Richard Petty Motorsports EnjoyIllinois.com 300 Race Report
07.20.14

Richard Petty Motorsports EnjoyIllinois.com 300 Race Report
Chicagoland Speedway, 1.5-mile Oval
 
Race Results:
1. Chase Elliott
2. Trevor Bayne
3. Kyle Larson
4. Kasey Kahne
5. Ty Dillon
20. Dakoda Armstrong, No. 43 WinField Ford
 
Dakoda Armstrong No. 43 WinField Ford Race Summary
 
Dakoda Armstrong battled handling and changing track conditions during last night’s race at Chicagoland Speedway. Starting from the 26th spot, Armstrong led a lap during green-flag pit stops but couldn’t get a handle on the No. 43 WinField Ford. Battling the car all day, the team finished 20th. The finish keeps Armstrong 15th in the Championship Points.
 
Armstrong qualified 26th in the hot sun Saturday afternoon. Knowing the car was better on the long run, he looked forward to the 200-lap Nationwide Series race into the night. He took the green flag from the 26th spot and was eager to see how well the car ran on the long run. A quick caution on Lap 7 broke up the run. Crew Chief Philippe Lopez chose to stay out, and Armstrong restarted 24th. He raced up to 22nd when green-flag pit stops began on Lap 52.
 
Lopez waited to come down pit road until the team got into their fuel window. Armstrong led Lap 57 before driving down pit road for service on the No. 43 Ford. The WinField crew got to work changing four tires and making a small air pressure adjustment to help a tight condition in the center of the corner. Armstrong returned to the track in the 24th spot, one lap down. He drove into the 20th position when NASCAR Officials called a caution for debris on Lap 70.
 
The No. 43 WinField Ford was still a little tight in the center, and the last adjustment made the car loose off the corner. Unable to take the wave around, Lopez elected to make a fuel-only pit stop and a wedge adjustment. Armstrong restarted 18th on Lap 74 and raced in the Top-20 until green-flag pit stops began. Since they topped off with fuel during the last caution, the team was able to stay out longer than most cars.
 
Armstrong moved into the 16th spot as teams began to pit. On Lap 124, NASCAR Officials called another debris caution with the No. 43 WinField Ford still on track. The team made a four-tire pit stop and air pressure and wedge adjustments and restarted 18th, one lap down. The adjustment made the car freer in the corners, and Armstrong struggled to keep position. He fell to 21st, two laps down, when the final round of green-flag pit stops began on Lap 163.
 
Hoping for another caution to get a lap back, Lopez elected to stay out as long as possible before pitting. Unfortunately, that caution never came. Giving up the 15th spot, Armstrong made his final green-flag stop on Lap 186. The WinField crew changed four tires and made a trackbar adjustment to help with the loose condition. He returned to the track in the 20th spot. He passed cars in the final laps but none were on the same lap as the No. 43 WinField Ford. He crossed the finishline in the 20th spot. The finish kept Armstrong in the 13th position in Championship Points.
 
“We’re really disappointed in how tonight went,” said Armstrong. “The car wasn’t bad, but we just couldn’t get it to run where the speed was. There were points throughout the race where we were close. We tried different adjustments to make it better but just couldn’t get there. It’s really tough because a lot of the rest of the schedule is at mile-and-a-half tracks. We’ll regroup after this and really work to get our intermediate program better.”
 
The NNS team at Richard Petty Motorsports will return to the Midwest next weekend for the Lilly Diabetes 250 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway Saturday, July 26. The 250-mile 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.
 
-30-