Plate Racing … Talladega Superspeedway has a knack for providing many drivers breakthrough performances in its history spanning more than half a decade, and a wide-open opportunity awaits for Tyler Ankrum on Saturday afternoon. The driver of the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro produced a strong performance in the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway (DIS), the only prior superspeedway event this year, when he led his first laps of the seaon and was in contention for the victory before rain shortened the event.
Ankrum and HRE at Talladega … Ankrum took quickly to the intensity of Talladega by earning a seventh-place finish during his debut in 2019 after qualifying second. He returns for his fifth ‘Dega appearance behind the wheel of the No. 16 which has a stout superspeedway history. Austin Hill wheeled the 16 machine to a sixth place finish in the 2020 event at Talladega Superspeedway, the best finish in company history at the 2.66 mile race track. Ankrum will look to better that by five positions on Saturday.
Season to Date … Through 20 of 23 events for the 2023 schedule, Ankrum and the No. 16 LiUNA! team occupy the 15th position in the drivers championship standings. Ankrum’s season-best result came 17 races ago at Circuit of the Americas (fourth) and he has posted six finishes of tenth or better in the 2023 season. Currently, Ankrum has one top five, and six top-10’s for the 2023 season.
Chassis Selection … Chassis No. 012 will make it’s second start of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season at Talladega Superspeedway. This Toyota Tundra TRD Pro made it’s last start at Daytona International Superspeedway, where Ankrum would run around the top-10 most of the day. Ankrum would lead 15 laps in the No. 16 LiUNA! Toyota Tundra TRD Pro on the day and have to settle for a seventh place finish with the race ending early due to rain.
Tune In … The Loves RV Stop 250 at Talladega Superspeedway will kick off with qualifying on Saturday at 9:30 am ET on FS2, followed by NASCAR RaceDay at 12 pm ET (FS1). Green flag action on Saturday afternoon will kick off at 1:00 pm ET (FS1). 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 Talladega:
“There are a lot of opinions on superspeedway racing, but the fact is there’s a trophy out there and a great opportunity for our LiUNA! team this weekend. We had a great Toyota Tundra TRD Pro at Daytona earlier this year and I felt like we were one of the trucks to beat that night. We had a truck that would lead really well, but it also worked really good in the draft. All the guys and gals at HRE put so much effort into these trucks to make sure we have a fast piece. Survival is going to be a major key on Saturday, so if we can make it to the final 10-15 laps, I think we’ll have a great shot at it.”
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