Ankrum Takes Point Lead in Chaotic Daytona Opener

Venue: Daytona International Speedway

FINISH: 11th

Start: 5th

Laps Led: 16

NCTS Point Standings Position: 1st

Tyler Ankrum is at the top of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) point standings after Friday’s season opener at Daytona International Speedway (DIS). The driver of the No. 18 LiUNA Chevrolet Silverado RST finished 11th after leading 16 laps, captured a stage win and earned 43 points in his debut with MHR.

Ankrum began his night in fifth after an impressive performance from qualifying earlier in the day. With clear air and good teamwork Ankrum, was able to stay near the front for most of the first stage. While multiple cautions preventing long running green flag runs, Ankrum was able to stay near the front and collect seven points in fourth position at the end of Stage 1 on lap 20.

Ankrum restarted fourth on lap 27 to begin the second stage as crew chief Mark Hillman kept him on track during the first stage break. The No. 18 was quickly found in front of the pack with support from teammate Christian Eckes. After getting a slight push, Ankrum would lead all green flag laps until the caution would come out on lap 37 due to weather. This caution would result in Ankrum’s first stage win of the season at lap 40, and his second stage win at DIS.

While under the second stage caution, Ankrum pitted for four tires, fuel, minor adjustments and restarted 15th on lap 45. As a caution appeared again on lap 58, it allowed him to pit for two tires and fuel. Cycling back into 17th, Ankrum was able to make the outside lane work after making three-wide moves. While in contention, Ankrum was involved in two separate incidents late in the race. After being part multi-car accident on the last lap, Ankrum was able to drive away and took the checkered flag in 11th position and the series points lead.

Tyler Ankrum Quote:

“It really was not the result we were looking for tonight. The LiUNA Chevrolet was looking really strong in the first two stages and we thought that we had a good shot to win this one tonight. It was nice to be able to win a stage and show the speed we have in our truck. Having Christian give us a push and be able to lead a good amount of laps showed us what we are capable. I felt good being in the front until we got turned on the backstretch. I’m glad that we were able to finish the race and score points to lead the series after the first night”.