CHINA GROVE, N.C. (September 28, 2010) – Robert Richardson, Jr. and the No. 23 Chevrolet of R3 Motorsports are looking to travel the mythical Yellow Brick Road to success at Kansas Speedway in this Saturday’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race.
The 1.5-mile oval has been a fairly good track for the McKinney, Texas native in his past two starts with a 23rd and 22nd place finish, respectively. Like any team, R3 Motorsports is looking to find the key set-up and tire combination to improve on last year’s efforts and gain in the Owner’s Points.
Fast Facts: Richardson will be making his 19th start of the 2010 season and 65th of his NNS career. To date, his best-career finish occurred at O’Reilly Raceway Park in July of this year when he crossed under the checkered flag in 15th place. So far in 2010, the quarterback-turned-driver has completed an impressive 95.5 percent (3,223 of 3,376) laps contested.
Car Facts: Crew chief Steve Plattenberger and team will roll chassis No. 30 off the R3 Motorsports hauler for this weekend’s race. This Chevrolet was last used at Chicagoland Speedway in July, Charlotte Motor Speedway in May and Texas Motor Speedway in April. The team finished 23rd at both CMS and TMS with this car.
Thanks Quality Suites: R3 Motorsports will be staying at the Quality Suites Airport in Kansas City this weekend and carry their logo on the No. 23 Chevrolet.
Pigskin Prowess – NFL and college football stories are all over the place this time of year. Richardson’s achievements on the gridiron at McKinney (Tex.) High School and Southern Methodist University are well documented and noted. However, the team’s driver isn’t the only one at R3 Motorsports who’s had prominence with the pigskin.
Steve Plattenberger was a starting center for Elon (N.C.) University after a successful career at Sunvalley (N.C.) High School. Car chief Mark Nelson played linebacker for the Aiken (Minn.) High School Gobblers. John Kidwell, shop mechanic, was a wide receiver at Citrus County (Fla.) High School. Tim Packman, Public Relations, played WR and DB for the Clarence (NY) Red Devils where they won in the Sectional Playoffs at Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills.
Richardson wasn’t the only starting quarterback in the shop. Brian Anderson made the calls and tossed the passes at Ft. Bragg (Calif.) High School where they made the playoffs his senior year. Bret Jones, engine tuner, still holds some records at Union (Mo.) High School for most punts blocked in one season (17) and longest pass reception from scrimmage of 65 yards. It should be noted Jones stands all of 5’4”.
Did you know: Two drivers, Joe Nemechek and Denny Hamlin, won this race starting from 19th place; which is still the farthest back anyone has taken the green then checkers. No driver has won from the pole, but Jeff Burton won from the outside pole in 2002.
Robert Richardson, Jr. quotes
You’ve had some pretty good success at Kansas Speedway the last two times: “Yeah, we managed a 23rd and 22nd the past two years. Trust me, it’s not where we want to be when the checkered flag waves, but at least I know we have good notes to build off of for this year to get that better finish. Our equipment is good and the guys on the R3 Motorsports team put a lot of effort into getting our Chevrolets ready for the race.
Outlook for this weekend: “Since this is the car we ran at Chicagoland, I know it’s going to be real good in the turns. That means a lot to a driver at a fast track like Kansas. The banking isn’t as steep at Kansas (15 degrees) as it as Texas or Charlotte (24 degrees), which means you have to finesse it up off the corners just a little better and can’t rely on momentum. We just need to gain as many positions as possible during the race and finish in the top-15 or top-20. Those are my goals for the weekend.”