Richard Petty Motorsports Subway Firecracker 250 Race Report


Richard Petty Motorsports Subway Firecracker 250 Race Report
Daytona International Speedway, 2.5-mile Superspeedway Oval


Dakoda Armstrong

No. 43 Fresh From Florida Ford Race Summary


Dakoda Armstrong and the No. 43 Fresh From Florida team had a good start to their Fourth of July Holiday when Armstrong earned the pole position for Friday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race under the lights at Daytona International Speedway. Armstrong and his Roush teammates posted the fastest laps during the first round of Friday afternoon's knockout qualifying session. He was awarded the pole after rain cancelled the remaining two rounds of qualifying. It is the first Nationwide Series pole for any Petty-owned team. Not only was the first-place starting spot a belated birthday for The King, whose 77th birthday came just two days earlier, but it was also the 30th anniversary of The King's 200th win, which he won at Daytona.

Armstrong led the field to the green flag, but the outside line quickly took the advantage. The team gave up the top position to get to the bottom and preferred lane. As the field raced double-file, Armstrong remained in the Top-Five through the first green-flag pit stop on Lap 36. He informed veteran Crew Chief Philippe Lopez that the car felt good and Lopez called the No. 43 Fresh From Florida Ford down pit road for two right-side tires and fuel.

It didn't take Armstrong long to make up ground on the track, and with a good pit stop from the Fresh From Florida pit crew, he found himself in the second position on Lap 43. The No. 43 Ford was so good that Armstrong caught up to the leader quicker than anticipated and had to get out of the draft to avoid a collision, thus falling back into the field. He was running in the 19th position when NASCAR Officials waved the yellow-flag for the first caution of the night on Lap 53. With the caution just barely in the fuel window, Lopez called the No. 43 Ford to pit road for fuel only and immediately told Armstrong to save fuel during the caution. Armstrong restarted on the outside lane in 12th on Lap 58.

No one could make the outside lane work for most of the night, but Armstrong helped push fellow Ford teammate Trevor Bayne towards the front of the field. Armstrong was running in the third position when the outside lane faded once again and he fell back through the field. He was running in the 24th position when the second caution of the race came with just six laps to go. The No. 43 Fresh From Florida Ford stayed on the track during the caution and restarted 21st for the first attempt at a green-white-checkered finish.

On the restart, the No. 9 car ran out of fuel, causing a multi-car pile-up, bringing out the caution one more time. This then set up another green-white-checkered finish. Armstrong restarted 18th but went on to cross the checkered flag in the 19th position. Armstrong remains 13th in the Championship point standings.

"Obviously, 19th is not where we should've ended up tonight," said Armstrong. "We could've won that race, the car was great, obviously we were fast enough to win the pole and there's no doubt in my mind that we could've won the race. There were just a few slips in the race where I lost some track position. I was able to make it up the first time but the second time we didn't have enough laps and everyone was trying to do the same thing we were. I'm really happy about winning the pole today but really disappointed with the finish result tonight."

The NNS team at Richard Petty Motorsports will return to action next week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday, July 12th. The Sta-Green 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.