bloomquist ($1,000)
PFC Brakes Most Pole Awards: Tim McCreadie ($500)
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Year: Randall Edwards ($1,000)
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Year: Dennis Erb Jr. ($500)
Mike Swims Award of Excellence: Ritchie Lewis
Lucas Oil Final Championship Standings:
POS CAR # DRIVER NAME HOMETOWN POINTS EARNINGS
1 1R Josh Richards Shinnston, WV 8345 $415,050
2 39 Tim McCreadie Watertown, NY 8280 $356,050
3 0 Scott Bloomquist Mooresburg, TN 8230 $307,925
4 5 Don O’Neal Martinsville, IN 7675 $195,935
5 20 Jimmy Owens Newport, TN 7665 $197,865
6 14 Darrell Lanigan Union, KY 7495 $163,950
7 1 Earl Pearson Jr. Jacksonville, FL 7400 $167,145
8 28e Dennis Erb Jr. Carpentersville, IL 6985 $128,600
9 71 Hudson O’Neal ® Martinsville, IN 6915 $131,810
10 22 Gregg Satterlee ® Rochester Mills, PA 6795 $142,835
11 15 Steve Francis Bowling Green, KY 6610 $91,640
12 99 Boom Briggs ® Bear Lake, PA 5910 $71,600