Fort Worth, Texas. (November 9, 2009) – Robert Richardson Jr. and his sponsor, Mahindra Tractors, raced at their home track this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. It was also the last race of the season for Richardson in his #23 Mahindra Tractors Chevy. So, hoping to finish his season off on a strong note, Richardson set out to have a solid run and a strong finish at Texas Motor Speedway.
Richardson and team came to Texas with a lot of confidence and a brand new Chevrolet, looking to have a strong showing in the O’Reilly Challenge. They spent the first two practice sessions Friday morning setting up the car to Richardson’s liking and preparing for qualifying Friday night, but when qualifying came Richardson drew to go out fourth and this would not be lucky for the 23 team. Coming out of turn four, the Mahindra Tractors Chevrolet got loose and smacked the inside wall. The wreck forced the team to a backup car, resulting in a 40th-place starting position.
As the green flag dropped Saturday afternoon, luck would not be on the side of the 23 team as Richardson quickly radioed that the car would not come up to speed. New Crew Chief, Jeff Kirkendall, quickly radioed to change to his backup ignition box and within two laps Richardson had his Mahindra Tractors Chevrolet back up to speed, several seconds behind the field.
By lap 16, Richardson had caught the back of the field and was beginning to move up, but radioed to his crew that his car was tight on exit and the longer he ran the tighter his Chevrolet got. Green flag pit stops began on lap 56 and the 23 team called Richardson from 32nd position to pit for four new tires, fuel and an air pressure adjustment and sent him back on his way. Four laps later the caution flag flew for debris. Kirkendall called Richardson back in to work on the valence of the car, make a sway bar adjustment and top the car off with fuel. When the field went back to racing, the changes weren’t helpful, and Richardson struggled to maintain his position in the field.
Lap 105 brought out the fourth caution of the day and gave the Mahindra Tractors team another chance to work on the handling of the car. Richardson brought his car to the pits for a track bar adjustment, four tires and fuel. The changes seemingly helped as Richardson moved his way up to 25th position by lap 128.
Bad luck struck yet again on lap 42 as smoke started pouring out of the Mahindra Tractors Chevrolet. Richardson was called to the garage and his day was over with an engine problem, 68 laps from the end of the race. The engine problem relegated the Mahindra Tractors team to a 26th-place finish.
R3 Motorsports returns to action with Ken Butler III behind the wheel at Phoenix International Raceway in the Able Body Labor 200. Live race coverage begins on ESPN2 at 4:00 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast live on MRN Radio at 4:00 p.m. EDT.
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.
Contact Tracy Olszewski at R3 Motorsports Media Relations – 704-785-6196 – email@example.com
For more information on Robert Richardson Jr., please visit our news archive.