Richard Petty Motorsports Food City 300 Race Report

Richard Petty Motorsports Food City 300 Race Report
Bristol Motor Speedway, .533-mile Oval
Race Results:

1. Ryan Blaney

2. Kyle Busch

3. Chase Elliott

4. Ty Dillon 

5. Regan Smith

28. Dakoda Armstrong, No. 43 WinField Ford
Dakoda Armstrong No. 43 WinField Ford Race Summary


Dakoda Armstrong and the No. 43 WinField team finished 28th in Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Bristol Motor Speedway after hitting the wall and receiving damage to the right side of the car after contact with another competitor.


Armstrong started the 300-lap race from the 15th position, his best starting position on a non-superspeedway track. He maintained the 16th position for the first 43 laps before the first caution of the night came for a spin on the backstretch. Armstrong reported the No. 43 WinField Ford was free on throttle but was getting tighter later into the run. With a competition caution just 13 laps away, Crew Chief Philippe Lopez made the call to keep the No. 43 Ford on the track and maintain track position.


Armstrong restarted 12th on Lap 49 and maintained the position for 13 laps when NASCAR Officials called a competition caution. He reported the No. 43 Ford was good on throttle but needed just a bit more front grip. Lopez called for four tires, an air pressure adjustment and fuel. Due to different strategies on pit road, Armstrong restarted 18th on Lap 68.


Shortly after the restart, Armstrong received damage to the right side of the No. 43 WinField Ford after contact from another car forced him into the wall. The damage was significant but Armstrong was able to stay on the track until the yellow-flag waved on Lap 86. Armstrong reported the damage made the No. 43 Ford extremely loose. He came to pit road to fix the damage as well as for four tires, trackbar and air pressure adjustments and fuel. Before going back to green, Armstrong came down pit road for a second time and restarted in the 24thposition on Lap 92.


Luckily, another caution came just three laps later and Armstrong brought the No. 43 Ford down pit road again to fix the damage to the right side. Armstrong stressed that he was struggling to keep the No. 43 Ford from spinning out due to no right-side splitter and damage to the right rear quarter panel.


Armstrong returned to the track for the restart on Lap 99 in the 25th position. However, just three laps later, he would bring the No. 43 WinField Ford to the garage.  The WinField crew worked to replace the right-side splitter and stabilize the damage to the quarter panel. Armstrong returned to the track on Lap 118 in the 36th position and 15 laps down.


For the remaining 183 laps, Armstrong was able to work his way around the track but wasn't able to be as competitive as he needed to be to make up the ground that he had lost. Despite the significate damage to the WinField Ford, Armstrong finished the race and crossed the finish line in the 28th position.


"It's a shame that we received damage so early in the race," said Armstrong. "It would've been great for our team to be able to showcase the improvement we had here from the March race. We were really happy with the gains we made, even from unloading the car. We started 15th and were running 12th when we hit the wall. It was a long night but the guys worked hard to fix the car to get us back on the track and we finished the race."


The NNS team at Richard Petty Motorsports returns to action at Atlanta Motor Speedway for the Great Clips 300 on August 30th. The race will be televised live on ESPN2. 


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.