From tarantulas to turf, NASCAR XFINITY Series driver Dakoda Armstrong experienced the education of science and racing with students in Richmond. The driver of the No. 28 Toyota Camry for JGL Racing visited Reynolds Community College, the University of Richmond, and Atlee High School to see the different research science students are working on in RVA.
Armstrong began his day at Reynolds Community College, where he spoke to a large group of engineering and physics students. The students asked questions about Armstrong’s racing career and how engineering plays a role in NASCAR. He ended his time on campus with a faculty and student-led tour of Burnette and Georgiadis Halls.
“Dakoda is a great ambassador for our sport, and specifically the NASCAR XFINITY Series,” said Richmond President Dennis Bickmeier. “During his time in Richmond, you could see he wanted to learn more about student research while also sharing the science behind racing. We thank Dakoda for taking time to visit Richmond, and look forward to having him back next week ‘under the lights’ in the Virginia529 College Savings 250.”
On his next stop, Armstrong visited the University of Richmond, home of the Spiders. He spoke to a group of senior students in a Biology course about his career and what his body goes through during a race. They even showed him their class pets, which are multiple species of spiders. Armstrong next toured the Psychology lab, where instructors gave him a sneak peek at their fascinating research with rats. He finished his visit with a tour of The Robins Center with the University of Richmond women’s basketball head coach Michael Shafer.
The final visit of the day was a behind-the-scenes look at Atlee High School’s Future Farmers of America Turf Management program. Armstrong, who was raised on a farm in Indiana, had a distinct interest in the program. The Turf Management program oversees the care and upkeep of all of the athletic fields at the high school. The students and instructors took Armstrong to the practice field and explained the technology they use to maintain the field. The highlight of the visit was when they fired up their racing lawnmower and put Armstrong behind the wheel.
“It was a great day visiting with science students in Richmond,” said Armstrong. “I hope the students learned as much about science as I did today. It was cool to share the science of racing with the bright minds in RVA. I look forward to seeing students and other NASCAR fans at the Virginia529 College Savings 250 race on Friday, September 8.”
Armstrong will be back next week as Richmond hosts NASCAR for two nights of racing “under the lights” on September 8-9. The fall race weekend, presented by Who’s Your Driver, will see history on display as Dale Earnhardt Jr. makes his final, career, two-race appearance as a driver.
The weekend gets started on Friday, Sept. 8, with on-track practice for both series and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs Pole Qualifying for both weekend races. The action then dials up as the rising stars of tomorrow compete in the Virginia529 College Savings 250 NASCAR XFINITY Series race at 7:30 p.m.
On Saturday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m., the sport’s best take to the track for the Federated Auto Parts 400 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race as NASCAR crowns 2017 Regular Season Champion.
Tickets are available now for both races and can be purchased online at richmondraceway.com or by calling the Richmond Ticket Office, toll-free, at 866-455-7223.