Robert Richardson, Jr. finishes 27th in No. 23 Chevrolet at Nashville

CHINA GROVE, N.C. (June 6, 2010) – Robert Richardson, Jr. and the No. 23 Chevrolet of R3 Motorsports took an arduous route to a 27th-place finish at Nashville Superspeedway on Saturday.

During qualifying, the backend of the red and black Chevrolet came out from under the 28-year old driver in Turns 1 and 2 on the first lap. As a result, the back end slid up the concrete racing surface, making heavy contact with the wall.

Damaged beyond repair, the Steve Plattenberger-led team leapt into action and brought out the back-up car. Once it was readied and cleared NASCAR inspection, the team lined up 43rd for the 225-lap race.

Because there were zero laps on the car, Richardson took the early part of the race to sort out the car’s handling. Saying the car was “way too loose” during that time, the team utilized a lap five caution to pit for tires, fuel and an aggressive chassis adjustment.

From there, Richardson moved up to 34th place, then to 32nd for two other pit stops before the halfway point. Breaking into the top-30 by lap 87, the McKinney, Texas native moved to 29th and 28th place with fuel only and right-side only pit stops.

After going two laps down, the R3 Motorsports team was able to put the Chevrolet back on the lead lap via wave around laps and the Free Pass Rule on two separate cautions. They returned to lead-lap status on lap 126 and lap 170, trying to remain there for until the checkers waved.

However, long-green flag runs stretched the field out around the 1.333-mile concrete oval putting several cars a lap down. For the final late-race cautions, Richardson remained in 27th place and stayed there when the checkered flag flew on lap 225.

Though the finish wasn’t what the team wanted, the good news is the back-up car raced well and they brought it home in one piece. The better news is R3 Motorsports remains 24th in the all-important Owner’s Points standings as the team heads to Kentucky Speedway this weekend.

Robert Richardson, Jr. quotes: “This isn’t what we wanted this weekend and didn’t want to start it the way we did there in qualifying. We got the primary car pretty decent during the two practices on Thursday where I knew it would race pretty good.

“But, that all went away on the first lap in qualifying when it got backed into the fence. I hated that we had to pull out the back-up car because I knew the guys worked so hard on the primary. But, like they always do, they had the back-up out and ready for the race in no time.

“It’s tough to go out there and not know what, and how, you’re car is going to be on the track. We made some pretty good adjustments there in the beginning and it helped us for the rest of the race. I wish the finish would have been better, but it was better than where we started.

“So, we’ll go to Kentucky and earn us a good finish there in the No. 23 Chevrolet and keep gaining in the Owner’s Points.”

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