CHINA GROVE, N.C. (September 18, 2011) – Robert Richardson, Jr. and the No. 23 North Texas Pipe Chevrolet team had their hands full at Chicagoland Speedway in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race on Saturday afternoon.
After the two practice sessions on Friday, Richardson and crew chief Greg Conner managed to put a set up under the car to qualify 36th for the race. Once the initial green flag dropped, the driver from McKinney, Texas managed to move forward through the field to gain a few spots.
However, there were only three cautions during the 200 lap race which didn’t allow for a lot of pit stops to make needed adjustments. When the first caution waved on lap eight, Richardson stayed out as it was too early in the race to pit.
When the second caution waved on lap 47, it was the perfect time to pit for tires, fuel and adjustments to the chassis. The changes helped the loose handling condition and kept Richardson in the hunt.
The third caution waved 20 laps later for the final time of the race. This forced teams to make green-flag pit stops for the remainder of the race and really strung out the field of competition.
As the laps ticked down toward the checkered flag, Richardson was now battling a tight handling condition. The combination of tire wear and changing track conditions forced teams to make adjustments for long runs.
This was the battle Richardson and team endured. When the checkered flag waved on lap 200, there were only 10 cars on the lead lap. Richardson was the 29th driver to cross under the flagstand at Chicagoland.
This weekend, the NASCAR Nationwide Series has an open date on their schedule. However, they will return to action at Dover International Speedway on Saturday, October 1.
Robert Richardson, Jr. Quotes: “This was a long weekend of racing here at Chicagoland. These 1.5-mile tracks can be so tough to figure out in regards to set ups and changing track conditions sometimes. We were better when it came time to qualify, so that was encouraging for us to start the race.
“We went from being way too loose in the early going, to way too tight at the end. The guys on the team did a great job in the garage and on pit road. The lack of cautions for the last part of the race didn’t help because I was stuck out there for those long green-flag runs.
“But, we have this weekend off and that gives everyone a chance to work on the final six races of the year. So, we’ll enjoy the off weekend and go get ‘em at Dover in a few weeks.”
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No. 23 Wildlife Conservation Dodge
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