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Dakoda Armstrong claims 500 Tour opener at Anderson

Dakoda Armstrong took advantage of lapped traffic to climb from third to the lead during the 500 Sprint Car Tour season opener. Armstrong claimed the 24th running of the Glen Niebel Classic in a dominant performance by leading the final 65 laps.

Kody Swanson set the pace during qualifying and drew a one lining up the 21 car field at Anderson Speedway Sunday based on time. Swanson jumped into the lead at the start chased by Tyler Roahrig, Armstrong, Caleb Armstrong and Bobby Santos III.

The running order remained unchanged until lap 35 when Swanson closed on lapped traffic on the back straight which allowed Armstrong to vault into the lead. Once on the point Armstrong pulled away from the rest of the field and survived two restarts in the final 32 laps caused by the spins of Billy Wease and Shane Butler.

He avoided disaster with five laps remaining when two lapped cars slowed in front of Armstrong coming off the second corner.It was Armstrong’s second consecutive 500 Sprint Car Tour win having won the season ending event last year at Lucas Oil Indianapolis Raceway Park.

Armstrong won by 3.9-seconds over Swanson with Caleb Armstrong, Kyle O’Gara and Taylor Ferns rounding out the top five. O’Gara looking for a third consecutive win in the Glen Niebel Classic had fuel pump issues during practice and started 14th in the field. Claiming the fourth spot with six laps remaining with an inside pass of Ferns entering turn three.

“That first win kind of got the monkey off our back,” Armstrong said in the Riley & Sons Victory Lane. “We’ve been so fast here. We came here and tested a couple of times to get the car right.

“I was just kind of hanging around and this new tire made the outside kind of tough,” he said of the pass for the lead. “They were having problems rotating through the lapped traffic.”

Swanson said he was trying to anticipate the traffic and didn’t guess right.

“At some point he (Armstrong) was going to pass us,” he said. “We’ll work hard and try to get better. First time out for the season and coming out of an injury that was more serious than I wanted to let on, to come out of here with a second place finish.”

Caleb Armstrong said his car was a little bit free and was able to make some adjustments during a caution.

“With this new tire, it’s hard to charge into the corner,” he said. “I like to drive it hard into the corners, so I had to back off a little.”

Defending champion Tyler Roahrig ran in the top five until pulling out of the race on lap 71.

500 Tour Glen Niebel Classic
Anderson Speedway
April 14 2024

1 Dakoda Armstrong
2 Kody Swanson
3 Caleb Armstrong
4 Kyle O’Gara
5 Taylor Ferns
6 Billy Wease
7 Jackson Macenko
8 Justin Grant
9 Nathan Byrd
10 Kyle Robbins
11 Travis Welpott
12 Tim Creech
13 Garrett Saunders
14 Shane Butler
15 Tyler Roahrig
16 Trey Burke
17 Bobby Santos III
18 Brian Vaughn
19 Brady Allum
20 Justin Harper
21 Olivia Shelbo

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