Dalton Armstrong of New Castle, Indiana will be making the trip to Orange County Speedway this weekend for the PASS National Championship Series race in Rougemont, North Carolina. Armstrong has paired up with team owner Robert Hamke to pilot the blue No. 74 Hamke house car during the Orange Blossom Special.
Armstrong, an ARCA/CRA Super Series championship runner-up and Rookie of the Year, recently ran at the World Finals of Asphalt Racing at New Smyrna Speedway (FL). Saturday’s Orange Blossom Special will be his first race since the World Series, and he is hoping to have a good run in his first race with a new team.
“I feel like we have a pretty decent relationship with Hamke and Rob (Hamke),” Armstrong told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “He went with us last year to Nashville and we actually ended up winning the first race and I felt like we were pretty good. He was going to try and go with us again this year.”
The opportunity to run the Orange Blossom Special 125 came together a few weeks ago and Armstrong couldn’t pass up the opportunity.
“Just getting some things together and they were kind of interested in giving me the opportunity to go to and do this and I was like, “Sure!” We jumped right on it, so hopefully we can go and have a good time and win,” Armstrong stated.
The Indiana native had an impressive 2016 season, collecting wins at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville and the prestigious Redbud 300. Armstrong is looking to build upon that in 2017, but before he puts his focus on Orange County he has a busy week ahead of him
“I have a tire test at Bristol, supposed to do an ARCA test at Nashville, so I am going to try and get all that done this week and then try and get down there Thursday and then go practice Friday and race Saturday so hopefully it all goes good,” he said.
The Orange Blossom Special is a 125-lap feature that is part of the Pro All Star Series “Road to the Oxford 250.” The winner of this race will be locked into a guaranteed starting position at the prestigious $25,000-to-win Oxford 250 in August. If he is to win the race on Saturday, there is a chance Armstrong may make the journey to Oxford, Maine.
“I have never really pushed it out of the picture,” Armstrong stated. “As of right now we are not planning to, but definitely if we won we would look into trying to do that. Always that possibility.”
Saturday’s Orange Blossom Special is also the second race of the PASS National Championship Series, which puts the best from both the north, and the South competing head-to-head. Although this will be his first career Pro All Stars Series start, Armstrong will be comfortable racing against the competition.
“I feel like I have raced those guys a decent amount of times,” he explained. “I know we have a decent race car so hopefully we can have a good race. I think we will have a good shot at it and I am thankful for the opportunity”
For all the fans unable to make the trip with Armstrong, the Orange Blossom Special will be available to watch live on Speed51.com. Fans can catch all the PASS and Southern Modified Racing Series action via Speed51.com’s pay-per-view video stream by clicking here.
-Story by: Hannah Newhouse, Speed51.com Southeast Correspondent
-Photo credit: Speed51.com