CHINA GROVE, N.C. (August 1, 2010) – Robert Richardson, Jr. and the No. 23 Chevrolet of R3 Motorsports did what they had to in order to achieve their 23rd-place finish at Iowa Speedway on Saturday night – survive. With two red-flag stoppages in action, to go along six caution flags, any team who put their car on the hauler in one piece had a good night.
After starting a disappointing 41st for his first visit to the short track of Iowa, it didn’t take long for the running order to get jumbled as a three-car wreck ensued on the first lap. By the time the race restarted, Richardson was up to 31st and looking to move forward on the scoring chart.
With the leaders starting to put cars a lap down by the 25th, of 250, circuit, another caution on lap 42 allowed crew chief Steve Plattenberger to use the “wave around” and put Richardson back on the lead lap in 25th place. The only downfall to that is didn’t allow him to call the No. 23 to pit road for tires or adjustments.
Hopes for a quick caution after the restart evaporated with each circuit of green, and the grip in the tires went with it, as well, preventing the R3 Motorsports team to capitalize. Needing fuel by lap 100, another caution flag waved on lap 92 to bring Richardson to pit road for fuel, tires and chassis adjustments while running 25th.
From the lap 110 restart on, Richardson took the rest of the race to learn more about the track and how best to get around there for future reference. Running in the 24th position, but laps down to the 19 cars on the lead lap, the learning time paid off.
In the latter portion of the race, Richardson had learned enough to match several cars in the top-20 and even some in the top-15 in regards to lap times. When the checkered flag waved over Iowa Speedway, Richardson and the No. 23 team registered their commendable 23rd-place ranking.
They are now 27th in the Owner’s Points, trailing 26th by three markers, 25th by 39 and 24th by 48 points. This weekend, the NNS circuit heads to the twists and turns of Watkins Glen International where Alex “Kid” Kennedy will take over the No. 23 Chevrolet for R3 Motorsports for that race.
Robert Richardson, Jr. quotes: “Man, after the struggles in practice to learn this track and qualify the way we did; if you would have told me I was going to finish 23rd before this race, I would have called BS. But, we did what we needed and survived all the cautions and wrecks to pull off the finish we did.
“I was decent in the beginning and was able to race with some of the guys on my lap, but in the middle of the race that didn’t happen. Towards the end, thanks to some great stops by this R3 Motorsports team, we were doing better where I could race with some guys again.
“We’ll take this and move on to the next race. A finish of 23rd isn’t great and I want more for myself and the team, but we put the car on the hauler in one piece. This is a great track for racing, and I’ll be ready when we return next year.”
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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