The Penske Racing Driver Development Program was established to identify promising young stock car drivers and work closely with them to develop their skills while helping to solidify the future of the organization’s NASCAR teams.
Through its partnership with Cunningham Motorsports, Penske Racing has worked hard to establish an effective and successful development system. Talented drivers like Justin Allgaier, the 2008 ARCA RE/MAX Series champion and 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie of the Year, and Parker Kligerman, the 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series championship runner-up who made his Nationwide Series debut in 2009, came up through the system and are currently competing for Penske Racing at the NASCAR level.
In August of 2009, Penske Racing announced that 18-year-old Dakoda Armstrong joined the team’s driver development program. Teaming up with other promising young drivers like 2009 NASCAR Nationwide Series Rookie-of-the-Year contender Justin Allgaier and 2009 ARCA RE/MAX Series runner-up Parker Kligerman, Armstrong is helping to ensure that Penske Racing’s NASCAR teams are on solid ground for the future.
A former karting and quarter-midget national champion from Muncie, Ind., Armstrong won several sprint car and midget events in 2007 and 2008 before making his stock car debut last season. Competing in the Hooters Pro Cup, Armstrong drove from 28th place to the 10th position in his first-ever race in stock cars. He not only won "Rookie of the Race" honors, Armstrong was also the "Hard Charger" of the event as he passed more cars than any other competitor.
In 2009, Armstrong joined the ARCA RE/MAX Series. He produced a top-five finish and three top-10 results in just seven starts. Armstrong’s top finish was a third-place effort at Salem Speedway in September when he was teamed with Kligerman, who finished second, on the Cunningham Motorsports team. Armstrong also continued to compete and win in midget cars throughout the 2009 season.
In 2010, Armstrong will return to compete in select ARCA RE/MAX Series events, again racing with the Cunningham Motorsports team. As he continues to grow and mature as a driver, Armstrong remains committed to the Penske Racing driver development program.