Richard Petty Motorsports Great Clips 300 Race Report

Richard Petty Motorsports Great Clips 300 Race Report
Atlanta Motor Speedway, 1.54-mile Oval
Race Results:

1. Kevin Harvick

2. Joey Logano

3. Kyle Larson

4. Kyle Busch

5. Chase Elliott

33. Dakoda Armstrong, No. 43 WinField Ford
Dakoda Armstrong No. 43 WinField Ford Race Summary



Dakoda Armstrong and the No. 43 WinField team were relegated to a 33rd-place finish in Saturday night's NASCAR Nationwide Series race at Atlanta Motor Speedway after the engine of the No. 43 Ford expired on Lap 134.


Armstrong started the 195 lap race from the 17th position in his first start at the mile-and-a-half track in the Nationwide series.  From the start of the race the No. 43 WinField Ford lacked grip and Armstrong ran just outside of the Top-20. As the race went caution-less for the first 73 laps, teams were forced to make green-flag pit stops. Armstrong brought the No. 43 Ford to pit road on Lap 51 for the team's green-flag stop.  To help give the WinField Ford more grip, Crew Chief Philippe Lopez called for four tires, a trackbar adjustment and fuel. Armstrong returned to the track in the 22nd position.


Armstrong was running in the same position when the first caution of the race came on Lap 73, giving the WinField team another chance to give the No. 43 Ford more grip and side bite. This time, Lopez called for four tires, air pressure and chassis adjustments and fuel. Armstrong restarted in the 23rd position on Lap 78.


Armstrong gained one spot in the next 43 laps, running in the 21st position when the second and final caution of the night came on Lap 121 for debris in Turn 2. The last changes to the No. 43 Ford helped but the car still needed more grip. Lopez called for four tires, an air pressure adjustment and fuel. As the field prepared to line up to take the green, weather moved into the area. During the extended caution, Armstrong reported a vibration as well as low oil pressure. As the field went back to green, Armstrong brought the No. 43 Ford to pit road and eventually to the garage area where it was determined that the WinField Ford was done for the evening, resulting in a 33rd-place finish.


"It seems like we've had a string of bad luck lately," said Armstrong. "Tonight, we weren't able to finish the race due to an issue with the oil pump. It was my first Nationwide start at Atlanta and the first time I've been to the track in a couple of years so it took me a little bit to get used to the track again. The old surface and tire wear make it a challenging track.  We were able to improve throughout the weekend, which is what we need to be doing. I feel like we were able to make some big gains from when we unloaded to qualifying."


The NNS team at Richard Petty Motorsports returns to action at Richmond International Raceway for the Virginia529 College Savings 250 on September 5. The race 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.