Richard Petty Motorsports Sta-Green 200 Race Report
07.13.14

 

Richard Petty Motorsports Sta-Green 200 Race Report
New Hampshire Motor Speedway, 1-mile Oval

 

Race Results:

1. Brad Keselowski

2. Kyle Busch

3. Matt Kenseth

4. Kyle Larson

5. Chris Buescher

30. Dakoda Armstrong, No. 43 WinField Ford

 

Dakoda Armstrong No. 43 WinField Ford Race Summary

 

Dakoda Armstrong and the No. 43 WinField Ford team finished 30th in Saturday's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway after receiving damage to the left side and right front of the car from a multi-car incident. The WinField crew fixed the damage and got Armstrong back on the track, but he finished 30th after going several laps down.

 

As the day began to heat up, it affected the handling of the No. 43 WinField Ford and Armstrong struggled during the morning's qualifying session, starting the 200-lap race from the 27th position. The crew made their adjustments to start the race, and Armstrong was able to gain three spots in the first lap. Even after two cautions, the No. 43 Ford was handling well and gaining positions, running in the 21st position on the second restart on Lap 18.

 

It was the long-green flag run that brought out the handling issues in the WinField Ford. The No. 43 Ford Mustang was too free on entry and tight in the center, causing a lack of grip. While Armstrong did what he could on the track, Crew Chief Philippe Lopez and spotter Tyler Green were providing guidance and suggestions on how to help the handling during the long, green-flag run. The feedback seemed to work toward the end of the run as the No. 43 Ford's lap times began to improve while running in the 22nd position.

 

Finally, Lopez called Armstrong to pit road for a green-flag pit stop on Lap 83 for four tires, air pressure and wedge adjustments and fuel.  As the field began to cycle through, Armstrong ran in the 23rd position when the third caution of the day came on Lap 93. Armstrong said the car still lacked grip, so Lopez called the No. 43 Ford to pit road for two right-side tires, chassis adjustments and fuel hoping to give Armstrong more side bite. He restarted 23rd on Lap 98.

 

Just five laps later the yellow flag waved for debris on the frontstretch. With no option of the wave around, Armstrong came to pit road for fuel only and restarted 25th. Cars jockeying for position on the restart caused a multi-car incident just past halfway that collected the No. 43 Ford. Armstrong came down pit road with left side and right front damage. The impact also knocked out the toe of the WinField Ford. The crew worked hard to fix the damage on pit road, but Armstrong returned to the track in the 31st position, several laps down, with 87 laps to go.

 

With little opportunity to make up the lost laps, Armstrong crossed the finish line in the 30th position with a wounded No. 43 WinField Ford. He remains 13th in the Championship point standings.

 

"This wasn't the day we needed," said Armstrong. "I struggled to get a good lap in qualifying, and that put us behind the eight ball a little bit. When we started the race, the car felt pretty good, and I was able to pass some cars and make my way towards the front. But on the long, green-flag run, I just lost all of the grip. We were back there further than what we wanted to be, and I got tangled in the big pile-up on the one restart and we got some pretty good damage.  We lost a bunch of laps fixing the car on pit road, and there just weren't any opportunities to get those back." 

 

The NNS team at Richard Petty Motorsports will return to action next week at Chicagoland Speedway on Saturday, July 19th. The EnjoyIllinois.com 300 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.  

  

-30-