Team officials from ThorSport Racing announced Monday veteran crew chief Dan Stillman will join the No. 98 entry for Dakoda Armstrong, effective immediately. Stillman most recently served as crew chief for the No. 5 Randy Moss Motorsports entry in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series before the team merged with Germain Racing. Prior to his tenure at RMM, Stillman had success with the likes of Carl Edwards at Roush Fenway Racing, Tayler Malsam at Kyle Busch Motorsports, and several drivers in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series with TRG Motorsports.
"Obviously ThorSport Racing is one of the most consistent and respected teams in the truck series, so it's great to be working with a team of this caliber. The 13 and 88 teams are both at the top of their game, among the leaders in the point standings and winning races, so our goal is to build the 98 team and help Dakoda do the same," Stillman noted.
"I'm really happy that Dan has come on board as my crew chief. He's got a lot of experience at the tracks we'll be going to and he has been very successful. The best thing for me is that now I can start building my relationship with him for the rest of the races we do this season so we're that much stronger when we run the full season in 2012," said Armstrong.
Double Duty: In addition to making his second career NCWTS start, Dakoda Armstrong will return to familiar ground in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards and the running of the Ansell Protective Gloves 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway. Returning to the Cunningham Motorsports No. 22 Cardinal Ethanol/ICM, Inc./Murex Dodge he captured a win with last month at Winchester Speedway, Armstrong hopes he has similar success at another Indiana short track on Thursday night. The team will be racing the same chassis they tested Lucas Oil Raceway with in June, which was also the machine that visited victory lane at Winchester.
Hailing from New Castle, Indiana, Dakoda Armstrong will compete at Lucas Oil Raceway this weekend with an extra boost of confidence from supportive family members. Armstrong has previous experience at the .686-mile oval in USAC competition, which he hopes to utilize during the ARCA and NCWTS events. The 20-year-old also tested his ARCA Racing Series machine at the Indiana short track in June to dial in the car and log more laps in a stock car.
Dakoda Armstrong on Lucas Oil Raceway
How does it feel to be racing so close to home?
"No matter what sport you're in, I think it's always helpful to have 'home field' advantage. To me, I think Lucas Oil Raceway has always provided great racing conditions and I'm really pumped to race both the ARCA and truck races. It's cool to be able to do what I love so close to home so my family can be a part of it too."
Did you learn anything during the race at Iowa that you can carry over to this weekend?
"It's going to continue to be a learning process getting used to these trucks and the way they handle. I was getting more and more comfortable during the race at Iowa until we ran into some trouble and got the left front fender damage that really messed up the handling. Turning as many laps as possible this weekend will just add to what we accomplished last week. "
Do you think your prior experience will help you at Lucas Oil Raceway this weekend?
"Even though I only have experience in midgets at Lucas Oil Raceway prior to this weekend, I think the races I've done will help with the learning curve. It helps that I've raced around it before to any extent because I already know what the track's characteristics are. It's a very unique track and it races a little differently due to its odd length. The goal for the ARCA race is to just run some more laps at the track and get a better feel for it in a stock car, so I'm planning on using some of what I learn on Thursday to help me in the truck on Friday."