Ankrum comes up short in playoff hopes at Richmond

On a blistering Virginia weekend, Tyler Ankrum would finish 13th after a long green flag run for the entirety of stage of the Worldwide Express 250 at Richmond Raceway. The San Bernardino, Calif. native fought a tight handling truck most of the evening but powered his way back to the front after a great strategy call from crew chief Doug Randolph. Ankrum currently sits 14th in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series standings after 16 events.
The sweltering weekend started with practice on Friday with triple digit temperatures at Richmond Raceway. Ankrum would report early on in practice that the truck was relatively tight, but he liked the overall drive he was getting off the corner at the three quarter mile circuit. Ankrum would time in 18th fastest on the speed charts on Friday afternoon. Ankrum said after practice he liked the direction the truck was heading with the ever-changing track conditions. Ankrum would time in 21st out of 38 competitors for the weekend. The No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro would start the Worldwide Express 250 on the inside of row number 11 for the event.
The start of the Worldwide Express 250 would be delayed for multiple lightning holds. Once the action hit the track, Ankrum would lose a couple spots early in the race having a truck that was much better suited for long green flag runs. Once Ankrum found his groove, he started to make his way up the leader board. Ankrum would finish stage one in the 16th position; narrowly holding off a charging Ty Majeski to stay on the lead lap. At the end of the stage, Ankrum would bring his No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro down pit road for four tires and fuel.
Stage two would see Ankrum race inside the top-15 for most of the stage, Ankrum would still report a tight No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro as the laps ticked away for the Worldwide Express 250. With 30 laps to go in stage two, multiple strategies were seen up and down pit road. Ankrum would stay out under this caution to save a set of tires for later in the race. At the conclusion of stage two, Ankrum would cross the finish line in the 14th position. Stage three would see multiple strategies play out, where Ankrum would restart in position number 12. Ankrum would run inside the top-15 for most of the final stage. Crew chief Doug Randolph would call Ankrum to pit road with around 50 laps to go in the race, cutting the stage in half. Ankrum would make quick time to get one of his two laps back, but could never get back on the lead lap due to other strategies playing out. At the conclusion of the Worldwide Express 250, Ankrum would cross the line in the 13th position.
Tyler Ankrum Quote:
“Coming into Richmond you always have to know there will be long green flag runs throughout the race. I feel like we always had a good long run truck, which we showed staying on the lead lap at the end of stage one. We fought a tight handling No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro all night long; and with so few opportunities to work on it, it became a huge challenge. It was a bummer not to be able to make the playoffs this year, but we are going to go out there and play spoiler for the rest of the year and see if we can’t steal a win or two from those playoff guys. I really want to thank Brett Booker and everyone from LiUNA! who came to the race this weekend. Without your support I wouldn’t be here right now”.