At the conclusion of the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200, Tyler Ankrum and the LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro was credited with a 15th place finishing position at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. After running as high as sixth during stage three, Ankrum sits 12th in driver points for the 2023 Craftsman Truck Series season after two races.
The start of race day at Las Vegas Motor Speedway couldn’t have been better as there wasn’t a cloud in the sky to start practice. The plan from crew chief Doug Randolph was to see how the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro would react in traffic. After making minor changes, Ankrum overall liked the balance going into his qualifying attempt. Ankrum would finish P21 on the speed charts at the conclusion of the single practice session. When it came time for qualifying, Ankrum would time in 18th for the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 kicked off with exciting four, sometimes five, wide racing throughout the entire field. Tyler Ankrum reported early in the race that the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro fired off with a loose condition. Ankrum went on to recover from the early trouble and regain a few spots. On lap 28, Ankrum reported that he felt like he had a tire going down with two laps remaining in stage one. Ankrum was able to survive the final laps of stage one without having to pit.
Under the stage one caution, crew chief Doug Randolph called for multiple adjustments along with four fresh Goodyear tires. To start stage two, Ankrum would restart in the 27thposition, but wouldn’t stay there long. After a caution on lap 40, Ankrum reported that the changes made under the previous caution helped the overall balance of the truck. With ten laps to go in stage two, another caution came out for a single truck incident. Randolph instructed Ankrum to head down pit road for two left side tires, along with another adjustment to help the balance of his No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. This was followed by another caution five laps later where right side tires were put on with a handful of laps remaining in stage two.
Randolph would roll the dice and keep Ankrum and the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro on track to gain valuable track position to start stage three. Ankrum would restart stage three in position number nine. Stage three would see the longest green flag run of the Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200. Ankrum would cycle up to position number six before pitting for four tires and fuel with 27 laps left in the race. When the checkered flag flew at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Tyler Ankrum and the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro would finish in position number 15.
Tyler Ankrum Quote:
“Going out and having practice plus qualifying in completely different conditions from the race is always tricky. I feel like we had some decent balance in practice earlier in the day which didn’t quite transfer over to the race like we hoped. To start the race we were super loose, but with some great adjustments we were able to get to a point to where the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro was competitive. By the end of the race the balance had totally shifted to the tight side in traffic which was a big struggle. I feel like we learned a lot about this truck, as this was it’s first race. I am really looking forward to Atlanta where I feel anything can happen”.