World of Outlaws champion Josh Richards to miss opener

World of Outlaws champion Josh Richards to miss opener

Undisclosed medical conditions sidelines Richards in favor of Brandon Sheppard
By: Mike Kerchner

Three-time and defending World of Outlaws Late Model Series champion Josh Richards will not be in the seat of the No. 1 Valvoline Rocket Chassis house car when the season opens Feb. 14 at Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla.

Richards, who won the series title in 2009, 2010 and 2013, will be sitting out because of an undisclosed medical condition.

Brandon Sheppard, of New Berlin, Ill., will drive Mark Richards’ No. 1.

Sheppard won the 33rd annual Red Buck Dirt Track World Championship at Portsmouth (Ohio) Raceway Park last October when substituting for Richards.

“It’s not easy to watch from the sidelines for the start of the season, but I hope to have these issues resolved quickly and get back in the car as soon as possible,” said Richards. “I still plan to be involved with the race team and I have full confidence in Brandon Sheppard. I know he will do a phenomenal job in my absence.”

Richards’ official website reports that, “updates will be made as additional details become available.”