Robert Richardson Jr. is geared up to make his third Sprint Cup Series start with Front Row Motorsports this weekend at the type of track he loves. Richardson Jr. will run his third superspeedway race with the team for Saturday night’s Coke Zero 400 at the 2.5-mile oval. Once again, Richardson’s No. 37 Ford Fusion will sport the black-and-red colors of Mahindra USA Tractors.
In his previous two Sprint Cup races with Front Row, Richardson finished 31st in the season-opening Daytona 500 and 26th at Talladega Superspeedway in April. He also has seven career starts at Daytona in the Nationwide Series.
Comments from Mahindra USA Tractors Driver Robert Richardson Jr. on Daytona International Speedway, the New Restrictor Plate, and the Adjustment between the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series:
“I’m eager to get back in a Cup car again and capitalize on the past couple race I’ve had with Front Row Motorsports. The past couple Cup races I’ve run, I’ve really learned a lot about the COT cars and how they act in the draft and how close you really have to be to those other cars to be able to hold the draft at the restrictor plate races. So, I’m just looking forward to getting back to Daytona and building on what we’ve done in the past with these guys.
“The new restrictor plate is going to enable us to run higher speeds than what we’ve been capable of running in the past. Everybody keeps referring back to the 80s when they had the bigger restrictor plate on these cars, so I guess you could say it’s a bit of a return to the past.
“Considering that the superspeedways are my best racetracks, I’m aiming for a top-20 finish. I’m hoping they repaired some of the rough patches we had back during the Daytona 500 when we had the big pothole on the racetrack and hoping it will be a little smoother. I’m ready for the overall reconstruction of the track for the next time we come back next year.
“Hopefully they’ll enable a couple of test sessions after the repaving where cars can work on their shock packages and, in the Cup Series, work on their bump stops and everything to make the handling a lot like it is at Talladega. The racetrack is so smooth there, everything is pretty much about how much horsepower you can put underneath the hood. Drivers just work the draft, be there at the end and try to make something happen.
“Obviously, in the Nationwide Series, the motor program is a lot different from what you see in the Cup Series. They have a tapered spacer in the intake – kind of the same as a restrictor plate – in the Nationwide Series, and that enables them to be a little slower than what the Cup Series typically runs. So you have to drive the car a lot deeper into the corners and maintain your speed through the corners. Whereas, in the Cup Series cars, you treat it as an open motor and you don’t drive it as deep into the corners, you use more brake and you free roll the car a lot longer. I like that. It fits my driving style.”
|About Front Row Motorsports with Yates Racing:
Front Row Motorsports was formed in 2005 by restaurant entrepreneur Bob Jenkins. Since that time the team has entered a car in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and NASCAR Nationwide Series. In 2010, Front Row Motorsports will partner with Ford and Roush/Yates Engines to field a three-car operation based in Statesville, N.C. The team fields the Long John Silver’s Ford driven by Travis Kvapil, the Mahindra USA Tractors Ford driven by Robert Richardson Jr. and the ExtenZe Ford driven by Kevin Conway.