ThorSport Racing announced this weekend that 2010 ARCA Series Rookie of the Year Dakoda Armstrong would be driving a third truck for their team.
[media-credit name=”DakodaArmstrong.com” align=”alignright” width=”135″][/media-credit]The 19-year old will drive the team’s No. 98 Entry in a select number of races while competiting for the Sonoco Rookie of the Year award. ThorSport has won the award twice before, in 2007 with Willie Allen and in 2009 with Johnny Sauter.
“Driving for such a strong team with a long history in this series is an unbelievable opportunity for me,” Armstrong said. “I grew up building my own midget cars on our farm, and it was always my dream to make it to NASCAR to drive for an organization like ThorSport Racing. Team owners Duke and Rhonda Thorson have proven that they can put the trucks on the track to race consistently for the win with both veteran drivers and rookie drivers through two prior Rookie of the Year awards. I had the opportunity to be a guest of the teams at Phoenix, and I was so impressed to see how well both the 13 and 88 teams work together to get the best performance out of the weekend. I have so much respect for team manager David Pepper and crew chiefs Bud Haefele (No. 88 team) and Joe Shear, Jr. (No. 13 team); who work tirelessly to put the best quality & equipment out there.”
The New Castle, Indiana native joins Matt Crafton and Johnny Sauter, who both are seen as legitimate title contenders this year.
“We’re excited to add Dakoda Armstrong, such a fresh talent and unique ‘voice’ in the agricultural, entrepreneurial and alternative energy world; to our growing NASCAR Camping World Truck Series program in 2011,” Matt LaNeve, vice president of Motorsports Partnerships at ThorSport Racing said. “Dakoda is a very inspirational young driver who has had a lot of success in every series he’s competed in, and he’s part of the next generation of NASCAR drivers.
“Add to the fact that he’s one of many corn growers who are helping to feed and fuel America, it’s a winning combination with the effort of our series to use Sunoco Green E15 fuel. What better than a potential Sunoco Rookie of the Year who helps produce ethanol fuel from home? We think he’s such a compelling NASCAR story.”
Last year in the ARCA Series, he collected two wins, including Talladega Superspeedway. Beyond the ARCA Series, Armstrong has had a lot of success, including the 1998 WKA National Championship; 2000 & 2001 Nascart Championships; 2004 Kenyon Midget Championship in his Rookie Year; 2008 PRI Mopar Midget Classic National; Three USAC Midget races in 2008 & “Hard Charger” in Hooters Pro Cup final year.
Beyond the race track, Armstrong hopes to educate fans about the green energy American farming initiatives.
Armstrong Farms, Dakoda’s family operated farm for four generations, is one of the largest producers in the Midwest of corn used for the production of ethanol. Armstrong Farms provide 700,000 bushels of corn to Cardinal Ethanol and Anderson Ethanol annually. With a single bushel of corn producing 2.8 gallons of ethanol, Armstrong Farms is responsible for approximately 1.9 million gallons of ethanol each year.
“I’m also excited to be able to shed more light on what farmers like my family are doing to help Americans become more energy independent,” Armstrong said. “Our corn is used to produce ethanol, which provides us a renewable fuel that reduces emissions and creates jobs right here at home. That’s a tremendous source of pride for me.”
“As NASCAR uses an ethanol-blended fuel made with corn grown in the U.S., we are thrilled to see a fourth-generation family farmer competing at the top level of our sport,” Dr. Mike Lynch, Managing Director of Green Innovation for NASCAR, said. “We support Dakoda Armstrong’s efforts to tell the story of Sunoco Green E15 — the ultimate high-test fuel contributing to conservation, U.S. jobs, and energy independence.”
Armstrong’s debut race is tentatively scheduled at Iowa Speedway in July. Further details about the program will be made at a later date.