CHINA GROVE, NC – Like many drivers before him who have taken on a new track as a NASCAR driver, Robert Richardson was left shaking his head after a checkered flag.
Such was the case at Chicagoland Speedway for Richardson and the No. 23 Mahindra Tractors Chevrolet. The combination of the 1.5-mile tricky oval, his first visit and long, green-flag runs caused Richardson to endure a trying night of racing in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
After attempting to tame the track during practice sessions on Thursday, Richardson qualified 41st for the 200-lap race on Friday. Heavy rains during the day left the track green for the Nationwide qualifying session prior to the race. From the start, handling conditions kept Richardson from moving forward at pace he liked.
But, through some timely cautions, decisive calls by the crew chief, great stops by the Mahindra Tractors pit crew and good driving by Richardson; the R3 Motorsports team was able to move up the scoring pylon. By the time the checkered flag waved, Richardson had gained 13 positions from where he started to finish 28th.
There were only 11 cars on the lead lap and Richardson was the only one on his lap; five down from the leaders. Aside from bring the Chevrolet home in one piece; the good news was Richardson will be more prepared when he does return to Chicagoland Speedway next time.
Robert Richardson, driver – “That was a long night of racing, for sure. We struggled right from the start in the practice sessions. I just couldn’t get the car to turn the way we needed to in the turns.
“That is one tricky track they have there in Chicago. I tried arching in differently, exiting the turns different and just about every adjustment we through at our car didn’t seem to take. In qualifying, I was the third one out and took it easy because the track was so green from all the rain just before qualifying.
“In hindsight, I should have just let it rip and laid down a better lap. Once the race started, we just did what we could to get better and stay in the race. I really have to give credit to the crew for hanging tough and having good stops.”
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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