DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA (February 17, 2011) – Practice for the NASCAR Nationwide Series (NNS) officially kicked off yesterday at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway with R3 Motorsports and driver Robert Richardson Jr., taking a conversation approach to Speedweeks 2011.
Earlier this week, R3 Motorsports, Sponsormonsters and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) announced an partnership agreement for the 2011 season which officially kicks off with Saturday’s season opener, the DRIVE4COPD 300 at the “World Center of Racing.”
After turning the 42nd and 27th fastest times respectively during the two practice sessions Wednesday, Richardson Jr., under the leadership of veteran crew chief Walter Giles released themselves into the wild pack of race cars Thursday morning during practice and posted the 11th fastest time, after circling the 2.5-mile superspeedway in 47.082 seconds at 191.156 miles per hour.
Despite only turning six laps Thursday morning, the team was in agreement around the board to put the car cover on their No. 23 Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Dodge Challenger R/T and sit out the remaining practice session left Thursday.
The veteran NASCAR Nationwide Series team will now turn their attention to qualifying, which is slated for Friday afternoon and will set the starting grid for the first of 34 races on the tour.
“This is probably the best car, I’ve ever had here,” said Richardson Jr., who will be pulling double-duty this weekend as he’ll compete in Sunday’s prestigious Daytona 500 for Front Row Motorsports (FRM). “The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Dodge Challenger R/T is super strong. We were playing it conservative yesterday but today, we knew we had to unleash ourselves and really see what we had. The car was so good that we decided not to take any chances and just let her sit until qualifying tomorrow.”
When asked about his impending qualifying run, Richardson, the former Southern Methodist University quarterback replied, “I honestly think we’re going to be somewhere between 15th and 20th,” he said. “Walter (Giles) and the guys on this R3 Motorsports team have done a good job getting this awesome looking race car ready to go here at Daytona.”
The goal for Saturday? Finish the race.
“R3 Motorsports wants to have a good run on Saturday and definitely put Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) into the spotlight where they belong,” Richardson Jr. sounded. “This is an awesome affiliation for our team and when the green flag drops on Saturday, we hope to be standing in the limelight for all the right reasons.”
Robert Richardson Jr. will make his 70th career NNS start and ninth overall at DIS and will also be guaranteed a starting position in his No. 23 Wildlife Conservation Society Dodge Challenger when the green flag waives in Saturday’s DRIVE4COPD 300 (120 laps / 300 miles) at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway. The event is scheduled for a liftoff shortly after
1:00 p.m. Eastern on February 19th with live coverage on ESPN2, MRN Radio and Sirius XM Satellite Radio (Channel 128).
For further information and to join WCS’s mission, please logon to their website at WCS.org.
Founded in 1895, the Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide. They do so through science, global conservation, education and the management of the world’s largest system of urban wildlife parks, led by the flagship Bronx Zoo. Together these activities change attitudes toward nature and help people imagine wildlife and humans living in harmony. WCS is committed to its platform, because it is essential to the integrity of life on Earth.
Chris Knight, Knight Motorsports Management
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