If there’s one term that accurately describes Saturday night’s JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour 100-lap event at Michigan’s Auto City Speedway, it would be “Elbows-Up Racing.” Drivers were beating and banging and bouncing off of each other all race long. To win that sort of race, one just has to try to survive to the finish, and that’s exactly what Dalton Armstrong was able to do.
“I was just trying to survive the first part of this event,” Armstrong told Speed51.com powered by JEGS after the race. “My car was pretty free and towards that last run I was in third and my car started coming alive. The leaders kind of got together on the restart and once I was out-front we were running pretty good times.”
Armstrong started eighth with two-time ARCA/CRA Super Series champion Travis Braden to his inside. He and Braden worked their way through the field and together they chased down the early dominator, Cody Coughlin.
Coughlin shared the front row for the start of the race with hometown-here Trevor Berry on the inside. Coughlin quickly jumped out to the lead and led the first 60 laps of the event. However, contact on a restart between Coughlin and Braden allowed Armstrong to scoot by on the inside.
From there it was all Armstrong out front, but a rash of cautions kept Armstrong on his toes.
“I was getting pretty mad that we kept getting all of those cautions at the end. I think I was cussing every time on the radio, like come on.” Armstrong stated. “We were pretty good, I knew as long as I could get up front we could pull away. But Berry stayed right there with me the last couple laps.”
Berry had one shot on one of the late restarts to maybe make a move on Armstrong, but in the end he had to settle for second.
“I’ve been racing with Dalton since I was nine years old,” said Berry. “He’s never ran me dirty so I ran him clean. I had one good restart where I had a shot at him, but we went right back yellow and I over heated the right rear tire and was just too loose on that last restart.”
It’s still just August, but 2015 has been a successful one so far for Armstrong. He scored his first full-bodied stock car win in February at the World Series of Asphalt Stock Car Racing at Florida’s New Smyrna Speedway. He followed that up by winning the Pro Late Model division championship that same week.
He’s also the points leader for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour. Heading into Saturday night’s event Armstrong had a 29-point lead over veteran campaigner Josh Nelms. That point lead grew even more on Saturday with Armstrong winning and Nelms finishing fourth.
“I’m just excited,” said Armstrong. “It was a well deserved win for my guys. They’ve worked so hard and we got it done for them.”
For an on-demand replay of Saturday’s Trackside Now coverage presented by Ilmor Engineering and Phil Harper Motorsports, click here: http://speed51.com/trackside-now-jegscra-all-stars-tour-at-auto-city/
Highlights from Saturday night’s race can be seen in the coming days on the 51 Network here: http://speed51.com/racing-videos/
-By Mikayla Kugler, Speed51.com Correspondent – Twitter: @MikaylaKugler
-Photo Credit: Speed51.com
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