DAYTONA BEACH, FLORIDA (July 2, 2017) – For the second week in a row, New Castle, Indiana native Dakoda Armstrong scored a career best finish in NASCAR XFINITY Series competition. In the rain delayed running of the Coca-Cola Firecracker 250, Armstrong muscled his No. 28 WinField United Toyota to a third-place finish at the 2.5-mile track in Daytona Beach, Florida.
“This is a great feeling to get back-to-back top-five finishes,” said Armstrong. “The guys on this JGL Racing team once again gave me a very strong No. 28 WinField United Toyota. It was a challenging weekend with the the weather and the delays but as they usually do everyone on this team stayed focused and worked hard. Steven Lane (crew chief) made some great calls and put us in great position to finish the second stage in the third spot which also gave us some valuable stage points. For the most part, we were able to avoid a few close calls late in the race but I did receive a little right front damage in that last big wreck but our No. 28 WinField United Toyota was so strong that it didn’t seem to hurt us in the last few laps. I thought maybe we had a really good shot at the win on that last restart but a great third place finish is nice.”
Dakoda would start the 100-lap race in the 21st position as a result of his qualifying effort on Friday afternoon. With weather looming in the area, Armstrong would surge forward in the opening laps and sit in the 13th spot when rain descended upon Daytona. With no relief in sight, the event was delayed until Saturday afternoon. Again, with showers looming in the area, the No. 28 WinField United Toyota would return to action with the green flag waving on lap 13. Dakoda would take a conservative approach once back to racing and would be sitting in the 18th position at the end of the first stage.
The second stage was once again plagued by a rain delay on lap 36. After a two-and-a-half-hour delay, action would resume in the second stage and the No. 28 WinField United Toyota would slowly work its way through the field. With some varying strategies playing out towards the end of the stage, Armstrong would find the opportunity to surge forward and gain valuable stage points with a third-place finish at the end of the stage.
With a 40-lap sprint left to the finish, Dakoda knew the action would pick up. After pitting in between stages, the No. 28 WinField United Toyota would once again work its way through traffic while narrowly avoiding multiple on track incidents. Armstrong did get a little damage on his right front from the big one on lap 92 – but it was not enough to affect his No. 28 WinField United Toyota in the closing laps. As the race went to overtime, Dakoda would sit in the fifth position on the restart. A good move allowed him to put himself in the second position and potentially make a move for the win on the last lap. Unfortunately, the caution came out just after passing the overtime line which ended the race with Dakoda and his No. 28 WinField United Toyota being credited with the career best third place finish.
“The last two weeks have definitely been a big momentum boost for me and this team,” added Dakoda. “I also want to give a big shout out to my teammates – Jeb Burton with a career best fourth place finish and Scott Lagasse coming home 13th. This shows the strength of this JGL Racing team and we will only continue to get better as the season goes on. It would be great to continue with this little string of career best finishes.”
The career best third-place finish moved Armstrong up to the tenth spot in the NASCAR XFINITY Series overall driver standings – just three points out of the ninth position.
Armstrong and his JGL Racing team will next head to Kentucky Speedway for the running of the Alsco 300. The 16th race of the NASCAR XFINITY Series season will be Friday July 7th and can be seen LIVE on NBCSN at 8:00 pm ET. It can also be heard on Performance Racing Network (PRN) and SiriusXM Channel 90.