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Daily Dirt 06/13/2024 21:33:56

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April 2
Farmer City Raceway,
Farmer City, IL
Sanction: World of Outlaws Morton Buildings Late Model Series (Douglas Dodge Ram Trucks Illini 100) - $6,000
Information provided by: Alli Collis (last updated April 3, 12:38 pm)
Richards edges Unzicker for victory at Farmer City
Douglas Dodge Ram Trucks Illini 100
  1. Josh Richards
  2. Ryan Unzicker
  3. Billy Moyer Jr.
  4. Brandon Overton
  5. Steve Casebolt
  6. Shane Clanton
  7. Mike Marlar
  8. Scott Schmitt
  9. Chris Simpson
  10. Rick Eckert
  11. Cody Mahoney
  12. Devin Gilpin
  13. Morgan Bagley
  14. Jay Morris
  15. McKay Wenger
  16. Chub Frank
  17. Brian Shirley
  18. Frank Heckenast Jr.
  19. Billy Moyer
  20. Mason Zeigler
  21. Boom Briggs
  22. Eric Wells
  23. Chase Junghans
  24. Tyler Erb
  25. Joey Coulter
  26. Bobby Pierce
  27. Kent Robinson
  28. Paul Wilmoth Jr.
  29. Kevin Weaver
  30. Shannon Babb
presented by
John Vass
Josh Richards gets up to speed on Saturday at Farmer City Raceway.
What won the race: Using lapped traffic to his advantage, fifth-starting Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., overtook outside polesitter Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, Ill., in the final circuits to capture a $6,000 World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series victory at Farmer City Raceway.
Key notes: Richards captured his 61st career World of Outlaws victory and his third series triumph of the 2016 season. … With a rain shower falling right before hot laps were set to take the track, Friday's program was postponed to Saturday evening. Saturday's show was moved to Sunday.
On the move: Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga., advanced from the 12th starting spot to finish sixth.
Winner's sponsors: Richards's No. 1 Rocket Chassis has an Andy Durham Racing Engine is sponsored by Ace Metal Works, Hoosier, Joy Global, Seubert Calf Ranches and Valvoline.
Points chase: Richards ended the night with 876 points, extending his lead in the standings to 94 points over Rick Eckert of York, Pa., and 96 over defending champion Shane Clanton of Zebulon, Ga.
Car count: 48
Fast qualifier: Steve Casebolt
Time: 12.310 seconds
Polesitter: Brandon Overton
Heat race winners: Bobby Pierce, Billy Moyer Jr., Josh Richards, Scott Schmitt, Ryan Unzicker, Brandon Overton
Consolation race winners: Mason Zeigler, Eric Wells
Provisional starters: Brian Shirley, Morgan Bagley, Frank Heckenast Jr., Boom Briggs, Chase Junghans, Joey Coulter
Next series race: April 3, Farmer City Raceway (Farmer City, IL) $15,000
Editor's note: Results and race details are unofficial.
By Alli Collis
DirtonDirt.com staff writer

FARMER CITY, Ill. (April 2) — Using lapped traffic to his advantage, fifth-starting Josh Richards of Shinnston, W.Va., overtook race leader Ryan Unzicker of El Paso, Ill., in the final laps of Saturday’s Douglas Dodge Ram Trucks Illini 100 opener, capturing a $6,000 World of Outlaws Craftsman Late Model Series victory at Farmer City Raceway.

Redrawing to start inside the third row, Richards began his charge around the 25-lapper’s halfway mark, reeling in the front runners as they approached the tail of the field. Slipping past Unzicker just before a yellow flag waved on lap 21, Richards pulled away in the final circuits to score his third series victory of the season.

“On the initial start there, I just kind of rode around,” Richards said after the race. “I felt pretty good, but I knew we had to make something happen if we were going to get up through there. I think (Ryan) Unzicker kind of moved up in lapped traffic there and we got back by him. The car was phenomenal, really fun to drive. It feels good to race since Florida and to get a win here at Farmer City means a lot to me personally.”

With an early battle ensuing between Unzicker and fellow front row starter Brandon Overton of Appling, Ga., Richards bided his time in the early running. Scoring his 61st career World of Outlaws victory, the three-time series champion is feeling confident heading into Saturday’s Illini 100 finale.

“I knew I was kind of riding early,” Richards said. “I wanted to see how the car was and everything. We just picked up the pace a little bit and it was there. It was really fun to drive. Seventy-five laps is a long time tomorrow. This little place, anything can happen. You slip up a little bit, you can lose a bunch of ground or gain a bunch of ground. But the car’s been really great."

Unzicker held on to finish second, with Billy Moyer Jr. of Batesville, Ark., holding on to his third-place starting spot. After swapping the lead in the opening laps, Overton fell back to run fourth, with seventh-starting Steve Casebolt of Richmond, Ind., rounding out the top five.

“You never want to see the yellow, but my stick guy told me that my lead was shrinking,” Unzicker said of the lap-21 caution. “That’s why I took the outside line there, just to try something different. I was kind of bottled up there on the bottom with I don’t know how many to go. I had to give it a whirl. I didn’t see nobody out there, so I was like, ‘What the heck, I’ll do it.’ But to lose to Josh (Richards) … he’s on top of everybody right now. We can’t hang our head about that.”

Coming off a solid showing in last weekend’s Thaw Brawl at La Salle (Ill.) Speedway, Unzicker posted his best career performance with the World of Outlaws tour. His early battle with Overton was fun for both the fans and the driver.

“That was awesome,” Unzicker said. “That’s what the fans paid their money for. And it makes us racers excited about getting in the car, because it gets kind of old sometimes. That was awesome … for us to be able to race back-and-forth and even be able to challenge for the lead at this place with as many good cars, we’re just tickled to death.”

Moyer Jr. was pleased with his podium finish. Notching a fourth-place finish at the Illinois oval during July’s UMP DIRTcar Summernationals action, the second-generation driver now counts Farmer City among his favorite racetracks.

“It was so much fun,” Moyer Jr. said of the race. “I want to win, but dang, that was a lot of fun. My dad, over the years, always talked about this place. I always sucked qualifying, so I got put in the back, so I didn’t make the race or I ran in the back and got in the way and got lapped. I’ve been up front twice in a row here, Summernationals … this is a hell of track. It’s one of my favorites now.

Notes: The first 10 laps saw nine lead changes between front row starters Brandon Overton and Ryan Unzicker. … The race was slowed by two cautions. … A yellow flag flew on the initial start for a tangle in turns one and two involving polesitter Brandon Overton and several others. The race was brought to a complete restart; Overton continued with heavy body damage to the right rear of his car. … Running among the top five, Bobby Pierce drew a lap-21 caution when he jumped the cushion in turn one.

Feature lineup

Row 1: Overton, Unzicker
Row 2: Moyer Jr., Schmitt
Row 3: Richards, Pierce
Row 4: Casebolt, Babb
Row 5: Marlar, Mahoney
Row 6: Robinson, Clanton
Row 7: Eckert, Simpson
Row 8: Morris, Wenger
Row 9: Frank, Gilpin
Row 10: Zeigler, Wells
Row 11: Moyer, Weaver
Row 12: Shirley, Bagley
Row 13: Heckenast, Briggs
Row 14: Junghans, Coulter
Row 15: Wilmoth, Erb

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