Tyler Ankrum collected a 16th-place result in his fifth start at Kansas Speedway on Saturday night. The driver of the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro sits 13th in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series standings after eight of 23 events.
After battling a loose condition in practice, Ankrum qualified 20th on Saturday afternoon and began the 134-lap event from the outside of row 10. The San Bernardino, Calif. product quickly went to work by methodically pacing his way towards the top-10. He immediately gained four positions on the opening lap, cracked the top-15 by lap four, and climbed to 12th by lap 23. Ankrum snagged the 11th position on lap 30 at the end of Stage 1.
The HRE team ripped off an incredible pit stop under the stage caution that vaulted Ankrum from 11th to sixth after supplying him with four tires, fuel, and an adjustment to help his loose condition. Ankrum went back to work on lap 37 from eighth position after selecting the outside lane. Despite the adjustment, his loose balance persisted throughout Stage 2 and was scored 12th at the conclusion of the segment at lap 60.
Under the Stage 2 caution, Ankrum’s team delivered another stunning four tire pit stop, gaining seven positions. The driver of the No. 16 restarted sixth on lap 68 but continued to wrestle with a free condition throughout the ensuing 24 lap run. On lap 89, Ankrum radioed the team that his balance was starting to tighten up, just before a caution waved on lap 90. He took his final set of sticker tires under the caution, along with a significant wedge adjustment and restarted 12th on lap 96. He held on inside the top-15 until a late yellow on lap 121 allowed him to pit for fresher scuff tires for the short sprint to the finish. Over the final eight laps, Ankrum managed to advance from 18th to take the checkered flag in 16th position.
Tyler Ankrum Quote:
“Certainly, wasn’t the finish that we wanted tonight, but our LIUNA team kept our heads in the game all night. We had a lot of speed in our Toyota Tundra TRD Pro on the back end of the run most of the race, but it was hard to fire off with being loose on the short runs. We’ll keep working at it and try to make some gains and adjustments before we head to Texas next week.”