Tyler Ankrum recorded a 13th-place finish on Saturday night in his third start at Richmond Raceway. The driver of the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro was tied for the 10th-most points earned among all drivers in the field and maintained the 12th position in the championship standings, while gaining five markers on 11th place.
The Californian posted the 11th-fastest time in pole qualifying on Saturday afternoon in his first qualifying laps at the three-quarter mile venue. Ankrum battled for a top-10 position in the opening moments of the 250-lap event, and took the 10th position by lap 27. Despite a loose condition on corner entry, and a tight condition in the center of the turns, Ankrum effectively conserved his tires on Richmond’s abrasive surface. That paid dividends in the back half of the first 70-lap stage as Ankrum took the ninth position on lap 42 and picked off three additional positions from laps 58 to 63. He was scored sixth to earn five points at the end of Stage 1 on lap 70.
Crew chief Scott Zipadelli and the HRE team gave Ankrum four tires, fuel, and a wedge adjustment during the caution flag pit stop. Ankrum restarted ninth on lap 81 and continued to run inside the top-10 for nearly the entirety of Stage 2. He collected another point in 10th place when the second stage caution flew at the completion of lap 140. A lack of forward bite and tightness in the center of the turns continued to plague Ankrum, and the No. 16 squad went to work on pit road to address the handling condition.
Ankrum received another batch of fresh tires and a track bar adjustment under the lap 141 caution. He restarted 10th on lap 151 and held that position until a caution flew on lap 215. The HRE team equipped Ankrum with their final set of fresh tires for the final 28-lap run to the finish. Ankrum restarted 10th on lap 223 and took the checkered flag in 13th position.
Tyler Ankrum Quote:
“We had really good long run speed the first half of the race, especially in Stage 1 with our LIUNA Toyota Tundra TRD Pro. We could really get off the corner well and made a bunch of ground late in a run. We just battled being tight in the center and keeping enough rear grip in the truck on exit. This is a difficult place to keep your truck consistent the entire night, but all the guys on this team worked hard and we’ll take advantage of this off time coming up and get ready for Kansas next month.”