CONCORD, NC (May 24, 2009) – Robert Richardson, Jr. and the No. 23 Mahindra Tractors Chevrolet team endured a tough night of racing at Lowe’s Motor Speedway on Saturday night for R3 Motorsports.
From the first practice through the second into qualifying and for the major portion of the race, Richardson and team endured a tight handling condition when entering the turns. Adjustments to the chassis, air pressures and track bar didn’t bring the car around to a more productive racing condition.
Richardson started the race in 37th place after a 90-minute rain delay from the original start time. Once the track was dried, engines were fired and the green flag finally waved over the 1.5-mile oval, 43-car field. From the start, Richardson took to the track with two goals. First, run to get the best finish possible by completing all the laps. Second, relay information to the crew so proper adjustments could be made throughout the 200-lap event.
The biggest problem for Richardson happened as he entered turns 1 and 3 the right front wouldn’t allow Richardson to go through turns 2 and 4 as quickly as desired. Adjustments were made through all pit stops to better the car.
By lap 54, Richardson became one of many cars to be lapped by the leaders. Just prior to the half way point, Richardson was running the high line and brushed the outside retaining wall. With the right front already a problem, now the tire’s “toe” (how it points forward) was out causing the handling condition to be worse.
From there, Richardson did all he could to make the best of the situation and bring the No. 23 Mahindra Tractor Chevrolet to the checkered flag in one piece. The Mahindra Tractor crew had an excellent night on pit road knocking off quick and efficient stops in making adjustments and to fix the toe. This was to set up Richardson to successfully complete the race.
However, Mother Nature showed back up again on lap 168 to rain on the event one more time. Once the rain picked up from a sprinkle to a downpour, NASCAR officials called it official leaving Richardson in 33rd place as a final result.
Robert Richardson, Jr; driver
“Man, what a night for our Mahindra Tractors team. Everyone on this R3 Motorsports team worked to get the car better and better all weekend. It was tough to go into turns 1 and 3 as fast as I wanted because of how the right front reacted when I went in there. We were good from the center off, but the front end just went up the track when I dove in there.
“The good part was we were great in the pits tonight on our stops and how we got on and off pit road. We just had a tough go of it with the handling of the car. I wish we could have finished it out for the last 32 laps of the race before the rain, but we can’t control that part.
“The R3 Motorsports team will go to work on the No. 23 Mahindra Tractor Chevrolet and get it better for next time. I know we can and we’ll have those results show on the track.”
About Mahindra Tractors
Tomball, Texas-based Mahindra USA is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra, one of the largest tractor manufacturers in the world. Mahindra USA began selling tractors in America in 1994 and has grown rapidly due to high customer satisfaction and customer referrals. Professional-grade Mahindra tractors are designed to help consumers push more, pull more and lift more. For more information, please visit www.mahindrausa.com.
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