Richard Petty Motorsports John R. Elliott Hero Campaign 300 Race Report


Richard Petty Motorsports John R. Elliott Hero Campaign 300 Race Report
Kentucky Speedway, 1.5-mile Oval


Race Results:

1. Kevin Harvick

2. Brad Keselowski

3. Kyle Busch

4. Paul Menard

5. Ryan Blaney

20. Dakoda Armstrong, No. 43 WinField Ford



Dakoda Armstrong No. 43 WinField Ford Race Summary



Dakoda Armstrong and the No. 43 WinField Ford team earned a Top-20 finish Friday night in the NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Kentucky Speedway, despite hitting the outside wall and receiving damage to the rear of the car that forced the WinField crew to make repairs on pit road. Even with the unfortunate event, the team's great strategy, paired with timely cautions, helped Armstrong salvage a 20th-place finish.


Earlier in the day, Armstrong fought a tight racecar in knock-out qualifying, earning a 25th-place starting position and just missing the cut-off to the second session by one spot. However, once the race went green later in the evening, Armstrong battled a loose No. 43 WinField Ford from the drop of the green flag.  He held onto the loose racecar for the first 43 laps, running in the 24th position but unable to prevent going a lap down, when NASCAR Officials waved the yellow flag for debris. Crew Chief Philippe Lopez called the No. 43 Ford down pit road for four tires, air pressure and wedge adjustments and fuel. The chassis adjustment would help tighten the No. 43 Ford on entry. Armstrong restarted in the 23rd position on Lap 47.


The caution was followed by a 36-lap green-flag run before more debris brought out the caution on Lap 84. Armstrong reported the No. 43 Ford was still loose on entry but he started to get better the last five laps of the run. Lopez called for four tires, a trackbar adjustment and fuel, and Armstrong restarted 24th on Lap 89.


It was pretty clear after the restart that the last changes helped the WinField Ford, and Armstrong raced his way to the 22nd position and the Lucky Dog spot. An accident on the backstretch brought out the caution on Lap 103, putting the No. 43 WinField Ford back on the lead lap after being awarded the Lucky Dog. Armstrong restarted at the tail end of the line in 21st on Lap 107.


Armstrong had to fight his way through lapped traffic to catch up to the lead lap cars, but the green-flag run allowed the leaders to catch up and Armstrong went a lap down. However, the team's strategy would pay off. Deciding not the come to pit road during the caution, the leaders were forced to make green-flag pit stops, which started around Lap 140. As more and more cars made their stops, it allowed Armstrong to advance in positions and eventually get back on the lead lap. A perfectly timed caution on Lap 157 found Armstrong in the ninth position and back on the lead lap.  Armstrong came down pit road for four tires and fuel and restarted in the 10th position on Lap 162.


After the restart, Armstrong battled for position in the Top-15 but reported the No. 43 Ford had no rear grip. After another quick caution, Armstrong was running in the 16th position when he made contact with the wall, causing damage to the rear of the car. He brought the No. 43 Ford to pit road for repairs and returned to the track in the 20th position, one lap down.


Armstrong held on for the last 20 laps to maintain the 20th position at the checkered flag. His Top-20 finish moved him up one spot in the Championship point standings to 13th.


"Even though that wasn't the finish we wanted, our WinField crew worked really hard this weekend," said Armstrong. "We had some work to do when we got here, and they stepped it up when it really mattered. We started off the race pretty loose, but Philippe (Lopez) did a really good job on the adjustments during the race and we were racing in the Top-15 when I hit the wall. It's not how I wanted to end the night, but I'm really proud of the team and what we were able to accomplish throughout the weekend. We're getting there, it's only a matter of time before we get the finishes we deserve."


The NNS team at Richard Petty Motorsports will return to action next week at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday, July 4th. The Subway Firecracker 250 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.