FONTANA, CALIFORNIA (March 26, 2017) - As the "NASCAR Goes West" events entered its final of the three races, Dakoda Armstrong and his JGL Racing team looked to close out the West Coast swing on a high note. The New Castle, Indiana native would battle some handling and track position issues but managed his fifth top-20 finish of the season as he piloted his No. 28 WinField United to a 20th place finish in the running of the Service King 300 at Auto Club Speedway.
"California is a challenging track and one that has been tough for me the last few years," said Armstrong. "We didn't seem to have the speed we wanted all weekend but with each of the pit stops throughout the race we made our No. 28 WinField United Toyota better. The last few runs there at the end we were really good in the middle of a run and it may have been better if it had stayed caution free at the end. We just battled together as a team all weekend and were able to come out of here with a top-20 finish."
Armstrong would start the 300-mile event from the 21st position as a result of his qualifying earlier in the day. The first half of the race would find the No. 28 WinField United Toyota fall back in the field a little as Dakoda dealt with some handling issues. While trips down pit road at the end of the first two segments allowed for much needed adjustments, Armstrong also battled a few mistakes on pit road which would cost him some track position.
The final half of the 150-lap event would see Dakoda and his No. 28 WinField United slowly gain positons on the field. A long green flag run late in the race saw Armstrong move forward in the field as his handling continued to improve. A late caution allowed for one last trip down pit road for four fresh tires and a short sprint to the checkered flag. With track position crucial, Dakoda would gain all that he could and come home with the top-20 finish.
"It really feels good to finish up this grueling West Coast swing," added Dakoda. "The guys on this JGL Racing team have worked extremely hard here at the beginning of the season and I know they feel good about heading back East as well. We gained on it throughout the race today and learned even more about this new package we have. I look forward to a week off to regroup a little before we head to Texas in a few weeks."
The 20th-place finish has Armstrong sitting 11th in the NASCAR XFINITY Series overall driver standings - just five points behind 10th place.
Armstrong and his JGL Racing team will enjoy a week off before heading to Texas Motor Speedway for the running of the My Bariatric Solutions 300. The sixth race of the NASCAR XFINITY Series season will be Saturday April 8th and can be seen LIVE on FOX at 1:30 pm ET. It can also be heard on Performance Racing Network (PRN) and SiriusXM Channel 90.