Ankrum looks for a reset leading into Bristol’s Dirt Race

Hattori Racing Enterprises Photo

Hitting the reset … Tyler Ankrum is looking to rebound as the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series returns to race on Bristol Motor Speedway’s (BMS) dirt surface for the third time. The driver of the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro has scored two top-10 finishes in the 2023 season through five races and is poised to be in contention this weekend. 

Playoff Outlook … The playoffs may be 11 races away, but the bubble to make the playoffs is getting smaller and smaller, every race. Ankrum currently sits 10th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series driver points standings and 11th in the Playoff Standings, due to a win by a driver last week who is not inside the top-10 in points. Currently, the driver of the No. 16 machine is only one win or 14 points behind the cut line. 

Dirt History … Since 2019, Ankrum has made five starts on three different dirt tracks in his 95-race Craftsman Trucks Series career. The 22-year-old has made starts on dirt at BMS (2), Knoxville Raceway (2), and Eldora Speedway (1), with his best result of ninth coming at “The Big E” in Rossburg, Ohio, in 2019. Ankrum, who has two starts at Bristol Dirt, will be looking for a little bit of luck this week and hoping his third attempt is a charm. In his last two starts at the .533-mile bullring on dirt, the HRE driver has an average start of 19.5 and an average finish of 35.5. 

Chassis Selection … Chassis No. 003 returns to work this weekend at BMS for the first time this year for the LiUNA! team. Chassis No. 003 has a great pedigree as a dirt truck, having visited victory lane at Knoxville Raceway two years ago. This Toyota has been converted to the No. 16 team’s dirt truck, after originally being built as a short-track truck. Most recently, Ankrum drove chassis 003 to a ninth-place finish at Knoxville, last summer.

Tune In … FS1 has the entire Craftsman Truck Series weekend covered live, beginning with two practice sessions on Friday evening at 5:30 p.m. ET and 8:00 p.m. ET on FS1. Coverage on Saturday begins with four heat races at 4:30 p.m. ET on FS1, followed by the green flag of the main event at 8:00 p.m. ET on FS1. 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 his dirt racing experience:

“I’m still getting used to dirt racing, but it’s a discipline that all of us in the Truck Series have put a lot more emphasis on. Hopefully we can build a little momentum this weekend with our LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. It will be interesting to see how the track conditions will be this year going from a day race to a night race. The track also looks to have a slight change in configuration with more of a bottom lane. Hopefully it promotes two groove racing. It’d be great to come out of Bristol with another top-10 and keep banking points towards the playoffs.”


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