Ankrum Strong In Rain Shortened NextEra Engery 250

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After multiple cautions for rain, Tyler Ankrum was credited with a seventh-place finish for the season opening event at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). The driver of the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro lead multiple times for 15 laps and won the second stage of the NextEra Energy 250. With the strong performance Ankrum currently sits fifth in points with 40.

To start the day, Ankrum timed in 27th on the speed charts for the season opening NextEra Energy 250. After multiple cautions for weather, Ankrum methodically worked his way forward with the help of veteran spotter Earl Barban. At the end of stage one the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro crossed the finish line P12.

At the conclusion of stage one, crew chief Doug Randolph instructed Ankrum to stay on track. This strategy call resulted in Ankrum starting stage two in position number one. Throughout stage two Ankrum would battle Stewart Friesen for the lead lap after lap. While battling Friesen for the lead, Ankrum narrowly escaped a multi-truck incident on the backstretch on lap 40. Ankrum came around to the yellow and stage checkered flag in position number one, gaining 10 stage points and the invaluable playoff point.

Randolph called the No.16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro to pit lane at the conclusion of stage two for four tires and fuel. The ensuing restart, Ankrum would start in position number six. Ankrum wasted no time getting back toward the front settling into position number three. With 43 laps to go, Ankrum would pit for the final time of the night with weather looming all around Daytona International Speedway. After lengthy delays for weather, NASCAR called the race official with twenty one laps remaining in the race. After a strong showing on the opening night of the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season, Ankrum and the No.16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro would finish in position number seven.

Tyler Ankrum Quote:

“We had a really fast truck. I was super happy with my LiUNA! Tundra TRD Pro. It was just so awesome. I think I made two passes for the lead with no help and no pushes, just a really, really fast truck. Doug Randolph (crew chief) on the box made some awesome calls to get us up front after starting in the back. You get to that fifth to 12th range so he made some really good calls to get us to the front and lead we stayed in the top-five for the whole night. I hate to have it finish like this because I thought if we were going to go back green we could have it won. We could make moves on the top or on the bottom. It was insane. I don’t like that we’re going home seventh, but this is part of it. I would rather be seventh than caught up in a wreck early on or have a blown engine. It’s unfortunate, I hate it. I really wanted to win this race after seeing how fast we were.”

Hattori Racing Enterprises PR

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