CHINA GROVE, N.C. (June 28, 2010) – Robert Richardson, Jr. and the No. 23 Chevrolet team of R3 Motorsports head to Daytona International Speedway this weekend with a little bit of mystery surrounding the weekend.
Foremost, this will be the first time the team will be on track with the new NASCAR Nationwide Series car. And, like other NNS teams, they didn’t partake in the test session in May leaving them to ponder many questions
How will the car handle? How will it draft? How will the speeds and aerodynamics be once the No. 23 unsponsored Chevrolet takes to 2.5-mile trioval of DIS
The only way to find the answer to all these questions is to simply get on the track. Considering the hours and efforts put in the by the crew the last few months to build the primary and backup cars, they’re hoping it’s all worth it when the checkered flag flies on Friday night
Thanks to a four-hour open test session on Wednesday, the team will have a chance to answer some of their questions. Come Thursday, they’ll have two more practice sessions before qualifying and racing on Friday
One advantage the team does have is Richardson has driven the similar body style in three NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races the past two seasons on superspeedways. Liking the handling style of the Cup cars, Richardson hopes it will shorten the learning curve for him and the R3 team
Fast Facts: Richardson has more starts at Daytona than any other track on the NASCAR circuit. Through those seven races, his best starting position and finish came in the most recent one in February. He started 27th, got involved in a multi-car wreck, and the crew made the repairs so he could finish 25th. The native of McKinney, Texas has completed 759 of 789 laps (96.2%), led one lap and registered only one DNF
Car Facts: This week, the team will debut chassis No. 50 with No. 51 as the backup. These are the first new NASCAR Nationwide Series car the team built. Actually, they are refurbished Sprint Cup cars used by R3 Motorsports when Mike Skinner attempted to make the 2009 Daytona 500.
Halfway at the checkered flags: The conclusion of Friday night’s race at DIS marks the halfway point of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season. To date, Richardson has completed 1,949 of 2,050 laps (96.2%) of the 11 races he’s run, led one lap and has a best finish of 20th at Talladega.
Where is Robert? Fans are invited to a NASCAR Nationwide Series autograph session on Friday from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Fan Zone located between the Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series garages of the DIS infield.
Double Duty: In addition to making his 58th NNS career start, Richardson will be making his fourth NASCAR Sprint Cup Series start, driving for Front Row Motorsports in Saturday night’s Cup race. This is the final one he’s scheduled for with them this year.
Robert Richardson, Jr. Quotes
Are you looking forward to racing the new NASCAR Nationwide Series car: “Actually, I am looking forward to getting out there and seeing how these cars will race. There’s going to be so much to learn between how it handles on the track, how it does aerodynamically and in the draft. My biggest concern is going to be how it reacts in the draft. Once we can figure that out, that will set us on our way to being that much better.
Having driven the similar Sprint Cup cars at Daytona and Talladega, does that give you an advantage with these new Nationwide cars: “Well, it certainly can’t hurt us any. I like how the Cup cars handle and drive on those tracks, so I’m hoping that will transfer over to the new Nationwide cars. I know they’re not going to be exactly alike, but it’s good to have a base to go off of when we get on the track this week. Again, I’m really looking forward to see what our cars are going to do in Daytona and hope to have a good showing for our R3 Motorsports team.”
What is it you like about Daytona so much: “A Friday night, under the lights, celebrating the birth of our nation, at Daytona – I can’t think of a better way to race.”
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