CHINA GROVE, N.C. (April 19, 2011) – Music City is next on the charts with this weekend’s NASCAR Nationwide Series taking place at Nashville Superspeedway. And, for the No. 23 Wildlife Conservation Society Dodge team of R3 Motorsports and Robert Richardson, Jr. — that’s the perfect tune for this team.
With the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series off this weekend, the NNS regulars will get their center stage spotlight. Richardson, the 29-year old native of McKinney, Texas has always looked forward to this event because of the track.
Not only because it’s a fast 1.333-mile oval, but because it’s made of concrete allowing for multiple grooves of racing. As a driver who favors the high side for momentum and speed, Richardson knows that groove comes in pretty quickly during the race weekend.
Fast Facts: Robert Richardson, Jr. will be making his 77th career NNS start this weekend. This will be his eight start of the 2011 season where he’s achieved a best-qualifying effort of 26th (Talladega last week) and finish of 22nd, at Las Vegas. He currently sits 20th in the Driver’s Standings trailing 18th place by 12 markers. R3 Motorsports is locked into this weekend’s event via the top-30 ranking in the Owner’s Standings.
Track Facts: Richardson has made six previous starts at Nashville during his career. His best finish and qualifying effort took place in 2009 when he crossed the finish line in 21st after starting 29th. During the previous six starts, he’s completed a commendable 95.3 percent of laps (1286 of 1350) contested.
Car Facts: Walter Giles and team are bringing car No. 53 to this weekend’s race. This Dodge Challenger was last used in Las Vegas, finishing 22nd, and Texas, finishing 26th, two weeks ago.
New Car Chief: Stephen Gonzales, a native of Palmdale, California, has been named Car Chief for the No. 23 team of R3 Motorsports, effective immediately. He began with the team in 2008 as a mechanic, took over the interior aspects of the car last year and will still oversee that as part of his continued duties in his new role. His father, Sammy Gonzales, has been a longtime crew member of Earnhardt Ganassi Racing on the No. 1 team of Jamie McMurray.
New Engines: R3 Motorsports has switched to the power plants of Ernie Elliott, Inc. to provide their horsepower. The switch took place just before last week’s Talladega race.
Did you know: The Wildlife Conservation Society provides two million school children each year with the knowledge and resources to educate the next generation of environmental stewards?
Official hotel: Vista Inn of Murfreesboro, Tenn. will be the official hotel of R3 Motorsports while racing at Nashville Superspeedway this weekend. The Vista Inn is affordable, comfortable and conveniently located to the track.
Tune in for the Win: There will be two practices on Friday and qualifying takes place at Noon ET on Saturday; none of which will be covered on TV. Race action begins at 3 p.m. with all 225 laps covered on ESPN 2.
Robert Richardson, Jr. Quotes
Talk about racing at Nashville: “I like the track, the layout and the concrete surface. With the Trucks being there with us, that gives more opportunity for rubber to be laid around there. Once that’s done, you can get real good grip in all three grooves. Some guys like to run low and others like the middle and high-side racing, like myself.
“You can really get some good speed coming off the high sides when you have good grip. The low line can be the fast way around, too, if you can get your car to handle down there. I know one thing, this team is heading in a good direction with the cars we’re building and how we’re operating right now. We just need to put an entire race together without a spin or getting tagged from behind to mess up our day. And, a track like Nashville seems like the perfect place to get things going.”