CHINA GROVE, N.C.(March 22, 2011) – In 1968, The Fifth Dimension released “California Soul” which made its way up the song charts. In 2011, R3 Motorsports has a California goal –get a good finish and move up the points charts.
After an early exit from competition last weekend, the No. 23 Wildlife Conservation Society Dodge and driver Robert Richardson, Jr. need to put a good run together at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. A blown motor forced a DNF on the team and caused them to slide down some in the Driver and Owner’s Points.
Needing to show what they can truly do on the track, the Walter Giles-led team is ready for the task at hand on the two-mile oval of ACS. Richardson has prior experience in the new Nationwide Series cars on the sister track of Michigan International Speedway, and they’re looking to use that to their advantage in the new NASCAR Nationwide Series car.
Fast Facts:Richardson will be making his 74th career NNS start this weekend, which he’s accumulated through the past four seasons on a part-time basis. Through four previous starts in 2011, the native of McKinney, Texas has a best start of 31st at Phoenix and finish of 22nd at Las Vegas. He’s currently tied for 23rd in the Driver’s Points trailing 22nd place by seven markers and 20th by eight. R3 Motorsports is tied for 32nd in the Owner’s Points trailing 31st by seven points and 28th by just eight.
Track Facts:This will be Richardson’s fourth start at the two-mile oval of Auto Club Speedway where his best qualifying effort of 19th occurred in ’08. In this race last year, a problem with the car bottoming out left them with a 26th-place finish. During those three starts, the 28-year old driver has completed an impressive 97.2% of laps (442 of 452) contested.
Car Facts:Walter Giles and team are depending on Chassis No. 55 to soldier them on to a good finish. This car was last used at the season opener in Daytona.
Did you know:The Wildlife Conservation Society works on saving wildlife and wild places in North American and more than 60 countries in places where gorillas, tigers, condors, polar bears, whales and other vulnerable species live.
Welcome “home,” Stephen Gonzalez:Originally from Palmdale, California, Gonzalez works as the Interior Specialist, mechanic and fabricator during the week in the shop and our rear tire carrier on the weekends. He’s also a championship motocross racer.
Tune in for the win:Saturday’s race at 5:30 p.m. (ET) will once again be carried by ESPN TV with pre-race coverage beginning at 5 p.m. Radio coverage can be found on Performance Racing Network and Sirius XM NASCAR Radio Ch. 128. There is one practice session on Friday from 4:40 to 7 p.m. with qualifying slated for Saturday at 1 p.m.
Robert Richardson, Jr. Quotes Key to success for California:“We have to be really good getting out of the turns of that big track. If you can get out of the corners with a good head of steam, that will help send you down the straightaways to gain positions.
“Walter and everyone on this team works so hard to be the best we can, but we just haven’t had the breaks to show it on the track this year. But, that’s why we come back each week to show what our No. 23 Wildlife Conservation Society Dodge and R3 Motorsports is all about.
“I know they don’t give points for effort, so we’ll just have to earn them one lap at a time at Auto Club Speedway. We have a good car and great team; we just need to get that good finish for everyone involved to send us upward in points. I’m ready, and I know this team is ready.”