Ankrum Looks to Dig a Pathway to Playoffs on Dirt at Knoxville

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It’s a Dirty Job … Tyler Ankrum will make his fourth start on dirt as the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series visits Knoxville Raceway for the second occasion. The driver of the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, and part-time 600cc micro sprint racer, is searching for a pathway to the playoffs and looks to replicate HRE’s performance at the “Sprint Car Capital of the World” from last season. Ankrum is fresh off one of his best performances of the season at Sonoma Raceway where he was tied for the fourth-most points scored of all drivers, earned his best stage result of the year, and a ninth-place finish. Crew chief Scott Zipadelli and the No. 16 team scored the inaugural Knoxville victory in 2021, a feat that Ankrum looks to replicate on Saturday night to land the HRE squad in the playoffs for the fifth-consecutive season.

On the Upswing … The San Bernardino, Calif. native has been on the upswing over the past two races in Sonoma’s wine country and at World Wide Technology Raceway (WWTR). After facing challenges during the month of May, Ankrum has turned it around in June. A 13th-place finish at WWTR pointed the No. 16 team in the right direction and delivered one of the most complete efforts of the season at Sonoma Raceway last Saturday. Ankrum looks to parlay the recent momentum into his first career top-10 finish on dirt in Camping World Trucks competition.

Season to Date … Four races remain in the regular season after 12 of 16 events have been completed. Ankrum currently sits 14th in the driver championship standings, searching for a victory to secure a playoff berth. Through 12 events, he has collected four top-10 finishes. 

Chassis Selection … Zipadelli and the LIUNA team will employ chassis No. 003 for the second dirt race of the season. This Toyota Tundra TRD Pro is specifically built for dirt racing and was most recently raced on dirt at Bristol Motor Speedway in April. The No. 16 team also took chassis No. 003 to victory lane in the inaugural event at Knoxville last season with driver Austin Hill.

Tune In … Raceday coverage from Knoxville begins at 7:00 p.m. ET with four qualifying heat races, followed by the green flag of the 150-lap main event at 9:00 p.m. ET. Stay connected with the No. 16 LIUNA team by following @Hattori_Racing on Twitter, @hattoriracing on Instagram, and Hattori Racing Enterprises on Facebook. 

Tyler Ankrum Quote:

On returning to Knoxville Raceway:

“I’m excited to get back to Knoxville. Last year was a really wild race, so it’ll be interesting to see how the surface is prepped and if there are any differences from last year. Scott (Zipadelli) and all the guys at HRE have been working really hard on our LIUNA Toyota Tundra TRD Pro for this weekend. We had a really strong practice at Bristol earlier this year and had some bad luck in the race that put us behind. It’s encouraging to go to Knoxville this time around knowing what this group accomplished last year. Hopefully we can do the same thing this weekend and keep some of this momentum going that we’ve built over the last couple weeks.”


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