Tyler Ankrum captured his first career NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series win in the Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway on Thursday night.
Ankrum took the lead in the final two laps and went on to take the checkered flag after Moffitt ran out of fuel.
The DGR-Crosley No. 17 Toyota qualified well and rolled out P9 when the green flag waved in Kentucky. The racing was aggressive from the start, but Ankrum was able to fight his way into the top five at the conclusion of Stage 1.
When the green flag waved for Stage 2, the action and aggression heated up. Trouble began after Spencer Boyd went around collecting Natalie Decker and Jordan Anderson, ending their nights. With 11 laps to go in Stage 2, Harrison Burton spun after battling with Chastain for position and triggered a multi-truck crash that collected several. After the restart, Grant Enfinger and Brandon Jones crashed off the straightaway battling for position, bringing out another caution with five to go. The stage ended under caution, giving Matt Crafton his third stage win of the season. Ankrum was able to avoid all of the wreckage and finish fourth in the stage.
Rather than pitting at the end of the stage, Ankrum stayed out and lead the field to green. He was able to maintain his lead for several laps while battle ensued behind him. With 50 to go, the No. 17 pitted from the lead for a change of tires and fuel. He fought his way back up to second and set his sights on Brett Moffitt.
The GMS Racing No. 24 Chevrolet began conserving fuel when his crew chief informed him they might be two laps short in the final run. Ankrum had more than enough fuel to get him to the checkered flag, so he gave it his all in chasing down Moffitt.
Moffitt began to slow and Tyler Ankrum went by like breeze with two laps to go in the final stage. He took the checkered flag for the first time in his career after his 12th start in the NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series.
“I cannot believe I just did this. Man, it’s going to take a lot of work. Honestly, one of my biggest faults is I’ve always doubted myself. I kind of feel like all that has washed away. I can’t thank David Gilliland and DGR-Crosley enough. I just don’t know what else to say.”
Stewart Friesen, Harrison Burton, Ross Chastain and Dylan Lupton rounded out the top five. Grant Enfinger remains the series point leader followed by, Friesen, Moffitt, Crafton and Burton.
The NASCAR Gander Outdoor Truck Series is back in action on July 27 at Pocono Raceway for the Gander RV 150 at 1:00 PM on FOX.