HAMPTON, GEORGIA (March 5, 2017) - Coming off a solid start to the season at Daytona last week, Dakoda Armstrong entered the challenging Atlanta Motor Speedway with sights set on some early season momentum. After an incident in qualifying, the New Castle, Indiana native would start shotgun from the field and grind out a 21st-place finish in the running of the Rinnai 250 at the 1.5-mile speed plant located in Hampton, Georgia.
"We had a little trouble in qualifying as I got into the wall on our run in the second round," said Armstrong. "The guys on the JGL Racing team did fine work in fixing our No. 28 Toyota but we had to start from the rear. That just got us behind a little from the start of the race. We battled being too tight early on but we made good adjustments and our car was pretty solid in the second half of the race. We lost a lap to the field and that hurt our ability to gain further spots there late in the race."
Dakoda would officially qualify 23rd for the 163-lap event but would fall to the rear of the field at the start due to necessary repairs from a slight mishap in qualifying. The 25-year old racer would slowly pick his way through traffic early in the event before settling just inside the top-30 after the first 40 lap segment. While fighting a tight condition on his No. 28 Toyota, Armstrong would come down pit road under caution for much needed tires and adjustments. Back to green flag racing for the second segment it became apparent the handling on the No. 28 was better as Dakoda would move up to just outside the top-20 by lap 80 and the end of the segment.
The last half of the race would continue to see improved handling and speed in the No. 28 Toyota but being trapped a lap down plagued further forward progress through the field. Dakoda would focus on keeping his No. 28 Toyota safe in the closing laps and come home with the 21st-place finish.
"Today was a good learning session for me and our team," added Dakoda. "I think we learned a good amount about this new package we have as well as our new cars. I put us behind a little bit with that qualifying incident but as always my guys made the necessary repairs and I truly appreciate all of their efforts. I look forward to going to the west coast for the next three weeks and continuing to learn and implementing things for this new package."
The 21st-place finish has Armstrong sitting sixth in the NASCAR XFINITY Series overall driver standings - just nine points outside the top-five.
Armstrong and his JGL Racing team will next head to Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the running of the Boyd Gaming 300. The third race of the NASCAR XFINITY Series season will be Saturday March 11th and can be seen LIVE on FOX Sports 1 at 4:00 pm ET. It can also be heard on Performance Racing Network (PRN) and SiriusXM Channel 90.