CHINA GROVE, N.C. (July 4, 2010) – Robert Richardson, Jr. and the No. 23 Chevrolet of R3 Motorsports had a bumpy ride during their week at Daytona International Speedway under the hot Florida sun.
Throughout the two days of practice leading up to the race on Friday night, Richardson and team coursed the 2.5-mile oval of DIS in the new NASCAR Nationwide Series car with uncertainty. Having not taken part in the test session in May, these were the first laps the entire team took with the new car.
Working on single car runs at first, crew chief Steve Plattenberger and team paid attention to how the car would handle on the historic track. While they were pleased about the initial handling of the car, Richardson kept telling the team how the car reacted over the age-old bumps on the track.
During drafting practice, he said the car was loose in traffic but tight when it ran by itself. This gave the crew plenty to do during and between the practice sessions to get ready for the race. The good news was, when the final practice session ended on Thursday evening, Richardson and team posted the fourth-fastest time on the speed chart.
After qualifying 42nd for the 100-lap race, Richardson wasted no time when the green flag flew moving to 29th place on lap one. From there, he would hover in the high 30’s throughout the race.
During the team’s pit stops, Plattenberger called for track bar and air pressure adjustments to help how the car handled over the track’s bumps and in traffic. Richardson radioed in the car was loose in the draft, but tight when running by itself.
With this car being new to everybody, the team had to rely on their combined knowledge to overcome the challenges that came their way during the race. Richardson did his part by keeping the car in on piece, something that couldn’t be said for some of his fellow competitors.
When the race came down to a green-white-finish, Richardson brought the No. 23 red, black and silver Chevrolet under the checkered flags in 32nd place. The finish enabled them to move up one position in the Owner’s Points to 26th as the Nationwide Series heads to Chicagoland Speedway next weekend.
Robert Richardson Quotes: “I’m glad we made it through the first race with the new Nationwide Chevrolet. The guys on the R3 Motorsports team busted their butts to get our primary and back-up cars ready for this race. We didn’t get the finish we wanted, but the good part is we learned a lot. I can’t wait until they pave this track so it will be nice and smooth like Talladega is right now.
“The next time we race these cars will be at Michigan in August. We’ll have some notes to take with us and have a better showing in this new car. In the meantime, we head off to Chicagoland this weekend.”
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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