Headed back East … As the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitors prepare for the third round of the 2023 season at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS), Tyler Ankrum is eager to maintain the consistency demonstrated in the first two races. Despite his promising attempt to win in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway being cut short, due to rain, the San Bernardino, Calif. native had a solid top 15 finish two weeks ago at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS). Currently, the driver of the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro ranks 12th in the season’s standings, a mere three points shy of a playoff position.
Superspeedway Racing at Atlanta … Ankrum returns to AMS as the storied 1.54-mile track returns to the schedule after a facelift prior to the 2022 season. The repave and reconfiguration promoted more superspeedway-style racing which ramped up the excitement in 2022. In his two previous starts at AMS, Ankrum tallied his best finish in 2022 with an 11th-place result.
Great Memories for HRE … AMS will forever be recognized as a significant location for team owner Shige Hattori and HRE’s No. 16 team. February 24th, 2018, the organization secured its first triumph in Atlanta with Brett Moffitt as the driver. That initial triumph set off an exceptional season for HRE, with six race wins and the series championship. Ankrum aspires to emulate that achievement and make his own mark by claiming victory in the second NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event on AMS’ third different track configuration during the track’s 63-year history, on Saturday afternoon.
Chassis Selection … For the first time this year, Ankrum will pilot chassis (011) at AMS. This chassis, like the one utilized at Las Vegas Motor Speedway is new to the HRE Fleet.
Tune In … FOX Sports 1 will have coverage of the Craftsman Trucks’ qualifying session on Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. ET. Saturday begins with FS1’s coverage of NASCAR Raceday at 1:00 p.m. ET followed by the green flag at 2:00 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 what to expect at AMS:
“It will be interesting coming back to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend. The track now has one year under its belt and we’ll see if the grip is still there from last year. We’ll probably be wide open all day with our LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, and that’s going to make passing difficult, especially with a much narrower racing surface. With the pack racing like a lot of us expect, it’s going to be a challenge to generate runs with shorter straightaways compared to what we are used to at the superspeedways. Restarts and pit stops are going to be even more important. So, hopefully we can keep our LiUNA! Toyota clean and have something to race with towards the end, on Saturday.”
Hattori Racing Enterprises PR