Armstrong Battles Back From Unscheduled Pit Stop, Brings Home 18th
Dakoda Armstrong and the No. 98 EverFi team traveled to Texas Motor Speedway for the seventh race on the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series schedule hoping to find success with "Protect The Harvest" riding on the hood. Rain showers covered the speedway nearly all day Thursday, cancelling the qualifying session for the WinStar World Casino 400. By virtue of current owner's points, Dakoda Armstrong took the green flag in his Tundra from the 19th starting spot and maintained position through the halfway point. Fighting through loose handling conditions from the start, an unscheduled pit stop on Lap 80 handed Armstrong a two lap deficit that he was able to overcome en route to an 18th place finish.
The inclement weather that affected the speedway area sidelined practice for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) competitors until 8:00 pm CST on Thursday night when the track drying process was finally completed. With only one 90 minute session to dial in their Toyota Tundra, the EverFi crew worked double time to find a solid race setup for Armstrong to work with for 250 miles of racing.
Reporting to crew chief Dan Stillman early in the night that the EverFi Tundra was not gripping the track and was too loose for his liking, Armstrong was able to hold his own before the first round of pit stops. But even after several stops and major adjustments, the ThorSport Racing driver was still struggling with a loose race truck.
Shortly after the restart following the fourth caution of the night, Armstrong radioed to his crew that he felt he had a tire going down. The pit crew went to work, quickly changing all four tires when their driver came down pit road one lap later. The unscheduled stop moved Armstrong two laps behind the leader, a hole that he raced hard to dig himself out of. As the recipient of the "lucky dog" under the final caution of the night, Armstrong moved back into the top-20 in the running order and was able to grab two more spots before the checkered to finish 18th.
"We never could get our EverFi Tundra to grip the track tonight," Armstrong said."I could barely turn the wheel in the corners without the back end wanting to step out and really couldn't get going on restarts and for the first few laps, which just killed our momentum and let the rest of the field get away before our lap times evened out with them. I felt a tire going down about midway and that didn't help us either.
"Dan Stillman and the crew never stopped working on it, but we'll have to make some changes at the shop over the next two weeks to get us better before Kentucky. We had our best run yet there last fall, so I'm hoping we can just pick up right where we left off."
Teammate Johnny Sauter's victory on Friday night moved him ahead of Armstrong in the NCWTS driver point standings, moving the driver of the No. 98 EverFi Tundra back to 16th.The NCWTS teams will return to competition next at Kentucky Speedway on Thursday, June 28th, for the UNOH 225. Live SPEED Channel coverage of the event is scheduled for
7:30 pm EST.
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