Dakoda Armstrong Wins First Career Nationwide Series Pole as Qualifying Gets Rained Out

Making his 23rd career NASCAR Nationwide Series start this weekend, Dakoda Armstrong has won his first career pole, and it is the first pole for Richard Petty Motorsports in 84 starts since 2011. During group qualifying at Daytona, Armstrong and the Roush Fenway Racing cars have swept the front two rows with speeds exceeding 191.5 mph.

In his Nationwide Series career, Armstrong has never recorded a top-10 finish. Entering Daytona, the 22-year-old sits 13th in points with an average finish of 20.3. Trevor Bayne enters this event sixth in points, and he will start on the outside pole in the No.  6 car.

Only one round of qualifying was recorded as rain approached the Daytona International Speedway. As a pack of underfunded cars were roaring down the backstretch, a patch of rain was on the pavement – right near the end of the grandstands. Nine of those vehicles spun out after Mike Bliss was the first driver to go off track. The wreck caused the first session to be shortened by approximately seven minutes. After not being able to return to the track, Matt DiBenedetto, Tommy Joe Martins, Bobby Gerhart and Benny Gordon missed the event.

Points leader, Elliott Sadler, will start in the sixth position. Sadler won at Talladega Superspeedway earlier this year, and he will start alongside his Joe Gibbs Racing teammate, Kyle Busch. JR Motorsports teammates, Chase Elliott and Regan Smith proceed Sadler on the starting grid as each of them are looking to take advantage of their opponent’s misfortune this weekend.

Here are some notables in the starting lineup for the Subway Firecracker 250:

-Darrell Wallace Jr. will start in the ninth position in his second Nationwide Series race this year.

-Chad Boat will start 12th on Friday evening.

-Johnny Sauter qualified in the 20th position for Hattori Racing Enterprises.

-Mike Harmon will start 22nd in the No. 74 car.

-Former Daytona 500 winner, Derrike Cope, qualified 23rd in the No. 70 car.

-Dylan Kwasniewski, who won the pole to start the season at Daytona, will start 26th on Friday evening. 

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Joseph Wolkin

Joseph Wolkin (@JosephNASCAR) is a sophomore at the Queensborough Community College as an English major. He’s a native of Whitestone, NY, just outside of New York City, and has been attempting to find roots of motorsports within his area since 2004. He started out as just a fan, but over the course of his high school career, he ended up falling in love with writing.

Joseph has been covering NASCAR since 2011 for several different websites. Recently, he was named as one of two lead NASCAR columnists for Rant Sports after working for the site for over one year. Working with Rant Sports for approximately 14 months, Joseph has covered New York City area sports teams such as the New York Giants, New York Mets, New York Rangers, New York Islanders and more.

Through his passion is for NASCAR, Joseph has adapted to changing times and realizes that he has numerous opportunities in the journalism work. As one of the top young sports writers, his goal is to become one of the top motorsports writers of this new digital media era. However, he also believes that it’s important to stick to the traditional routers of print publications after seeing his high school newspaper dissolve due to a lack of funding.

Currently, besides his duties with Speedway Digest, Joseph is a columnist with Fronstretch.com, Motorsport.com and has a weekly article in NASCAR Pole Position's digital version - ROAR! Weekly Race Preview Magazine.