CHINA GROVE, N.C. (April 26, 2001) – The No. 23 North Texas Pipe Dodge of R3 Motorsports and driver Robert Richardson, Jr. are looking forward to some Friday night under the lights racing at Richmond International Speedway this weekend.
The ninth race of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season is being run on the .75-mile Virginia oval. For fans and drivers alike, the excitement level gets turned up a notch when it comes to Friday-night racing action.
For some, it goes back to their short track days on the dusty ovals of dirt and asphalt racing. But for Richardson, Friday night sporting events were a little different back home in his pre-driving days.
The 29-year old driver’s Friday-night action took place on the gridiron of his McKinney (Texas) High School football field as the team’s quarterback. Since then, he’s traded helmets; but the feeling of competing is still something Richardson enjoys and thrives in doing on a Friday night.
Put 43 drivers on the track as dusk settles over the speedway, and the air of excitement and adventure starts to elevate as the sun descends behind the horizon. With that, comes an intensity to gain as many positions – and points – as possible through all 250 laps.
Fast Facts: Richardson will be making his 78th- career NASCAR Nationwide Series start this weekend. Currently sitting 22nd in driver points after eight races in 2011, his best qualifying effort was 26th, at Talladega, and finish of 22nd, at Las Vegas. The No. 23 North Texas Pipe Dodge team of R3 Motorsports sits 32nd in Owner’s Points, 10 markers out of the guaranteed-lock position of 30th place. As of Tuesday morning, there are 42 entries in the NNS race.
Track Facts: This will be Richardson’s third start at Richmond, with the other two taking place in the spring of 2008 and fall of 2009. His best finish was 28th in the ’09 race. His completion rate is 97.2% (489 of 503) for laps contested, which the team needs to continue to gain as much as possible from this race.
Car Facts: Walter Giles and team are taking chassis No. 54 to Richmond. This will be the second time out for this Dodge, with the first coming at Phoenix where they finished 24th.
Tune in for the Win: This weekend will mark the first time SPEED will carry a NNS race live. Matter of fact, they have it covered for all the NNS action from Richmond starting with the final practice session at 10:30 a.m. ET on Friday, then qualifying at 4 p.m. and race action beginning at 7:30 p.m. MRN affiliates and Sirius XM Radio Ch. 128 will also carry the race on their radio networks, as well.
Robert Richardson, Jr. Quotes
Talk about making a return to Richmond: “That is a great track on the NASCAR circuit and it is so cool how it’s laid out for a .75-mile oval. The one thing I do know is you have to be set up real well to come off of Turn 2. That’s where most of the action seems to take place. Coming off of Turn 4 isn’t too bad because you have that wide arch of the D-shape that makes up the frontstretch.”
What’s your mindset for racing under the lights on a Friday night: “For the fans, I know they love it because they get to see some great racing. For me, and I know we’ve talked about this 100 times, but it goes back to my football days when we played all our games on Friday nights under the lights. Those were some great times and it carries over to the mindset for what it takes to race on a Friday night. We just need to go out there, be good for all 250 laps and make sure we’re there at the end. I know one thing, this team is going to give it everything they can for a good finish under the lights of Richmond.”
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