Talladega: Robert Richardson Jr. preview

Robert Richardson, Jr. looks to continue successful NNS streak at Talladega CHINA GROVE, N.C. (April 20, 2010) -- If you want to get an instant smile out of NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Robert Richardson, Jr., just ask him about racing at ...

Robert Richardson, Jr. looks to continue successful NNS streak at Talladega

CHINA GROVE, N.C. (April 20, 2010) -- If you want to get an instant smile out of NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Robert Richardson, Jr., just ask him about racing at Talladega Superspeedway.

In three series starts at the 2.66-mile trioval, the McKinney, Texas native has earned three top-20 finishes. Considering how the flick of a wrist or bad decision by another driver can send your car home in a garbage can, those are pretty good results. That, and Richardson thrives on racing 'Dega style.

This week, Richardson and the unsponsored No. 23 Chevrolet team of R3 Motorsports head to Alabama with one goal in their race notes -- keep the streak alive, and improve on last year's season-best finish of 16th. While the NFL holds their draft this weekend, Talladega will have some drafting of its own going on to see who's the first "pick" to play in Victory Lane.

Adding to the fun for Richardson will be his return to the seat of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series car of Front Row Motorsports. This will be his first Cup start since the Daytona 500, making for a busy -- and intense - weekend. Last year, Richardson made his Sprint Cup Series debut at Dega finishing an impressive 18th when the checkered flag waved.

Track Facts: Richardson, 28, has three starts at Talladega Superspeedway with a best starting position of 37th in 2008 and best finish of 16th; achieved in this race last year. He has completed 348 of 357 laps (97.5 percent) contested in those three starts and has an average finishing position of 18th.

Car Facts: Steve Plattenberger and Co. are bringing Chassis No. 38 to Talladega this weekend. Last used in the series opener at Daytona International Speedway in February, it was the back-up Daytona and Dega car in 2009. During that opener, Richardson was running in the top 20 before getting caught up in a late race, multi-car wreck. The team rebuilt the damaged front end from the firewall forward.

Fundraiser for Matt Smith: R3 Motorsports and the Women's Auxiliary of Motorsports (WAM) are hosting a fundraiser for the team's front tire changer and fabricator, Matt Smith. He suffered a broken leg in a motorcycle accident and had surgery to install a rod between his knee and ankle. He has no insurance, incurred hefty medical bills from surgery and his hospital stay, and has a fianc0x00e9 and two small children at home. All are invited to attend the event on Wednesday, April 28 at Big Al's in Mooresville, N.C. from 5 -- 9 p.m. with a 50/50 raffle, pull tabs and Chinese Auction. There is also a special "Matt's Menu" that Big Al's will donate 25% of the cost to Matt and his family. For anyone wanting to donate auction items, or more information, please see the team's shop address on www.R3Motorsports.org

Upward again in the OP: With a 23rd-place finish at Texas Motor Speedway by Richardson, the R3 Motorsports team once again moved up in the Owner's Points ranking. Now 26th, up from 31st just three races ago, the team trails the No. 28 in 25th place by 12 markers and the No. 7 in 24th by 20 points.

Double Duty in Dega: For the second time this year, and third of his career, Richardson will be in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on Sunday, in addition to the Nationwide race on Saturday. As he did in the season-opening Daytona 500, he will pilot a Front Row Motorsports entry. In 2009, Richardson made his Cup debut at Talladega with Tommy Baldwin Racing coming under the checkered flag in 18th place.

Robert Richardson, Jr.:

What is it you like so much about Talladega: "I just love the big, fast tracks like Dega and Daytona. Ever since I started racing, I just took to them right away and done well enough there to want to keep coming back for more."

What's your game plan for the race on Saturday: "First, we'll use the practice session to see what we have on our own and in the draft. Then, we'll go out and qualify to get ourselves a starting spot. I'm not too worried about the beginning part of the race because I like to position myself to be there at the end. We'll just bide our time and follow the 'Plattenberger Plan' like we've been doing the past few weeks because it's been working so well."

Speaking of, what is the "Plattenberger Plan": "Our crew chief, Steve Plattenberger, lays out a plan for the entire weekend. We start with it in practice and the use it for the race. In the past few weeks, we've followed it and it's been productive in getting us to finish the race and pick up points. So, we follow the 'Plattenberger Plan' each week because it's been working for us."

With your football background, any predictions on who will get picked first in the NFL Draft on Thursday night: "The way I see it, it's hard to think Tim Tebow or Sam Bradford will not be picked in the first round. Bradford's shoulder is still questionablesince his injury last season, and Tebow changed his throwing motion to more of an over-the-top release. Also, you have Colt McCoy from the University of Texas. I'm interested to see who picks him, as well. There are also a ton of talented running backs and defensive players that are needed by some teams, too. But, if you are asking me who the No. 1 overall pick is going to be -- I say it's Tim Tebow to the St. Louis Rams."

-source: r3 motorsports

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About this article
Series NASCAR XFINITY
Drivers Robert Richardson Jr. , Matt Smith , Tommy Baldwin
Teams Front Row Motorsports