Ankrum makes 100th career start at North Wilkesboro Speedway

Hattori Racing Enterprises Photo

A New Chapter … Tyler Ankrum enters the busiest stretch of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season looking to keep the momentum going after a solid top-15 performance at Darlington Raceway. The historic North Wilkesboro Speedway hasn’t hosted a NASCAR sanctioned race since 1996. After a tire test earlier this year, drivers reported that tire wear is going to be high, and the racing is going to be intense. North Wilkesboro Speedway will once again host the truck series for the first time since 1996 for Saturday’s Tyson 250.

Getting some experience … Ankrum returned to his roots by running a Late Model Stock Car at North Wilkesboro Speedway on Wednesday, May 17. Tyler Ankrum piloted the No. 98 machine owned by AK Performance and sponsored by the TCU Flying T Club in the CARS Tour’s Window World 125. The California native cut his teeth in the Late Model Stock Car ranks after moving to North Carolina as a young teenager. In fact, Ankrum finished fifth in the inaugural CARS Tour season standings back in 2015. Ankrum scored six top-five finishes in 10 races with a runner-up performance at Southern National Motorsports Park as the highlight of his season.

Season to Date … On Saturday, Tyler Ankrum will make his 100th start in the Craftsman Truck Series. Through nine of 16 regular season events, Ankrum and the No. 16 team occupy the 14th position in the championship standings, 37 markers behind the cut line. Ankrum’s season-best result came six races ago at Circuit of the Americas and has posted three finishes of tenth or better in the 2023 season. Ankrum and the rest of the Craftsman Truck Series field will be making their first start on the historic North Wilkesboro Speedway.

Chassis Selection … Chassis No. 009 will make it’s second start of the season at North Wilkesboro Speedway. This Toyota Tundra TRD Pro is the No. 16 team’s primary short track truck already seeing action this year at Martinsville Speedway.

Tune In … Fox and Fox Sports 1 has complete coverage of the Tyson 250, beginning with practice on Friday at 3:00 pm ET (FS1). Saturday will start with qualifying at 10:30 a.m. ET (FS1), followed by the green flag at 1:30 pm ET (FOX). 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 North Wilkesboro Speedway:

“This place is going to be the big unknown for every driver. I like that everyone is coming into this race on an even playing field, with only a handful of guys getting laps in so far. I think getting some laps earlier in the week will be crucial to really understanding the unique characteristics of this race track. I think there will be tons of knowledge gained from Tuesday and Wednesday that will carry over to Friday and Saturday. Whether its braking points or just how the track races, any track time is good track time.”


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