Armstrong Progresses With Mentor ComptonOften when a driver begins driving for a new team there is a period of adjustment. However, in the case of Dakoda Armstrong and Turn One Racing, they have jelled quickly. Although Armstrong is still adjusting to driving the heavier NASCAR Camping World Truck Series vehicles from his background in sprint cars, the New Castle, Ind., driver is already comfortable.
Armstrong sits 10th in the standings and has one top-10 finish with his new team (at Martinsville); and if not for a little bad luck in a couple of races, he feels the team could be even higher.
"I think we are off to a pretty good start even though we had a couple of races we feel we should have finished better than we did," Armstrong said. "We are a new team and everyone is still getting used to working with each other, but I feel we work together very well and Stacy [Compton] is really involved in our success."
Compton is a former NCWTS competitor himself with a pair of wins on his resume, and Armstrong says the experience behind the wheel has made Compton not only a great owner but a good teacher also.
"Stacy is always on the radio offering advice and he has even jumped in the truck when we test to help us work on the truck to make it better," Armstrong said.
Armstrong will return to action in the May 17 North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at Charlotte Motor Speedway and will compete in the following week’s NNS race driving for Richard Childress Racing.
Multiple Reasons For Crafton To Enjoy Month Of MayMay traditionally has been a great month for NCWTS points leader Matt Crafton.
Crafton won his first series race May 16, 2008, at Charlotte Motor Speedway, where the series resumes competition in two weeks. In 10 races at the 1.5-mile track, Crafton twice has finished among the top five, and seven consecutive races – 2003-09 – in the top 10.
Dover International Speedway, a week after the Charlotte race, is another solid Crafton track. Third in 2011, the California driver counts a pair of top fives and seven top 10s in 12 starts.
This year Crafton and his wife, Ashley, have another reason to enjoy May – the birth, in late April, of daughter Elladee Ann.
"Everybody tells you how it feels – and how you’re going to feel – how much you’ll love having a child of your own," said Crafton, 36. "But it’s way, way more than I ever, ever thought it could possibly be. It’s indescribable, really."
Crafton describes his state of mind as "good, though maybe a little sleep-deprived." Things won’t level off until the team returns to the track.
"I gotta go with business as usual as much as I can, and I honestly can't tell you how much we're enjoying this," he said.
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Etc.Red Horse Racing and Kyle Busch Motorsports sent trucks to Texas to prepare for next month’s first of two 2013 visits to the Lone Star state. Timothy Peters, German Quiroga and John Wes Townley joined Darrell Wallace Jr. last Monday and Tuesday at the 1.5-mile track that has hosted more NCWTS events – 30 races – than any other track. The WinStar World Casino 400 is set for Friday night, June 7. … Jeb Burton is the only one of the top three Sunoco Rookie of the Year contenders with a start at Charlotte, which hosts the May 17 NCWTS race. Burton finished eighth a year ago. Ryan Blaney (-5 in the rookie standings) and Darrell Wallace Jr. (-13) will be making their CMS debut.
Thorn Holds Off Three-Wide Bid For Lead, Wins At Stockton 99 SpeedwayA three-wide bid for the lead in the closing laps of Saturday’s race at Stockton (Calif.) 99 Speedway may prove to be a microcosm of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series West championship battle between several young promising drivers with title aspirations.
Derek Thorn, the 27-year-old from Lakeport, Calif., held on for the victory, but it wasn’t without a fierce challenge from Cameron Hayley, 16, Sergio Pena, 20, and Michael Self, 22.
Hayley won the pole for the G-Oil 150 and, after losing the lead to Thorn on the first lap, doggedly chased him the rest of the night. Self carefully moved his way up the pack and looked like he could challenge Thorn if only he could get by Hayley. But a late pit stop ended his shot at the win.
And then Pena, in his first year running in the West after three years in the East, dove down to the furthest inside lane coming out of Turn 4 following a late-race restart on the .25-mile banked oval to grab second away from Hayley and nearly take the lead away from Thorn.
"Sergio Pena did a move I haven’t seen in quite some time," Thorn said. "And all of a sudden I’m seeing this blue car come out of nowhere. It could have ended very badly. We were able to kind of squeeze by there on the outside."
With the win, Thorn took the points lead over Hayley. Veteran Greg Pursley, who won the opener at Phoenix, dropped to third – one point in front of Pena.