Richard Petty Motorsports Lilly Diabetes 250 Race Report


Richard Petty Motorsports Lilly Diabetes 250 Race Report
Indianapolis Motor Speedway, 2.5-mile Oval


Race Results:

1. Ty Dillon

2. Kyle Busch

3. Matt Kenseth 

4. Kevin Harvick

5. Joey Logano 

17. Dakoda Armstrong, No. 43 WinField Ford


Dakoda Armstrong No. 43 WinField Ford Race Summary



Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was one of strategy. Fuel strategy was the main objective on Saturday and "save fuel" could be heard on every radio on pit road. The No. 43 WinField Ford team led by Crew Chief Philippe Lopez had the perfect strategy but fate had other ideas for the team. Dakoda Armstrong started in the 21st position but Lopez's strategy put him in the Top-10 several times throughout the race. He restarted seventh on the final restart but got shuffled back through the field when the race went back to green and finished in the 17th position.


The 100-lap race proved to have its ups and downs for the No. 43 WinField team. Armstrong started the race in the 21st position and was in 25th when the first caution came out on Lap 17. He reported the car was really loose on entry and tight on exit. Three laps shy of the original lap, NASCAR officials deemed the caution the competition caution that was set at the beginning of the race. Lopez called the No. 43 Ford to pit road for four tires, air pressure and wedge adjustments and fuel to help with the loose conditions on entry. The WinField pit crew gained three positions on pit road, and Armstrong restarted 22nd on Lap 21.


It wasn't long after the restart that Armstrong radioed the car was loose in traffic, making it difficult for him to pass the cars he was closing in on. As fuel strategy began to come into play, some of the field began short-pitting on Lap 30, but Armstrong continued to stay out. It looked like Lopez's strategy would play out perfectly as he was getting ready to call Armstrong to pit road for a green-flag pit stop from the 11th position when the yellow flag waved for fluid on the track on Lap 56. Armstrong reported the car was loose in traffic and tight in clean air. He came to pit road for four tires, an air pressure adjustment and fuel. Armstrong restarted 16th on Lap 64.


The caution caused more teams to play on their fuel strategy, and just after the restart, teams began to short-pit again for fuel. Once again, Armstrong was running in the 11th position when the caution came out on Lap 72 for debris. This time the No. 43 Ford would stay out, but Lopez stressed to save fuel. Armstrong restarted seventh with 24 laps to go and good on fuel until the end.

 With only 24 laps to go, cars were already fighting for position on the restart. The No. 43 Ford got loose jockeying to stay up front and was shuffled back through the field into the 17th position. Once the field spread out after the restart, it was hard to make up the ground lost, and Armstrong crossed the finish line in the 17th position.


"This isn't the finish that we deserved today," said Armstrong. "When we first unloaded, I felt really comfortable in the car, and we were ahead of the game with this being my first time here. We tried some different things in practice that I didn't feel as comfortable with and just went back to the basics. The car was good in qualifying; I just needed to get more out of it. Once the race started, we were pretty loose in traffic and tight in clean air but clean air is hard to find here. Philippe's (Lopez) strategy was spot on this weekend, and he put us in some really good positions. We were running in the Top-10 that final restart, and we were good to go on fuel but the car just got loose and I lost a lot of ground on the restart. The guys on the team have been working really hard, and we're really close to getting that finish that we deserve." 


The NNS team at Richard Petty Motorsports will return to Iowa Speedway for the U.S Cellular 250 on August 2nd. The race will be televised live on ESPN. 



About Richard Petty Motorsports:

A performance and marketing driven company, Richard Petty Motorsports, co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and successful business entrepreneurs Andrew Murstein and Douglas Bergeron, is one of the most recognized brands in all of motorsports. With a history of over 200 wins and business partnerships with national and global leaders, today the race operation fields two teams in competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Aric Almirola pilots the famous No. 43 Ford Fusion with primary partners Smithfield Foods, U.S. Air Force, STP, Strike Ten Entertainment and Fresh From Florida, and Marcos Ambrose drives the No. 9 machine with primary partners STANLEY, DEWALT, Mac Tools and Twisted Tea. In addition, Dakoda Armstrong wheels the No. 43 WinField Ford Mustang full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The team is headquartered in Concord, N.C.