While Matt Tifft continues to recover from surgery from a low-grade glioma in his brain, Dakoda Armstrong will drive the No. 18 Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota Camry in Saturday night’s NASCAR XFINITY Series race at Iowa Speedway, multiple sources confirmed to CATCHFENCE.com.
On loan from JGL Racing, Armstrong will pilot the No. 18 Toyota Camry in Saturday night’s U.S. Cellular 250 for his 92nd career XFINITY start.
An official announcement is expected Tuesday morning.
The New Castle, Indiana native will look for his second career top-five and fifth top-ten of his five-year XFINITY Series career at the 0.875-mile short track. In five starts at Iowa, Armstrong has a best finish of 16th last summer driving for Richard Petty Motorsports.
Earlier this season, the 25-year-old piloted the No. 28 Winfield Toyota Camry for JGL to a respectable 17th place finish, his second best result at the Newton, Iowa race track.
Ironically, Armstrong subbed for Tifft in a recent ARCA Racing Series event at Winchester (Ind.) Speedway driving for Venturini Motorsports. He started ninth and finished ninth in the 200-lap event.
Drew Herring, a former driver at Joe Gibbs Racing will pinch-hit for Armstrong Saturday night at pilot the No. 28 JGL Racing Toyota, while former Iowa Speedway K&N Pro Series winner Brandon McReynolds will drive the team’s No. 24 Toyota Camry as a teammate to Herring.
Armstrong is expected to return to his routine duties in the No. 28 Toyota next weekend at Watkins Glen (N.Y.) International.
After 18 races, Armstrong is 15th in the championship standings with a best finish of 12th earlier this month at Daytona (Fla.) International Speedway.
Tifft, the Hinckley, Ohio native has been idle from NASCAR competition since the first Iowa Speedway event in June where under doctor recommendations he sat out of the race for a disc problem in his back. The low-grade glioma was discovered during treatment and evaluation for the disc issue. Sam Hornish Jr. filled in for Tifft at Iowa on Father’s Day weekend dominating the American Ethanol E15 250 earning his fourth series victory.
Hornish is unavailable to JGR this weekend after prior arrangements were made for him to drive the No. 2 Richard Childress Racing Chevrolet Camaro in Saturday night’s 250-lap event.