12Sports Track Pass: Richards Returns Home - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

12Sports Track Pass: Richards Returns Home

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MIDDLEBOURNE -

"It's everything, it's my life, my passion," Josh Richards said. "It can definitely drag on you a bit, but we've had a lot of fun, and there's not too many people that can say they love what they do."

"This is all I've ever done. My entire life my paycheck has come from driving a racecar," Richards said.

Shinnston is nearly 300 miles from Charlotte North Carolina, the home of American Auto racing. But its raised one of the country's budding stars.

"I started when I was 16, so this is my tenth year," Richards replied. "You know it's kind of crazy to see what we've accomplished in such a short amount of time."

Josh Richards has spent nearly his entire career in one of the country's premier dirt track circuits: The World of Outlaws Late Model series. The prodigy child of his father's team, Mark Richards Racing and company Rocket Chassis, Josh took a leap of fate last year running 13 times in NASCAR's Nationwide Series.

"To get that experience last year I feel like has helped me grow in many different ways. As a person, as a driver," Richards said.

This year Richards is back in late models, where he's tallied more than 80 career wins, including two championships and more than 40 World Of Outlaw victories.

"We've had a lot of success, and a lot of fun, and it is definitely challenging. Anytime you do something like this you put your heart and soul, and you put in all of your effort and all of your time in," Richards said.

That success has helped him become a fan favorite.

"I've seen him race since he was a kid until an adult. He's really progressed a lot. We're all proud of him."

Richards is as good as ever in 2013, currently sitting atop of the Outlaws standings, and he's loving every lap of it.

"The only thing that matters is every time you strap yourself in behind the wheel is to do your best," Richards said. "We have the goal in our minds to win championships. The biggest thing is to go out there have fun, and do what you love to do and try to do your best."