Wide Open at Charlotte: Sunoco Rookie of the Year contender Dakoda Armstrong will make his first appearance at Charlotte Motor Speedway in this Friday's N.C. Education Lottery 200. During the off weeks, the No. 98 EverFi team has prepared Armstrong's favorite truck in hopes to give him an extra shot of confidence in his first start. Armstrong has also been utilizing iRacing to prepare for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) main event. With virtual practice and his affection for the high-speed tracks and favorite truck in tow, Armstrong is prepared to hold it wide open for his debut.
"Charlotte is a fast track and seems to have good grip from what I've heard, but we'll have our work cut out for us to get our EverFi Tundra set up in the daytime and race through the changes at night," Armstrong said.
"I'm just really ready to get back behind the wheel. These long breaks are really hard to sit through, especially since we've been improving every week since Daytona."
Where Armstrong lacks in experience at the 1.5-mile high-speed track, crew chief Dan Stillman picks up with plenty of prior experience. Stillman shared his keys to success as well has predictions for this weekend.
"I really enjoy going to Charlotte because it's really fast and a lot of fun," Stillman began. "But you have to constantly be on your toes here. It's a very high speed track and you have to be able to run pretty close to wide open the entire time to keep your momentum up. The track is also very temperature sensitive, so we're going to have to stay on top of the adjustments we make to our EverFi Tundra all day and night on Friday."
Two back-to-back practice sessions on Friday morning, spanning from 9:00 am-11:50 am EST to kick off the NCWTS race day. Qualifying will be at 4:00 pm EST live on SPEED, followed by SPEED's broadcast of the N.C. Education Lottery 200 at 7:30 pm and the MRN broadcast at 7:45 pm EST.
Appearances Around Town: Maintaining a busy schedule off the track this weekend, Armstrong will be participating in appearances for the fans on Thursday and Friday before the N.C. Education Lottery 200. On Thursday, he will join several other drivers first at Camping World RV Sales in Statesville, NC to sign autographs from 12-1:00 pm, followed by a second autograph session with others at the Concord Commons Wal-Mart in Concord, NC from 2-3:00 pm. Along with fellow Toyota competitors, Armstrong will then sign autographs at Toyota Pit Pass outside the track on Friday from 2-2:30 pm.
A Look Back at Kansas: Surviving pit road penalties and uncharacteristically cold weather and track conditions, Dakoda Armstrong drove to a 15th place finish at Kansas Speedway in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series SFP 250 on Saturday, April 21st. Searching for grip in the front end of the No. 98 EverFi Toyota Tundra for the majority of the afternoon, Armstrong was able to push forward from his 20th starting position with a last lap pass to score the top-15 finish in his first NCWTS start at the track.
Chassis History: The No. 98 EverFi team will roll into Charlotte Motor Speedway this Friday with their "favorite" truck; chassis No. 23. With one previous appearance this year at Rockingham, Armstrong also drove this chassis to his best career NCWTS finish at Kentucky last season.
Dakoda Armstrong on Charlotte Motor Speedway
You've never raced at Charlotte before, but what have you done to prepare?
I'm fortunate to have veteran teammates in Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter, so I've been able to ask them what to expect. Besides that, I've been practicing a lot on iRacing and watching some old races to see how the track changes throughout the night.
Dakoda Armstrong PR