Dakoda Armstrong in No. 18 Xfinity car at Iowa
By AMANDA VINCENT
Dakoda Armstrong will be behind the wheel of the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota for Saturday’s NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Iowa Speedway in Newton, according to a release from Joe Gibbs Racing on Tuesday morning. Armstrong will be in a substitute role, filling in for Matt Tifft. Tifft continues recovery and rehabilitation from recent brain surgery to remove a non-cancerous tumor.
“I am very excited for this opporunity to race with Joe Gibbs Racing,” Armstrong said. “I want to thank Matt Tifft and his family for all their help. I hate that I am getting this opportunity at the expense of another driver being out of the car, but hopefully, Matt will continue with his speedy recovery and get back behind the wheel soon.”
Armstrong is on loan to JGR from JGL Racing, and the driver will bring sponsor Winfield along with him for his one-race deal with the Gibbs organization.
“I am glad I get this opportunity at Iowa Speedway as it is one of my favorite tracks,” Armstrong said. “Also, hopeful this opportunity helps my JGL Racing team and me as we continue to grow and make progress with our program. We have a great relationship with Joe Gibbs Racing as we utilize their engines and pit crew for our No. 23 Winfield Toyota. I look forward to having a great race on Saturday night with the No. 18 Toyota and learning a lot with it. I want to thank all my sponsors, my JGL Racing team and Joe Gibbs Racing for all working together and giving me this opportunity.”
Armstrong is somewhat of an Xfinity Series veteran with 91 races of series experience over the course of five years. He has 10-career top-10 finishes. In the second of two Xfinity Series races at Iowa in 2015, Armstrong started and finished in the 16th position. Earlier this season at the track, he finished 17th after starting 21st.
The No. 18 car won the most recent race on the schedule, the July 23 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in dominating fashion with Sprint Cup Series regular and reigning Cup champion Kyle Busch behind the wheel. The car also won when the Xfinity Series most recently visited Iowa Speedway earlier this season with Sam Hornish Jr. behind the wheel. At the time, Hornish also was serving as a fill-in driver for Tifft.