Columbus mover E.E. Ward Moving & Storage and North American Van Lines are the official moving partners for RichardPetty Motorsports. Follow the Xfinity team race series with us as we anticipate the E.E. Ward sponsorship of Armstrong’s car in the NASCAR Sprint cup May Dover race.
It was a very challenging night for Dakoda Armstrong and the No. 43 WinField Ford team at Richmond International Raceway (RIR). The team fought hard throughout the night but struggled to find the grip and drive-off they needed to compete. The WinField team continued to work on the car and made some improvements. A late-race tire issue foiled the team’s shot at a Top-20. Armstrong finished in the 27th position. Armstrong is currently 15th in the Championship Points Standing.
Armstrong started the race from the 18th position but fell outside of the Top-20, fighting to find grip in the entry and exit of the corner. Unable to keep with the leaders pace, Armstrong fell off the lead on Lap 38 while in the 24th position. The caution came out on Lap 50, and Armstrong told the team he needed grip everywhere and help with drive off the corner. Crew Chief Frankie Kerr called for four fresh tires, fuel, wedge and trackbar adjustments to tighten the car up. The WinField team picked up three spots on pit road. Armstrong restarted 21st on Lap 55.
The first set of adjustments didn’t change the car to Armstrong’s liking. The long, 55-lap green-flag run was similar to the first part of the race. The No. 43 Ford continued to lack the grip needed to pass. The caution came out again on Lap 111 for an accident in Turn Two. Kerr called for another round of heavy adjustments, telling the crew to take four tires, fuel, remove a spring rubber and make a wedge adjustment. The field restarted on Lap 121 with Armstrong in 26th, two laps down. The race stayed green over the next 25 laps with Armstrong maintaining the position.
A wreck on Lap 146 brought out the final caution of the night. Armstrong came to pit road for fuel and chassis adjustments. Kerr wanted to save tires for the end of the race, as the previous races at RIR trended towards late-race cautions. Armstrong restarted in 25th on Lap 152. Since the car was on old tires, Armstrong had issues getting up to speed on the restart and lost a few positions. However, as the race went deeper into the green flag run, Armstrong began to find speed and progressed through the field.
The No. 43 Ford began closing in on a Top-20 finish as the race neared completion. Unfortunately, on Lap 230, while running in the 22nd position, Armstrong complained of a “terrible vibration” and was forced to pit under green. The Winfield crew changed right-side tires and added fuel. Armstrong lost two laps while pitting under green and fell to the 29thposition. Over the next 20 laps, he picked up two spots and finished in the 27th position. Armstrong fell one spot in the Championship Points Standing to the 15th position.
“It was a really frustrating night. Not just for me, but the whole team. We were good when we unloaded this morning and all through practice. Every adjustment we made seemed to get the car closer to where we needed it. We ran the same pace as the leaders in the last half of practice. Even in qualifying, we were only a tenth off. It’s crazy how much the track can change in just a few hours. That’s part of racing at night. We were very loose on entry and exit all night. Frankie took a couple big swings at it during the race, but the adjustments just couldn’t get us to where we were earlier in the day. I’m glad we have a little break from the short tracks. Talladega has been a great track for me. I’m sure the crew is ready to go there as well.”