Robert Richardson, Jr. keeps top-20 NNS race streak alive in Talladega

Team moves up two more positions in Owner’s Points standings to 24th

CHINA GROVE, N.C. (April 26, 2010) – NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Robert Richardson, Jr. knew he was going to have a full weekend of racing when he entered both the NNS and the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races at Talladega Superspeedway.

But, because Mother Nature decided to attend another race this weekend, the NNS race was postponed until Sunday. Meaning, Richardson was one of 10 drivers to do something no other has ever done at Talladega  – run both races in the same day.

After running the NSCS race for Front Row Motorsports and finishing 26th, Richardson changed uniforms, rehydrated, ate two peanut butter sandwiches and then climbed in the No. 23 Chevrolet for R3 Motorsports.

Starting 41st, it didn’t take long for Richardson to start clicking off the running positions and move forward through the field. A mandatory caution on lap 20 occurred just as a multi-car wreck claimed several entrants.

Quick work by the R3 crew put Richardson back on track in 21st for the restart. From there, it was more adjustments to air pressure and several right side tire stops kept him in the hunt for more.

The only handling problems he radioed in to crew chief Steve Plattenberger was “too tight on entry and too tight on exit” while coursing the 2.66-mile track. Several green flag runs resulted in two green-flag pit stops. By the time the day was done, the R3 pit crew had picked up a total of 16 positions on pit road.

During one of the cycles, Richardson ended up leading the race on lap 94. This was the first lap led for the team and driver in the 2010 season. As the race neared the scheduled finish of lap 117, several cautions slowed the pace and forced a green-white-checkered finish to the race.

Another multi-car wreck just as the field was headed for turns 3 and 4 forced Richardson to make some evasive moves to avoid being collected in the wreck. When the checkers finally waved on lap 120, Richardson finished 20th.

This was the fourth consecutive time he’s finished in the top-20 and second time he’s lead a race at Talladega. As a result of his finish, R3 Motorsports moved from 26th to 24th in the Owner’s Points standings. In the past four races, the team has improved a total of seven positions.

This weekend, Coleman Pressley returns to the No. 23 Chevrolet for the NNS race at Richmond International Raceway on Friday night.

Robert Richardson, Jr. quotes: “Man, what a day. Between the Cup race and Nationwide race we figured I ran about 850 miles here at Talladega. To say that made for a long day would be an understatement, but you do what you to do when weather controls your fate so much.

“I just tried to rehydrate as best I could and get some protein in to my system between races. I literally changed uniforms on the fly and then took off in the Nationwide car. We weren’t as good as I would have liked right from the start and I really wanted to keep up with the lead draft.

“We lost it, got it back, lost it again and then had a deal with three other teams to pit broken when they came in a lap earlier than planned. That resulted in us leading a lap there, which is always nice.

“The end of the race was just nuts as I saw cars rolling over, fire and spinning cars all over the place. We avoided them all and finished 20th. I would have liked better, but it allowed us to move up in the Owner’s Points again, so that was a good thing for the team.”

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