At the conclusion of the Fr8 208, Tyler Ankrum and the LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro was credited with a 26th place finishing position at Atlanta Motor Speedway. After running as high as third during stage three, Ankrum sits 12th in driver points for the 2023 Craftsman Truck Series season after three races.
To start the weekend on Friday afternoon, qualifying for the Fr8 208 was cancelled due to rain conditions. As a result, Tyler Ankrum and the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro would start 13th on race day. On Saturday, blustery cold conditions ruled the day as the green flag dropped on the Fr8 208 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. Stage one was one of learning for Ankrum as the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro would be shuffled from the 13th starting position back to 22nd. Crew chief Doug Randolph would call Ankrum to pit road with three laps left in stage one for right side tires and an adjustment. This allowed Ankrum to cycle up into the top ten to start stage two.
The high line was the place to be for most of the day on Saturday. Ankrum would restart stage two in the eighth position. Ankrum would hang around the top ten for all of stage two and as a result, finished seventh gaining the ever valuable four stage points. At the conclusion of stage two, after a phenomenal pit stop by the LiUNA! pit crew, Ankrum came off pit road in position number five. After the choose cone, Ankrum started stage three in eighth.
Stage three started with the high line gaining energy from the drop of the green flag. After a quick caution, Randolph would call Ankrum back to pit road for a quick gas and go. This strategy call would see Ankrum get off pit road in the top five, and also be his last pit stop of the Fr8 208. Stage three was plagued with numerous cautions, which benefited the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro, which was close on gas to end the race. The multiple cautions set up a green, white checkered finish. Ankrum would restart on the bottom for the final restart to gain track position. On the white flag lap, coming out of turn three, Ankrum was involved in an accident and could not make it back to the start finish line. After a strong showing throughout the race, Ankrum would finish in position number 26.
Tyler Ankrum Quote:
“Today’s results at Atlanta Motor Speedway doesn’t reflect what this team is doing at Hattori Racing Enterprises. It’s really a crap shoot at these super speedway style races. Doug put us in a great position at the end of stage one and we never left the top ten after that. These men and women that work on these trucks week in and week out keep bringing me great pieces to the track every week. I cannot put into words how proud I am of this team and LiUNA! for believing in me. I think we deserved to finish in the top five, but we will take what we learned here and move on to COTA.”
Hattori Racing Enterprises PR