Mooresville, NC (May 20, 2008) Robert Richardson Jr. announced that he would be splitting from Jay Robinson Racing to drive once again for his father Robert Richardson Sr. to resurrect R3 Motorsports – only this time to come back as a NASCAR Nationwide Series team driving the No. 23 Renegade Wheels Chevrolet.
With Rob Fuller, Mark Nelson as Crew Chief, and a new team behind Richardson Jr., the combination seems to be a right and comfortable fit for a productive season for the No. 23 team. “We’ve had a couple top 25 finishes in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and in both of those instances Rob Fuller was there assisting”, said Richardson Jr.. “I am excited to have a great bunch of guys working for us now. Rob helped me out over at Jay Robinson Racing and started to turn that program around. We elected to have him on board for our deal and so far he’s made the right calls and right decisions. He and I seem to have a good chemistry right now along with Mark and that’s what you need to have in order to have a successful race team. “
Richardson Jr. and the team have their work cut out for them in a strong qualifying field, but with the confidence displayed on the track during a successful test session at the beginning of May serve to give the team a lot of poise when it comes to taming “The Beast”. “Our primary focus is to qualify for the race”, said Richardson Jr. “It will be a tough field to make. With forty-six cars obviously we are going to have to beat some people and send some good cars home. From looking at our times that we ran during our test session at Charlotte, I think we’re capable of making the race and being competitive equal to what we’ve done in the past.”
Richardson Jr. has shown a competitive ability on the intermediate tracks of NASCAR already in his 2008 season and in 2006 when he drove for his father’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team. Transitioning from driver development series to NASCAR is a huge step in the racing industry and the Richardson duo tells no tales when it comes to the competitive reality of NASCAR. “In 2006, when we had our NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series team and dad was the owner, it was our first big step into NASCAR. I think we both underestimated the power of NASCAR and racing and the big names of the sport”, remembers Richardson Jr. “I had been successful in late models, ARCA, and everything else leading up to that point. As soon as we got in and saw how serious this sport was it was kind of a big reality check for both of us, about how serious this business is and how competitive it is in NASCAR. I’ve struggled but then again I am getting better as the years progress.”
Richardson Jr. has shown improvement on the track and now gets to meet the pavement where the history of racing legends still permeates the air – Lowe’s Motor Speedway. This will be Richardson’s first start here in the heart of NASCAR and he hopes to make a great start for Saturday. “We are just looking to capitalize off of the season so far, and to go forward with this program. That’s my goal to finish 19th or better for the most part and that’s the direction that we want to go.”
The NASCAR Nationwide Series Carquest Auto Parts 300 is set to roll off pit road May 24, 2008 at 7 p.m. EST. You can watch Richardson Jr. take the track at Lowe’s Motor Speedway Live on ESPN 2.