Dalton Armstrong is attempting to run 400 laps over the course of two days around the high-banked quarter-mile of Anderson Speedway (IN), one of the toughest tracks the Champion Racing Association visits, on Friday, July 18, and Saturday, July 19.
Armstrong, the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour points leader, will be racing for 100 laps on Friday night in the Anderson 100 for the All-Stars Tour. Then on Saturday night he’ll strap in behind the wheel of a Super Late Model for the ARCA/CRA Super Series Redbud 300.
The 19-year-old Indiana driver has raced at Anderson just twice in a full-bodied car in the past, with his best finish coming last year when he finished fourth in an All-Stars Tour race.
“Anderson is the survival track and track position is key,” Armstrong told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “We had some front end damage, but still managed to finish fourth.”
Armstrong finished 13th in his lone Super Series start at the Indiana bullring a year ago. He’s also raced a Midget at the track, but he said that the full-sized cars are much tougher.
“At Anderson in (a Midget) there’s more room to pass,” said Armstrong. “The big cars are slower and harder to pass. It’s such a tight fit. It’s like jets in a gymnasium at Anderson in a big car.”
Still, Armstrong expects nothing less than two strong runs this weekend, specifically on Friday night in the JEGS Tour race.
“Right now my focus is just going out and winning race,” Armstrong said. “We just want to win races right now. I don’t want to get caught up with points right now. I just want to win races. Winning both nights, or at least winning Friday and getting a solid top five for Saturday would be pretty good.”
Even though this year’s champion in a Pro Late Model at New Smyrna Speedway’s World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing doesn’t have all that much experience in a Super Late Model, he believes he can run well with the big dogs on Saturday. Especially after showing everyone how much speed he has by winning the pole for the Battle at Berlin 251 last month.
“I feel like we’ve been running well but our finishes haven’t been where they need to be,” explained Armstrong. “We’ve been working hard and the cars are getting better. Everything just has to fall into place. But I think this is a chance to really prove what we’ve got.”
At the very least, it’s a chance to learn. For now, that’s something that’s very important to Armstrong. Even if he can’t take home a trophy, he said he’d like to at least be able to take away valuable information. He said he believes doing double-duty is the best way to do that.
“It’s a help because you get more seat time,” said Armstrong. “When you run the Super and then get in the crate its easier for me. Seat time and laps help.”
While Armstrong has never attempted the Redbud 300, he believes that his two past races have shown him what it takes to be the leader at the end of 300 laps.
“You have to have good track position and just be smart and use your head,” he said. “You can’t really force the issue early on. You have to get to the last 50 laps and then go hard.”
-By Rob Blount, Speed51.com Northeast Editor – Twitter: @RobBlount