CONCORD, N.C. (May 28, 2011) – Robert Richardson, Jr. and the No. 23 FunnyDanRaceCarMan.com | North Texas Pipe Dodge of R3 Motorsports never got the chance to get going in the right direction during the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Saturday.
From the initial green flag, Richardson started moving forward picking up four spots on the first, of 250, circuits. With a pre-determined competition caution coming on lap 25, Walter Giles and team knew they had an early opportunity to make any needed adjustments for improvement.
After the driver radioed in to the crew the car was tight on entry and tight on late exit, Giles called for fuel, four tires and an air pressure adjustment to both rear tires. Aiding to their efforts to pick up spots was the ever-efficient pit crew for the No. 23 team of R3 Motorsports as they earned three positions for the lap 30 restart.
This lined him up as the third car one lap down to the leaders. With new tires and the adjustment, Richardson started to gain on the two spots in front of him to get in the Lucky Dog position.
As he was coursing through Turn 4 on lap 33, he got tight racing under the No. 28 car and moved up the banking into that car. This also caused Richardson to slide up into the outside wall making heavy right-side contact with his car.
Richardson brought the car to pit road where a hole in the radiator was detected when fluids started leaking in the pit box. Giles directed him to the garage area on lap 36 for repairs to the right-side fender, quarter panels and radiator.
The crew leapt into action and did what was needed to get Richardson back into the race. What looked like cosmetic damage to the right side was actually more detrimental on the inside of the car causing for a very long period for repairs.
Giles directed the crew’s efforts to get Richardson back out on lap 89 while the race was under caution. The driver radioed in the car was handling terribly so Giles called him back down pit road on lap 94 to make a massive chassis adjustments and again on lap 97 to check the car over again.
By lap 104, it was deemed the car was damaged beyond repairs to return to action for the sake of Richardson’s, and the other competitor’s, safety. This ended the team’s race much too early with a disappointing 36th-place finish.
Robert Richardson, Jr. Quotes: “That was not what this team wanted with this brand-new car we built for this race. Man, it is so frustrating to keep having things like this happen to us when we know we can do so much better. I just got tight up under the No. 28 there in Turns 3 and 4, got up into him a bit then just slid up the track even higher and hit the wall there in Turn 4 hard enough to end our day early.
“It didn’t seem like we hit that hard, but it was hard enough to knock us out of the race. The guys on this team work so dang hard to get our cars ready, to build them just right and then we have to call it quits just 104 laps into a 250-lap race.
“All we can do is load ‘em and line ‘em up again next week in Chicagoland and look for better things.”