Returning to the place of his best career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series finish to date, Dakoda Armstrong and the No. 60 WinField team hoped for a repeat performance at Michigan International Speedway on Saturday. With Joe Shear, Jr. calling the shots as crew chief for the first time with the Turn One Racing team, Armstrong qualified solidly in the 13th position for the Michigan National Guard 200. Hanging tough in the draft and avoiding several on track incidents, the Indiana native was shuffled out of line on the final restart and came home in 13th place.
Taking the green flag from inside row seven, Armstrong quickly realized how important staying in line to draft was very early on. Clearing the first caution on Lap 1 with ease, Armstrong settled in and first reported his WinField Chevrolet was too tight just prior to the second caution on Lap 17. Crew chief Joe Shear, Jr. decided to bring Armstrong down pit road for fuel and a track bar adjustment that carried him to the very next caution 10 laps later. During this break in the green flag action, Armstrong was again called to pit road for another swing at the handling and two right side tires. Returning to the field for the restart in the 12th position, Armstrong was able to hold ground just outside the top-10 through the next green flag segment of the 200-mile event.
With three cautions falling fairly close together in the mid-portion of the race, it was up to Shear when to bring Armstrong down pit road and what calls would be made. Receiving four fresh tires, a chassis adjustment and fuel under caution on Lap 57, the No. 60 WinField Silverado was called back to pit road for the final pit stop of the afternoon under the fourth caution, just six laps later, to top off with fuel. Shear informed his driver they were good to go to the end and it was all up to the Armstrong and the WinField Silverado to make the moves to the checkered flag.
Steering clear of the sixth caution on Lap 76, Armstrong found a good drafting group and tucked in line to make his way into the top-10. The final caution of the day came with less than 10 laps remaining, and Armstrong took the restart from the eighth spot with six laps to go. Pushed down to the bottom after taking the green and away from the top line that had worked all afternoon, the driver of the WinField Chevy was unable to tuck up and rebuild his momentum. As a result, Armstrong was left with a 13th place finish.
"Momentum and staying in line in the draft were just really important today," Armstrong said. "It was super hard to pass and we couldn't get in a good position on the last restart like we needed to. I'm proud of how hard this Turn One Racing crew worked this weekend to give me a truck that was good in the draft and decent by itself, and the adjustments Joe Shear, Jr. called for during the race really put us in contention. I wish we had a better finish to show for how fast the WinField Silverado was, but it felt good to run with the leaders most of the day."
Dakoda Armstrong PR