Shinnston, WV’s Josh Richards prevailed in the 38th annual running of The Rhino Ag Dirt Track World Championship presented by Optima Batteries this past weekend at Portsmouth Raceway Park.
Richards’ victory marked his second-straight DTWC win, and while he went back-to-back in the Lucas Oil Late Models, Parkersburg, WV’s K.C. Burdette accomplished the same feat in the Modifieds. Bean Station, TN’s Jacob Owens was triumphant in the Ohio Valley Roofers Legends Car Series.
The DTWC brought in 50 Late Model competitors, 80 Modified drivers, 20 Legends Car racers, and a great crowd of fans.
Action began on Thursday with eight Modified Heats, four B-Mains, and a non-qualifiers race. Friday brought 10 Lucas Oil Late Model Heats, two Legends Car Heats, and a Legends Car Feature.
On Saturday, PRP fans were treated to a pair of Late Model B-Mains, the Modified A-Main, and the Jim Dunn Memorial Late Model Non-Qualifiers race. The 100-lap, $100,000-to-win Late Model feature was scheduled to take place Saturday, but heavy wind gusts and rains forced the highlighted event of the weekend to be postponed until Sunday.
For Richards, it was certainly worth the wait. The 2017 Lucas Oil Champion started Sunday’s feature fifth but would steadily work his way to the front.
Polesitter Brian Shirley from Chatham, IL would lead the first 20 laps before Richards took the lead by diving underneath Shirley entering turn three. Shirley would continue to ride in the top 5 before retiring just shy of lap 40.
Outside polesitter and 2018 Lucas Oil Champ Jonathan Davenport from Blairsville, GA would fade back to fourth early on but would battle his way back to second and finish as the race’s runner-up.
Evans, GA racer Brandon Overton would fight his way from 11th to third. Two-time DTWC winner Brandon Sheppard from Berlin, IL charged up 10 positions to fourth, and Cross Lanes, WV racer Zack Dohm climbed from 21st to fifth.
Mike Marlar, Don O’Neal, Earl Pearson, Jr., Jimmy Owens, and Chase Junghans rounded out the top 10. Finishing 11th through 15th were Dale McDowell, Bobby Pierce, Chris Ferguson, Jared Hawkins, and Ricky Thornton, Jr. PRP’s 2018 track champ Eddie Carrier, Jr. placed 16th. Wheelersburg’s RJ Conley finished 17th.
Rounding out the top 20 were Dennis Erb, Jr., Scott Bloomquist, and Tim McCreadie. McCreadie, who won the World 100 at Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH a week earlier, battled his way from 15th to third before breaking on lap 66.
Making up the rest of the field were Boom Briggs, Brandon Fouts, Kyle Bronson, Gregg Satterlee, Brian Shirley, Shannon Thornsberry, Jason Covert, and Darrell Lanigan.
The Carl Short-promoted DTWC was made up of 28 drivers representing 13 different states.
In the Modified Feature Saturday, Brian Skaggs looked to be the man to beat early on. The Pedro, OH native sit on the pole and led the first 19 laps of the 40-lap event before having to pull off. His exit handed the lead over to K.C. Burdette, who never looked back. Burdette started the race in 10th.
Jessie Wisecarver placed second. Nathan Loney was third. Shon Flanary finished fourth, and Craig Christian rounded out the top five. The remainder of the top 10 consisted of Aaron Pendleton, Travis Dickson, Aaron Branham, Jimmy Lennex, and James Grigsby.
As is customary at The DTWC, the winners of the non-qualifier races were given the option to forfeit a little money and tag the tail of the features. Chase Junghans won the Jim Dunn Memorial Late Model Non-Qualifiers Race and opted to started 28th in the A-Main. The Manhattan, KS driver climbed 18 spots to finish 10th.
West Portsmouth’s Doug “The Buzzard” Adkins won the Modified Non-Qualifiers Race and decided to tag the tail of the feature. The former PRP track champion would finish 25th.
This past weekend concluded Portsmouth Raceway Park’s 2018 season, as well as the Lucas Oil Dirt Late Model season.