Richard Petty Motorsports Boyd Gaming 300 Race Report
Richard Petty Motorsports Boyd Gaming 300 Race Report
Las Vegas Motor Speedway, 1.5-mile Oval
1. Brad Keselowski
2. Kyle Busch
3. Kyle Larson
4. Dale Earnhardt Jr.
5. Chase Elliott
23. Dakoda Armstrong, No. 43 WinField Ford
Dakoda Armstrong No. 43 WinField Ford Race Summary
After a tough day of fighting an extremely loose Ford Mustang, Dakoda Armstrong finished Saturday's race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the 23rd position. From the start of the 200-lap race, Armstrong had to battle a loose car with no grip. The WinField crew worked on tightening the car throughout the race, but even the big swings made little improvement to the loose conditions. Even with handling issues and a speeding penalty on pit road, Armstrong kept the No. 43 WinField Ford in one piece and earned a 23rd-place finish, six laps down.
Just four laps after the green flag waved, Armstrong radioed to Crew Chief Philippe Lopez that the No. 43 WinField Ford was extremely loose. As green flag racing continued, the car got worse, and Armstrong had to fight harder to keep the Ford Mustang from spinning out. With no caution early in the race, Armstrong fell a lap down to the leaders on Lap 27, and Lopez was forced to bring the No. 43 Ford down pit road for a green-flag pit stop on Lap 39 to tighten the car. The crew made a big swing at the WinField Ford, replacing all four Goodyear tires, along with trackbar and wedge adjustments. Armstrong headed back onto the track two laps down.
After returning to the track, Armstrong was shown in the 34th position and several laps down. Fifteen laps later, the rest of the field began making their green-flag pit stops, moving Armstrong into the 26th position. The first caution came out in the middle of the green-flag stops on Lap 57. Armstrong said the car was a little better but needed more adjustments. He also reported that the No. 43 Ford had no rear grip. Armstrong brought the No. 43 Ford down pit road for four tires and another big swing at the chassis to tighten the WinField Ford. After a long caution so that NASCAR officials could verifying the running order, he restarted in the 27th position, two laps down on Lap 70.
As they say, cautions breed cautions, and just one lap after the restart, the yellow flag waved again for an accident in Turn Three. The WinField Ford stayed on the track and restarted in the 26th position on Lap 75, still two laps down.
This time the race would stay green, but Armstrong still battled with the handling of the No. 43 Ford. He reported that the WinField Ford still had no rear grip, and fell another lap down to the leaders on Lap 97. Green flag stops started around Lap 114, but with the extra pit stop from earlier in the race, Armstrong was able to stay on the track until Lap 124. He brought the No. 43 Ford down pit road for his green flag stop, and the crew changed four tires with more big swings to the chassis and an air pressure adjustment. He returned to the track in 24th position, but NASCAR Officials reported that Armstrong would have to serve a pass through penalty for speeding on the entry to pit road. He served the penalty and returned to the track in 24th, five laps down.
The third caution of the race came on Lap 149, giving the WinField crew another chance to work on the No. 43 Ford. Armstrong reported that he was really struggling to keep the car from spinning out. Lopez called for more of the same adjustments to the chassis and air pressure, along with four fresh tires. Armstrong restarted in the 24th position, five laps down on Lap 153.
The yellow flag waved again just seven laps later. Armstrong reported that the No. 43 Ford was a little better but that he still had no rear grip. The WinField Ford stayed on the track and restarted 24th on Lap 163.
There was another short caution before the end of the race, but Armstrong remained on the track and crossed the finish line in the 23rd position, six laps down. Armstrong is currently in the 14thposition in the championship point standings.
"Well, today was definitely a struggle for us," said Armstrong. " The track really changed from qualifying to the race. The car wasn't perfect for qualifying, but it was close enough that we could've worked on it during the race to get it close to where we need to be, but once the race started I knew that we weren't going to be able to make adjustments to the car during the race to get it to where we needed it. We threw everything possible at the car to make it tighter but we just didn't have any grip out there. I'm not sure what happened there, but we learned a lot and we'll be able to use what we learned to make the car better for the next mile-and-a-half track. "
The NNS team at Richard Petty Motorsports will return to action at Bristol Motor Speedway on Saturday, March 15th. The Jeff Foxworthy's Grit Chips 300 will be televised live on ESPN2.
About Richard Petty Motorsports:
A performance and marketing driven company, Richard Petty Motorsports, co-owned by NASCAR Hall of Famer Richard Petty and successful business entrepreneurs Andrew Murstein and Douglas Bergeron, is one of the most recognized brands in all of motorsports. With a history of over 200 wins and business partnerships with national and global leaders, today the race operation fields two teams in competition in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series. Aric Almirola pilots the famous No. 43 Ford Fusion with primary partners Smithfield Foods, U.S. Air Force, STP, Strike Ten Entertainment and Fresh From Florida, and Marcos Ambrose drives the No. 9 machine with primary partners STANLEY, DEWALT, Mac Tools and Twisted Tea. In addition, Dakoda Armstrong wheels the No. 43 WinField Ford Mustang full-time in the NASCAR Nationwide Series. The team is headquartered in Concord, N.C.