The starting grid for Sunday’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Herr’s Potato Chips 200 at Winchester Speedway will get some help from a hometown hero.
Dakoda Armstrong, with a day off from his full-time NASCAR Xfinity Series schedule, will substitute for Matt Tifft this weekend at Winchester in the No. 15 Venturini Motorsports Toyota.
Tifft, who sat out this past weekend in Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series events at Iowa, was scheduled to race with Venturini Motorsports at Winchester, but will opt out as he continues to recover from a recent medical procedure to alleviate a lower back issue.
“We’re all wishing Matt a speedy recovery,” said Armstrong of New Castle, Ind. “Obviously the circumstances brought us together last minute but I’m very thankful for the opportunity. Everything just seemed to fall into place with the Xfinity schedule and this now gives me a chance to stay in the car on what would’ve been a week off.”
A mainstay in the Xfinity Series, Armstrong will return to the ARCA Racing Series for his first time since the 2011 season during which he won at Winchester driving for Cunningham Motorsports.
This will be Armstrong’s first start with Venturini Motorsports.
“I’m excited to go back home and race at Winchester. I’m going there with high expectations to win. All the pressure is my own doing this weekend. I’m ready to knock off some rust and get back into an ARCA car.”
During Armstrong’s three year ARCA career (2009-2011) he made 33 starts earning three wins, eight top-fives and 19 top-10 finishes. Other than his victory at Winchester, Armstrong won ARCA races at Talladega Superspeedway and Salem Speedway.
Expected to make a full recovery, Tifft will return with Venturini Motorsports in September at Kentucky Speedway and again at Kansas Speedway for the series finale.
Tifft, a student at UNC Charlotte, was one of 12 drivers named to the 2016 NASCAR Next class, an industry-wide initiative designed to showcase rising young stars in racing.
Above: Story and photo courtesy ARCA Racing Series.