From Gridiron to the Speedway

Former SMU quarterback running in Sunday’s Daytona 500

by Brandon D. Rush – Managing Editor | @BrandonRush |

Former Mustangs quarterback Robert Richardson has traded being chased by 300 pound defensive lineman for driving 190+ miles per hour in The Great American Race, the Daytona 500.

Richardson earned a scholarship to SMU after staring at McKinney High School in McKinney, Texas. The Art major loved the competition on and off the field, and as a fan of NASCAR was always drawn to the sport. After a stint at driving school at Texas Motor Speedway, he made a full time switch to racing.

After cutting his teeth in ARCA and the Lone Star Legends circuits (taking home the 2011 Lone Star Legends title), Robert got his shot in the Truck Series (24 races), XFINITY Series (124 races), and Sprint Cup (eight races) earning his first ride in the sports top level at Taladega in 2009. Richardson finished 18th, and would get a pair of chances in the Daytona 500 in 2010 and 2011.

Just three weeks ago, the idea of Richardson running in Sunday’s race seemed a bit far fetched. Robert was working full-time as a hay production manager at a farm in Point Pilot, Texas when he got a call from BK Racing, who was looking for a fourth driver to send to speedweeks.


Robert Richardson looks for his first NASCAR Top 10 finish when he takes to “The Great American Race” Sunday afternoon. Photo via

“Two weeks ago I was at home working on my ranch, got a phone call from Lane Segerstrom from StalkIt, saying he was trying to put a deal together trying to run the Daytona 500,” said Richardson.

“I’m very, very honored to be a part of BK Racing, having another opportunity to run here at the Daytona 500. I’ve been in it before, but this one is very, very special to me. My wife and I welcomed our brand new baby boy who was born in early December. Every bit of earnings we get from this race is going to go into a college fund for him.”

Richardson does not have a full-time ride for the 2016 season, a good result at Daytona could earn him a shot beyond this week. He will start 40th this weekend in the #26 StalkIt Toyota.

“The stress that I’ve been putting just on myself in general to make this race,” he said. “I’ve been pacing the floor ever since I woke up this morning just eager to get this race underway, just eager to see how the outcome would happen.

“I’m still in awe that this happened.”

If you needed an underdog Cinderella story to cheer for this Sunday, the former QB might be your pick.

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