Dakoda Armstrong Following the Family Way
Dakoda Armstrong – Richard Petty Motorsports
Michelle Hoskin, January 28th, 2015
This week we had the chance to chat with Dakoda Armstrong, a 23 year old NASCAR driver out of Indiana, now residing in Cornelius, North Carolina. Dakoda, a fourth generation farmer, drives the # 43 Ford for Richard Petty Motorsports.
At age 6, 1997, Dakoda drove his first go-cart, sparking his interest in driving at a very young age. In 1998, Dakoda was the WKA National Champion, in Camden, OH. In 2001, he was the Nascart Champion in Speedcreek, IN. In 2004, Armstrong became the youngest driver to ever win a USAC National Championship title at just 13-years-old. Through his early days and his teenage years, he accumulated over 200 wins while competing in go-karts, quarter midgets, bandolero, micro/mini springs, Kenyon midgets, 410 non-wing sprint cars and midgets (1). In 2013, Dakoda drove full-time in the NASCAR Camping World truck Series. The 2014 season marked Armstrong’s first full-season in the NASCAR Nationwide Series with Richard Petty Motorsports (RPM).
Michelle: At what age did you start racing?
Dakoda Armstrong: I started racing when I was 6. My dad had a friend who had a go-kart and talked my dad into buying it for us. I went to my first race and won, and I’ve been hooked since.
M: What do you feel has been your greatest achievement so far?
D: I would say that my greatest achievements so far are winning at Talladega in the ARCA car, and getting to race in the NASCAR Xfinity Series.
M: Your favorite track to race at?
D: My favorite track changes from year to year; whichever is my best track is my favorite! I would say that my favorite track right now is Richmond.
M: Your least favorite track to race at?
D: I don’t particularly have a track that I hate going to, but Dover would probably be my pick because it’s gotten really hard to pass there.
M: Your ‘model/idol’ in racing?
D: Growing up, my model in racing was Jeff Gordon. He came from the same racing background as me so I always aspired to make it one day like he did.
M: Does anyone else in your family race?
D: My brother, Dalton Armstrong, and my cousin, Caleb Armstrong, both race. Dalton is racing this year in the CRA series and Caleb has started racing winged sprint cars this year.
M: What team/sponsors are you under?
D: I race for Richard Petty Motorsports. My sponsor is WinField. NOTE: Armstrong’s extensive family background in the agricultural industry led him to the perfect partnership with WinField. WinField, a Land O’Lakes company, offers top-performing seed and crop products. Armstrong makes the perfect ambassador for their brand, on and off the track, with his ability to relate to WinField’s growers and dealers (1).
Dakoda Armstrong, #43
M: Ever been in a wreck and were you scared?
D: I have been pretty lucky. I haven’t had any wrecks that were too serious or scary.
M: What’s it like being so young and racing in the NASCAR Xfinity/Truck series?
D: I came in with a pretty big group of young people when I started racing in the NASCAR series, so I never really felt like a young racer. I probably take it for granted because there are so many of us running, but when I take a step back and look at my situations, it’s actually pretty cool. I feel really blessed.
M: How many races a season?
D: There are 33 races in the Xfinity Series this year.
M: Your thoughts on the Chase point system?
D: I think it was a really positive thing for the fans. It worked exactly like it was meant to; it made the last races really exciting!
M: Your family?
D: My dad runs our family farm and my mom is a hair stylist. She owns her own shop that is next to one of our barns by our house. My brother also races and works on the farm.
M: If you could relive any great event from the past, what would it be?
D: Really just any moment back in Victory Lane would be great to relive.
Dakoda, inside the # 43
M: What message would you give other young drivers just starting out?
D: Well, starting out, race anything you can, to get as much experience as you can because if you ever get a good shot you need to be as ready as possible, because you won’t get many shots in racing. Also getting Sponsors is the biggest part of racing now-a-days, so you have to find something that makes you different from other drivers to get that sponsorship.
M: If you could race one-on-one with ANY racer, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
D: Well as great as it would be to race a lot of the racing legends, I would really like to race my dad in his 20s, even though he only raced dirt bikes, I know he wishes he could do what I get to do. So, to show him what it is like at a younger age would be cool.
M: Any changes coming up in 2015 you would like to share?
D: Well our team is moving shops and I’ll have a new crew chief, Frank Kerr, so I’m really excited to get going this year and make some gains on last year.
M: Favorite food?
D: I like buffalo anything, buffalo wings, chicken, pizza, just anything buffalo.
M: Favorite music?
D: I like a lot of music but my favorite is 80s music and some new rock songs but I’ll listen to about anything.
M: Your future in racing? Where would you like to be in say, 5 – 10 years?
D: Really if I’m just racing that’s good enough for me. I would love to do two more years in the Xfinity series then I would like to move to the Cup series if the right ride and opportunity comes along.