It was an exciting holiday weekend at E. E. Ward Moving & Storage. Owner of the Columbus-based mover, Brian Brooks, attended the Xfinity Hisense 300 at Raleigh Motor Speedway along with his wife, Dominique. As the official moving partners of Richard Petty Motorsports, E. E. Ward and North American Van Lines’ logos were featured on Dakoda Armstrong’s #43 Ford WinField.
Dakoda Armstrong and the No. 43 WinField Ford team came to Raleigh Motor Speedway hoping for a repeat of the strong 1.5-mile track performance the team has enjoyed this season. Armstrong started the day fighting slick track conditions, and the team made adjustments during the first caution. Armstrong found the stability he needed and was able to climb his way into the Top-15. The No. 43 WinField Ford was able to maintain good track position throughout the race, climbing to a race high 13th position before a late race caution. Shortly after the final restart, heavy traffic and a loose handling race car robbed Armstrong of a Top-15 finish after an otherwise solid day. Armstrong finished in the 16th position. Armstrong climbs one spot to 15th in the Championship Points Standings.
Kerr called for four tires, fuel and a track bar adjustment. Armstrong came to pit road under caution on Lap 50. The pit crew made a smooth, fast pit stop and gained Armstrong two positions on pit road.
The race restarted on Lap 57 with Armstrong in the 18th position. On Lap 95, the WinField Ford Mustang made a green-flag pit stop. Kerr called for four tires and fuel. The pit crew gave Armstrong another lightning fast pit stop, gaining him to two more positions. However while on pit road, Armstrong lost a lap. Armstrong rejoined the field in the 15th position, the first car one lap down. As Armstrong exited his pit box, he checked up to avoid other cars leaving their respective pit stalls. Armstrong lost two positions. The race started on Lap 117 with Armstrong in the 17th position.
Kerr called for four tires, fuel and a wedge adjustment. Armstrong pit under caution, and the crew made its third flawless pit stop of the day. The race restarted on Lap 167 with Armstrong in 13th position.
Armstrong battled hard to try to improve his position after the restart. On Lap 175, the extra wear on the tires became apparent. Armstrong tried to make his way through a heavy bunch of traffic but lost three positions on Lap 178 dropping to 16h position. Armstrong maintained the spot and finished 16th. Armstrong improves one spot to 15th in the Championship Points Standings.
“I’m really proud of the WinField team,” said Armstrong. “We didn’t qualify as well as we would have liked to, but we steadily improved over the course of the race. The car was good all day long. The track was very slick. We were free in traffic but still able to make passes. I owe that to the crew. They kept us in the fight with great pits stops and made great adjustments. We got caught in traffic late in the race, and it cost us a few positions at the end. Overall, it was a really calm race. We didn’t have a lot of cautions. We were forced to improve a little bit at a time. It was a slow and steady progress. But, we learned a lot, gained some points and finally have good momentum behind us.”
(Read the full race recap here)