Dakoda Armstrong Wins Pole For Friday’s ARCA Racing Series 250
At the age of 18, Dakoda Armstrong is still working on building his racing resume. He picked up one of the highlights of his young career Thursday at Talladega Superspeedway, when he captured the pole position for the running of Friday’s ARCA Racing Series 250.
Armstrong turned a fast lap of 186.499 during qualifying to earn the first pole of his career in the ARCA Racing Series presented by RE/MAX and Menards. He edged out Mikey Kile, who qualified second with a speed of 186.235.
This is only the 11th career ARCA race for Armstrong, a former USAC Midget division champion who is moving into stock-car racing as part of the Penske Driver Development program.
“When you’re a young racer, you grow up watching all these tracks like Talladega. And then you get here and it’s almost hard to believe,” Armstrong said. “I’m sure it will really hit me later. I’ll always remember this. It’s real exciting, and I’m happy I could be here.
“I have to thank everybody who worked on this car. This is exactly what they wanted. They’ve been working on this car so hard. I’m so glad I could get them here.”
Despite his young age, Armstrong is experienced enough to know that a good qualifying run at a superspeedway does not necessarily translate into a good finish. He qualified fourth earlier this year at Daytona International Speedway but finished 33rd.
Still, Armstrong said winning the pole is important to both him and the team.
“It does a lot of things for us,” Armstrong said. “First of all, it seems like we have the fastest car, so everyone on the team is psyched up. We’ll get a good pit stall. And when you’re out front, you can stay out of trouble. Hopefully we can stay out front the whole time. That would be amazing.”
Kile turned in the second-fastest qualifying lap even though his team had to change engines following only two practice laps earlier in the day.
“All the motors on our team are good, so it really wasn’t an issue,” Kile said. “I was really pleased with our lap. We barely missed the pole.”
Justin Marks, who is only five points out of the lead in the ARCA season standings, qualified third with a fast lap of 185.895 mph. He was followed by Tim George Jr. in fourth (185.891), ARCA points leader Steve Arpin fifth (185.808), Tom Hessert sixth (185.492) and James Buescher seventh (185.337)
Alabama native Grant Enfinger of Fairhope qualified eighth with a speed of 185.237. Enfinger finished third in last year’s ARCA 250 at Talladega.
Rounding out the top-10 are Terry Jones in ninth (185.147) and Hal Martin 10th. Alli Owens, who is attempting to become the first woman to win an ARCA event, qualified 11th (184.993).
The 94-lap ARCA Racing Series 250 is scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. CDT Friday. Qualifying for Saturday’s running of the Aaron’s 312 NASCAR Nationwide Series race is set for 10:30 a.m. Friday.
The April 23 -25 Aaron’s Dream Weekend begins a new era at Talladega Superspeedway with new rules, new seats and new lower ticket prices. For more information on tickets to Talladega Superspeedway, please visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 1-877-Go2-DEGA. For our hearing impaired guests, please call TDD 1-866-ISC-TRAK (1-866-472-8725). Tickets also are available in person by visiting the Talladega Superspeedway Ticket Office from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. CDT, Monday- Friday.
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