On championship night at Phoenix Raceway, Tyler Ankrum would finish 22nd after a last lap accident where Ankrum would make contact with the wall. Ankrum had a strong run going, running inside the top ten for most of the overtime stages, but the damage would render him to the last truck on the lead lap. Ankrum finishes the season in the 17th position in the driver standings for the 2023 season.
A golden hour late afternoon start for practice on Thursday would see Ankrum make steady progress throughout the session. After the first run, Ankrum reported the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro needed a little more drive off the corner and he liked the direction the truck was headed on the long run. After some changes were made, Ankrum would go back out and report the truck was better compared to the first run. When the final flag flew for practice, Ankrum would time in 19th on the speed charts. During qualifying, it was more of the same for Ankrum; he would time in 19th fastest for the Craftsman 150.
At the start of the Craftsman 150, Ankrum would battle around the top 20 most of the evening. Very early into the race, the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro would sustain some nose damage as Ankrum made contact with a competitor. This would bring him down pit road to make some repairs. By the end of stage one, Ankrum would finish in the 27th position one lap down.
Ankrum would regain his lap through a few cautions in the second stage and work his way up to the 20th position midway through stage three. Ankrum kept the momentum going and by the last green white checkered restart, Ankrum was up to the ninth position. Unfortunately, coming to the white flag, the 16 truck cut a left front tire and made contact with the outside wall. Ankrum would limp the LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro home in the 22nd position for the last race of the 2023 season.
Tyler Ankrum Quote:
“This one was just a frustrating day, I feel like we had a truck that was super capable of running in the top ten. We fired off really good there to start the race, just needed a little extra to get us to stay up there. The racing line here is so small, you’re on a razors edge. One lap could be amazing, the next lap could be terrible and you could have only missed your line by a few inches.I just want to thank LiUNA! and all of the hard working crew members that work on this truck week in and week out”.
Hattori Racing Enterprises PR