Race Weekend Central

Truckin’ Thursdays: Sponsorship Problems Sideline Another Young Talent

Frontstretch’s Truck Series content is presented by American Trucks

The Camping World Truck Series rolls into Iowa Speedway for a standalone event this weekend, but the off week wasn’t without its problems–at least for one driver. Dakoda Armstrong became the latest victim of the sponsorship woes that have plagued the series for a few years now, and 2012 in particular. He marks the third rookie this season to have started intent on running the full schedule only to have the rug pulled from beneath them, though Max Gresham’s parting with Joe Denette Motorsports hinged on performance more than sponsorship.

Having made 15 starts behind the wheel of the No. 98 Toyota for ThorSport Racing, Armstrong showcased a variety of different sponsors and even posted a career-best finish of third at Michigan International Speedway just a few weeks ago. In a rookie campaign that has featured plenty of ups and downs, Armstrong appeared to be making some improvements week after week but never managed to find enough backing to finish off the season. As a result, next year remains up in the air for the young driver, however he definitely has age on his side when it comes to finding another home somewhere across NASCAR.

Dakoda Armstrong’s tenure in the No. 98 ThorSport Toyota was short-lived. With money from EverFi running out, the team had no choice but to hand the driver a pink slip last week after less than a season driving the Truck.

Armstrong joins John King, who won the season opener at Daytona. King became the first victim after making just five starts–a win at Daytona, two DNFs and just two top-10 finishes–the Sunoco Rookie of the year hopeful still sits on the sidelines and may never make another start in the series.

The move made him the second driver in just three years to end up sidelined while working at Red Horse Racing. Johnny Benson, the 2008 Truck Series champion made just eight starts behind the wheel of the No. 1 Toyota where he was hired to “build a championship-caliber team.” Benson was dispatched for relative unknown Timothy Peters at the time due to his bringing sponsor Strutmasters on board; Benson later would end up injured in a ISMA race at his hometown track of Berlin Raceway near Grand Rapids, MI which served to derail his NASCAR career as a driver.

Of course, not every driver ends up sidelined when sponsorship doesn’t roll in as needed. Just take Todd Bodine as an example. While things looked quite iffy for Bodine in 2009, he manged to pull in just enough funding to keep his No. 30 Germain Racing Toyota on the track despite fears that he may not even run the full season. But all of that changed in 2010 when Germain came in committed to running the full year whether the team managed to find sponsorship to back him. And what happened that year?

Oh yeah … he won the championship, and along the way he amassed four wins, 20 top 10s and an average finish of 6.4.

Dakoda Armstrong, take heart. Johnny Benson’s reward for capturing the 2008 Truck Series Championship? A team disbanded, followed by a release from Red Horse Racing eight races into the 2009 season.

In the end, it’s a real shame that running even the third-tier series in NASCAR requires so much funding that it’s just not feasible for teams to field trucks without having multiple sponsors to ensure adequate funding. There’s no telling how many talented drivers have been sidelined before being given the opportunity to fully showcase their abilities. And while losing a ride is not the end of the world, especially for the younger drivers out there, the tough part is that there’s no guarantee they’ll find their way back into NASCAR. The bottom line is that something’s gotta give sooner rather than later.

Miguel’s Corner

*Update:* “I’m really looking forward to going back to Iowa Speedway for the second time. The more you race at a racetrack, you learn from it, so it’s good to be returning to a track we raced at so recently. We were pretty good there in July, and I think we’ve only improved as a race team since then. We need the truck to be a little freer this time. I was tight during the whole race last time, so we just need to get the truck to turn better in the center and keep the speed off the corners while taking care not to over drive.” _Miguel Paludo_

*Recipe Box*
_This week, I’ve asked Patricia Paludo to send along an authentic Brazilian recipe to share with everyone. It’s a traditional entrée that’s typically made with leftover meat or sausage from a barbecue and also happens to be Miguel’s favorite dish and Patricia hopes everyone enjoys it. The measurements can vary based on taste and how much leftover meat you’ll be using._


Barbeque meat/sausage
Olive Oil
Knorr caldo de pollo (chicken) flavor (much like a chicken bouillon or soup base)
White rice

First, cut the leftover barbecue meat and/or sausage into cubes
Chop onions and tomatoes into cubes
In a pot, put a little bit of olive oil, add the onion and one cube of Knorr chicken flavor and salt
As the onions turn gold, add the tomatoes and the meat
Add 2 cups or more of white rice and the proportional amount of water.
Mix everything and allow the rice to cook. Don’t let the rice get dry, a little bit of juice is perfect!

And the entrée is ready! You can always add things you like for flavor, like chopped hard-boiled eggs, green onions, etc.

*Tweet of the Week:*

“*@miguelpaludo:*”:http://www.twitter.com/miguelpaludo Mto feliz de dividir a vida contigo.Te amo mto. / I’m so happy to share my life with you @patisouzapaludo. I love you. Time goes so fast. :)

“*@PatiSouzaPaludo:*”:http://www.twitter.com/patisouzapaludo 11 years ago since the first kiss @miguelpaludo. 11 anos atras desde o primeiro beijo! “http://instagr.am/p/PcXXUMvcBq/”:http://instagr.am/p/PcXXUMvcBq/

*Photo of the Week:*

Oliver and Patricia Paludo.

Did you know Beth is participating in the Step Out Walk to end diabetes this November in Dallas, TX? Want to know how you can help? Click on the Step Out image above to learn why she’s walking and what you can do to make a difference.

*Connect with Beth!*

“Contact Beth Lunkenheimer”:https://frontstretch.com/contact/14353/

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