Richardson ready for two mini-milestones at home track of Texas Motor Speedway Marking 75th-NNS start and belated birthday
CHINA GROVE, N.C. (April 5, 2011) – The saying “there’s no place like home” couldn’t ring more true for Robert Richardson, Jr. in this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.
Richardson has two mini-milestones to mark this week celebrating his 29th birthday on Monday, April 4, and is making his 75th-career NNS start this weekend at TMS. The graduate of nearby McKinney High School, and former high school quarterback-turned-NASCAR-driver, is ready for the comforts of home right now.
In the first five races, the No. 23 Wildlife Conservation Society Dodge of R3 Motorsports has endured their share of bad luck. A late-race crash in the season opener at Daytona, a motor letting go in Bristol and other gremlins popping up during race weekends have all been issues the team – together – has endured and persevered through.
But, the numbers don’t lie in the Owner’s Standings as the sixth NNS race of the year draws near in the Lone Star State.
Currently 32nd in the Owner’s Points, Richardson and the Walter Giles-led team trail 31st by just two points and 30th by four. For the Driver’s Points, Richardson is 23rd in the standings just two markers behind 22nd and trailing 21st by five.
Fast Facts:Richardson is making his 75th-career NNS start this weekend at Texas Motor Speedway. During that span, his best finish of 15th took place last year at Lucas Oil (IN) Raceway Park and he’s only driven for two teams – Jay Robinson Racing and his family owned R3 Motorsports.
Track Facts:This will be Richardson’s eighth start at the 1.5-mile oval of TMS, making it the second-most starts he’s had at any NNS track. Daytona is the leading track, where he has nine starts to his credit. In those previous seven TMS starts, the home town driver has achieved a best start of 29th in ’08 and finish of 23rd in this race last year. Of the 1,405 laps run, he’s completed 1,196 giving him an 85.1 percent completion ratio.
So far this season:In the five previous starts of 2011, a late-race crash at Daytona and a broken motor at Bristol, just 67 laps into the 300-lap race, have been part of the issue placing the team in its current situation regarding the Owner’s Points. Richardson’s best start, to date, was 31st at Phoenix and finish of 22nd at the 1.5-mile oval of Las Vegas.
Car Facts:Walter Giles and team are bringing the very same car they ran at Las Vegas, chassis No. 53, to Texas for this weekend’s race.
Extended Play:With teams still figuring out how to get the most out of their new NNS cars, there are two extra practice sessions on Thursday with two more on Friday before the qualifying session at 5 p.m. (ET) on ESPN 2 Tune in for the Win:After qualifying, the 200-lap race will be on ESPN2 at 8 p.m. making for some interesting Friday-night action under the lights of TMS.
Robert Richardson, Jr. quotes On having to qualify in on time:“Yeah, that’s not where we wanted to be at this time, but we’re in this situation together on the No. 23 Wildlife Conservation Society Dodge team. We’ll use the practice sessions to get ourselves comfortable with some race runs. Then, we’re going to work on qualifying runs and get real good with that part. It’s been getting better this year, so we’ll just put a lot of work into those two very important laps on Friday.”
On making 75th-career NNS start:“That many? You don’t really think about something like that until it’s pointed out to you. In know it isn’t much compared to some others in the series, but to think about all we’ve accomplished at R3 Motorsports as a single-car team is something to be proud of in this series.”
Racing at your home track:“I love racing at Texas Motor Speedway. Not only because it’s close to the house, but it’s a fast track with enough play in there where you can run the low and high sides. We have a bunch of people that come spend the weekend with us and my dad gets two RV spots right by the track in Turn 4, so we end staying here all weekend. I’m looking forward to a good weekend for R3 Motorsports – Texas style.”