Returning to his dirt racing roots on Wednesday night, Dakoda Armstrong was no stranger to Eldora Speedway as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series made its first trip to the famed half-mile dirt oval. Starting the Inaugural Car Cash Mudsummer Classic from deep in the field, Armstrong methodically picked his way forward with the No. 60 WinField Silverado during each of the three segments. Surviving a shootout to the checkers, the 22-year-old driver brought home an 11th place finish.
Feeling right at home with the dirt track qualifying procedures, Armstrong knew he had to try and make passes early in his eight-lap heat race to have a shot at getting a good starting position for the feature. Starting from the last row of his qualifier, Armstrong made every attempt to make passes early but was slowed by the slick track conditions. Locked in by virtue of current point standings, he lined up 22nd for the 150-lap feature.
Cautiously sliding his way through the first half of the opening 60-lap segment, Armstrong began to make his moves as the field neared the first break. Picking his way up to the 17th spot before pit stops, he reported to his Turn One Racing crew he would only need four tires and fuel, no adjustments to the handling under the caution.
As the track took more rubber in the second segment, the Indiana native found a line around the slick oval that would help him pull off some passes before the next break and broke into the top 15 by lap 70. Calling for just a minor adjustment for the final 40-lap dash to the checkers, Armstrong again received four fresh tires and fuel before restarting 15th on lap 112.
Though his lap times continued to improve and he began to perfect the "slide job", Armstrong was left to avoid calamity between several trucks in the final segment as everyone battled for positions. Slipping into the 11th spot, Armstrong was finding his groove when two cautions within the last ten laps halted his progress. Holding on through a green-white-checkered sprint to the finish line, Armstrong brought the WinField Silverado home in the 11th position.
"We had a lot of fun tonight and I think the race went better than a lot of people had expected," Armstrong said. "It was so hard to pass for most of the night that you had to use up everyone you came up to in order to get around them, and then hold your ground and not back down. Once I found the rubber in the track at the end of the first segment, it was a lot easier to make some moves.
"I could do that race over and over a bunch of times. Eldora is always a fun place to race and tonight had to have been a good show for everyone."
Dakoda Armstrong PR