CHINA GROVE, N.C. (Nov. 1, 2010) – Robert Richardson, Jr. likes many things about racing at Texas Motor Speedway including the fast speeds, the layout of the track and his overall fondness for competiting on the 1.5-mile oval.
But, most of all, it’s probably the fact he only has to travel 20 miles from doorstep to cockpit to compete in the No. 23 North Texas Pipe Chevrolet.
As a graduate of nearby McKinney (Tex.) High School, the team’s former starting quarterback now resides a short distance away in Denton where horse farms are prevalent. For this Texas native, being around any kind of horsepower suits him just fine. But this weekend, he’ll trade one for 100s when he saddles in for the race weekend.
Fast Facts: Richardson will be making his 68th NASCAR Nationwide Series career at his home track of TMS. During that span, his best finish took place at the short track of O’Reilly Raceway Park earlier this year of 15th. This will be his 22nd start in 2010, the most he’s made in any of his three prior seasons, where he’s accumulated an average finish of 27.5 this year.
Track Facts: Through his previous six starts at TMS, Richardson has completed 994 of 1,200 laps (82.8%) laps contested. That would have been better if not for an electrical problem in one race and engine problem in the other for his two DNF’s. His best start was Spring ’08 when he qualified 29th and his best finish was 23rd, which he earned in this year’s April event.
Car Facts: Steve Plattenberger and team will roll out chassis No. 30 to take on the fast Texas track. This car was last used at Kansas Speedway last month, 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.
Decklid Donation: Through a charity fundraiser for Communities in Schools, R3 Motorsports donated their decklid space for the Texas race to be auctioned off to the highest bidder. Included in the package was a Meet and Greet with the team and driver, photos on the starting grid and four garage passes. Turner Construction was the highest bidder and will have a “Turner – Building the Future” decal on the car.
Where is Robert?: Richardson will be busy on Thursday as he takes part in two different charity events. The first will take place at Ross Perot Jr’s house for a Celebrity Clay Shooting contest. Being the avid hunter he is; Richardson is hoping to put his aiming prowess to work at this function. Later that evening, he’ll be a featured guest at Sam Hornish, Jr’s Celebrity Bowling Tournament at the Main Event in Grapevine, Texas to benefit the Speedway Children’s Charity.
Did you know: The fall race at TMS has never been won from the pole. However, Kyle Busch holds the mark as the only driver to ever win a TMS race from the pole (Spring 09) and been the farthest back at 31st to go to Victory Lane (Spring ’08).
Busy day on Friday: Two practice sessions will be held on Friday morning with qualifying done later in the day. Race action is on Saturday at 12:55 ET on ESPN2, PRN Radio and Sirius/XM Radio Ch. 128.
Robert Richardson, Jr. quotes
What makes this track more special than the others: “First off, I’m not going to have to catch a plane and rental car to get to this race. When you travel as much as we do to do what we do, it’s nice to be able to get in your own car and drive to the track, then drive back to your house.
“The other thing that makes it special is number of friends and family that will be around this weekend. When we go to places like California, nobody knows me from Adam – which is fine. But, it’s nice to race in front of your hometown crowd on your home track like Texas.”
What about the track and its layout: “They say all the 1.5 mile tracks are the same, or cookie cutters. I can definitely tell you each of them is different in their own way. Texas has the banking (24 degrees) that allows you to run the high speeds to get around here better. You have to be real good into Turns 1 and 3 if you want to be good out of Turns 2 and 4. If you’re not, you’re spending the rest of the lap trying to make up for what you lost on entry.
“I like this car (chassis No. 30) we’re using this weekend and hope to be as good, if not better, than we have in the past. I’m ready for a good weekend of racing at Texas Motor Speedway. We only have two to go after this and we’d like to close out the season on some high notes.”