Picture used with permission from robertrichardson.net
By Dominic Aragon
From end zone to end zone, NASCAR Nationwide
veteran Robert Richardson Jr. grew up playing football in the city of McKinney,
Texas. With dreams to one day play in the National Football League, Richardson
tried to sharpen his skills by playing quarterback at Southern Methodist
University. Saying he was at a height disadvantage, he abandoned his goal to
play in the NFL and looked to find a different hobby.
The former college quarterback would try to start a career in racing. From 2005 to 2008, Richardson completed in one full year of NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. He also raced in 31 NASCAR Busch Series races.
In 2009, Richardson would compete in all three series. With 15 NASCAR Nationwide races ran that season, Richardson would vie in one race in both the Sprint Cup Series and the Camping World Truck Series.
His NASCAR Sprint Cup debut would come at the Talladega Superspeedway for rookie team Tommy Baldwin Racing. “We were talking with various teams to see who would give us solid equipment for our sponsor Mahindra Tractors,” said Richardson. Richardson would finish 18th, which was ironically the team’s best finish. The team spent most of the year starting and parking with veteran drivers.
In 2010, Richardson would drive for Front Row Motorsports in the Cup Series at all four restrictor plate races. “Mahindra Tractors wanted to make the [Daytona] 500. [Front Row Motorsports owner] Bob Jenkins made a deal that I wouldn’t have to worry about qualifying on time and that I would be guaranteed [into the race].”
Although he ran this year’s Daytona 500 for a second year in a row with Bob Jenkins’ FRM, Richardson has no plans to run anymore Cup races this season. “Right now we are going to put most of our focus on R3 Motorsports in the Nationwide Series with the 23 car. We are working on finalizing sponsorship efforts and trying to make our team better then what it has been in the past,” said a hopeful Robert Richardson.
In the past, R3 Motorsports has had limited funding with blank quarter panels. This season, however, Richardson will show up to the track with a full time company sponsoring his efforts. “As of now, the Wildlife Conservation Society sponsorship is through the rest of the season. Also, we are re-negotiating for next season,” said an optimistic Richardson. “It’s neat since I am an outdoorsman and that I like to hunt and fish to have the Wildlife Conservation Society on board.”