Tyler Ankrum earned a solid top-15 result in the Buckle Up South Carolina 200 at Darlington Raceway on Friday night with a 15th place finish. The effort was a show of consistency at the “Lady in Black” for the driver of the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. The San Bernardino, Calif. native fought a loose handling truck most of the night, but brought home the LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro without the famed “Darlington stripe”. Ankrum currently sits 14th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings after nine events.
Ankrum posted the 17th-fastest time in qualifying on Friday afternoon and took the green flag from the outside of row eight. In the opening laps, Ankrum reported a free condition which hampered his ability to advance forward. Stage one would run in its entirety without a caution. When the green and white checkered flag flew, Ankrum was scored in the 19th position.
Crew chief Doug Randolph brought Ankrum to pit road under the stage caution where the LiUNA! pit crew ripped off an blistering pit stop that netted Ankrum eight positions. Ankrum and the LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro would hang around the top 15 for stage two finishing in the 14th position. After pitting for four tires, fuel, and a track bar adjustment, Ankrum would come off pit road 14th.
Ankrum was fighting a loose condition for most of the evening at “The Lady in Black” going into stage three. Ankrum would yet again hang around the top 15 for most of stage three trying to make passes which were tough with the current track conditions. A caution with 17 laps remaining reset the field as most of the field would come down pit road for one last pit stop. Ankrum would get yet another adjustment to his No. 16 machine and gained a few more spots on pit road. This time a handful of trucks stayed on the track to make for an interesting restart. With eight laps to go, Ankrum and Nick Sanchez made contact which resulted in a left rear tire rub. The crew was ready if a tire were to go flat, however the damage was minimal and Ankrum would finish the race on that set of tires. After multiple Green White Checkered attempts, Ankrum would brin his Toyota Tundra TRD Pro home in position number 15 on the evening. Ankrum currently sits in the 14th position after nine races.
Tyler Ankrum Quote:
“It wasn’t my strongest performance on restarts, especially restarting on the bottom tonight. We had to maintain the best we could with our LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro and go to work on the long runs. The truck was just loose all day, but we battled the tough track conditions to bring it home with a decent finish. I have to give a big shout out to my pit crew tonight, they gained us tons of spots on pit road throughout the night with consistently fast stops. We got a little damage at the end that might of hurt us a little, but it is what it is. I am really looking forward to the unknown next week at North Wilkesboro!”
Hattori Racing Enterprises PR