CHINA GROVE, N.C. (June 27, 2010) – Robert Richardson, Jr. and the No. 23 Chevrolet of R3 Motorsports completed the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway gaining 15 positions from the green to checkered flags.
This was the third time Richardson has competed at the one-mile oval of NHMS making a Truck Series start in 2006 and one previous NNS race in 2007. Each time, he ended up not finishing the race, which left him without the experience of knowing what it took to go the distance at the tricky track.
After Saturday, now he knows.
Starting 42nd in the 43-car field, Richardson quickly took to the pack climbing to 31st when the first caution flag flew just seven laps into the 200-mile race. Opting not to pit, he radioed into crew chief Steve Plattenberger the car was handling tight coursing the flat corners.
When they were finally able to pit under green on lap 87, the R3 Motorsports crew changed four tires, took out a spring rubber and added fuel. The caution waved six laps later and Plattenberger opted to top their Chevrolet off with fuel to gain more laps for later in the race.
By the halfway point, there were only 22 cars on the lead lap and Richardson was faster than three of the five cars one lap ahead of him on the scoring chart. As the laps ticked down, he started running lap times consistent with the top-15. However, long green flag runs prevented him from capitalizing on lucky dog and wave arounds to gain some laps back as only 19 cars finished on the lead lap.
After the lap 147 caution, Richardson hit pit road for the final stop of the day for fuel, tires and adjustments. Restarting 30th with only five cars on the same lap, he gained three more positions when the checkered flag waved to finish 27th.
The No. 23 Chevrolet is now 27th in the Owner’s Points standings trailing 26th place by five points, 25th by 16 and 24th by just 26 markers. Next up, the NASCAR Nationwide Series begins the second half of the 2010 season with a return to Daytona International Speedway.
Richardson will be pulling double duty this 4th of July weekend by making his third start in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series for Front Row Motorsports, and driving for R3 Motorsports in the Nationwide race.
This also marks the debut of the much-anticipated, new-body Nationwide Series cars that will be utilized for all of next season. This is the first of four races for these cars in 2010, with Michigan, Richmond and Charlotte being the other three.
Robert Richardson quotes: “The good news is I finally finished a race here at New Hampshire. We worked really hard in practice to get the car where it was comfortable to race and how it would be on a long run. When we kind of did a mock-qualifying runs, the car handled better and was faster on older tires than new ones for me. This wasn’t the finish we wanted, but we were able to race with the guys who were on our laps and actually had some really good lap times going there in the latter stages.
“I am really looking forward to this weekend in Daytona. I’ve driven the Sprint Cup cars enough to know I like how they drive better than what we currently have in the Nationwide cars. So, with us finally getting the similar body styles now, I hope the learning curve for us is real short.”
Sponsorship Inquiries: R3 Motorsports is still seeking primary partnerships to fill out their 2010 NASCAR Nationwide Series season. For more information, please see contact via www.R3Motorsports.org to get involved.
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