Armstrong strings together two consecutive top-five finishes

By Zachary Lange

July 1, 2017


DAYTONA BEACH, Fla.—Consistency is often less emphasized ever since the adoption of the playoff format where a win essentially locks a driver into the post-season.

But for JGL Racing’s Dakota Armstrong, steady does it, as he went to capture his career best finish in the XFINITY Series at a hectic Daytona International Speedway.

“I knew our car wasn’t going to be able to lead with that damage. But just overall it was a good day,” Armstrong said. “We did what we needed to, we got stage points, a good day for the No. 24 guys.”

Armstrong received slight damage during a massive wreck that claimed nearly a dozen drivers but was able to stay out under caution. Armstrong preferred his car on the high line, staying close to the No. 9 of winner William Byron and the runner up Elliott Sadler en route to his second consecutive top-five finish.

“For confidence it’s just great for our guys you know, they work just as hard as anybody,” Armstrong said. “Being a small team, it’s tough for us to even get ready for next week for Kentucky. It’s good for us, it gets everyone hyped up for all those hours that they work.”

Unofficially, Armstrong sits tenth in the points standings after Daytona, widening the gap on the cutoff for the playoffs. Flying quietly under the radar, Armstrong’s worst finish this season is 23rd with an average finish of 18th (17.8), he is the only full-time driver in the XFINITY Series without a DNF on the season.

But the gap in equipment to the larger teams is still evident some weeks, according to Armstrong. It’s races like Daytona where a driver on a small team has to take advantage of a more balanced playing field.

“We just don’t have the raw speed to go out there and be fast every week so we have to take advantage of the ones we do,” Armstrong said.

Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

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