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‘Kid Rocket’ Teamed With ‘Smoke’ For Chili Bowl

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  • ‘Kid Rocket’ Teamed With ‘Smoke’ For Chili Bowl

    It is looking like Tony Stewart is going to become the most powerful man in in American motor sports.


    November 08, 2005

    By Doc Lehman

    Newly crowned World of Outlaw Late Model Series Rookie of the Year Josh ‘Kid Rocket’ Richards of Shinnston, WV will be competing in the upcoming 20th Annual Chili Bowl Midget Nationals as a member of the Venture Racing Team and teamed with Tony Stewart, Jason Leffler, Sammy Swindell and Kevin Swindell. Richards, a 17-year-old high school senior, will be competing in his first Chili Bowl driving a Spike Chassis equipped with a Gary Stanton Mopar Racing Engines.

    The popular national event (tickets are already sold out) that will held at the Tulsa Expo Raceway in Tulsa, OK January 11-14, 2006 attracts drivers from all forms of motorsports. Richards’ Midget will be sponsored by Seubert Calf Ranches of Dorchester, WI, Ace Metal Works of Enterprise, WV, Complete Flooring of Laplata, MD and Stanton Racing Engines/ Mopar.

    “I’m excited,” understated Richards. “I’ve been working out the past few days and I’ll work out all through the winter to keep in shape for this. I’m really looking forward to driving in the Chili Bowl.”

    Richards is also keenly aware of what it means to be driving for Venture Racing Team headed up by the famed John Godfrey, who was the founder of Stealth Chassis and is now with Spike Products. “I’m glad to have the opportunity to drive for someone like him, it’s pretty cool.”

    Godfrey, a long-time industry mover-and-shaker, is also looking forward to working with ‘Kid Rocket’. “This will be a great opportunity and its great exposure for him,” stated Godfrey. “There are so many people there and so many drivers, it’s the biggest Midget race of the year.”

    “We’ll be fielding five cars. We’ll have Tony Stewart, Sammy Swindell, Jason Leffler, Kevin Swindell and of course Josh. I find it interesting we have a mix of veterans and rookies. It’s always nice to go with someone new who you can maybe help someday. It was what we did with Tony and Jason in the 90’s. We started off ten years ago and won USAC championships with both of them and here we are, I don’t know, ten years down the road and we’re getting them back again.”

    Godfrey wouldn’t put just anyone in one of his cars and admits that Richards has real potential and his researched bared that fact out. “Yes I do think there is potential, definitely. To be honest I don’t know that much about Josh but from word of mouth from so many people he just sounds like a kid that just needs a chance. And they have obviously done their homework on us and figured out we’re a good team.”

    To get some laps and experience in an open wheel car Richards will be attending the Cory Kruseman Driving School on the west coast in a couple weeks. “I’m pretty pumped to be going out there for that in a couple weeks,” commented Richards. And he is quick to confirm that beyond the Chili Bowl he would be hard pressed to turn down another Open Wheel ride, such as a Sprint Car. “I’d drive one, I’d drive anything,” confirmed Richards.

    Richards is also quick to affirm that just making the starting field of the main event for the Chili Bowl would be an achievement in itself. “That would mean a lot,” said Richards. “I never really heard of until last year. But it seems to be a pretty big deal and the more I hear about it the more I want to get out there and see how we do.”

    During 2005 Richards won the WoO LMS Rookie of the Year title in his Mark Richards Racing-owned #1 Seubert Calf Ranches, Ace Metal Works, MCB Motorsports, Hoosier Racing Tires, Rocket Chassis, Cornett Engines Grand Prix.

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