By Seth Eggert, NASCAR Correspondent
After two races with an unfamiliar team, Tyler Ankrum returns home to DGR – Crosley for the Camping World 225 at Chicagoland Speedway.
Sponsorship issues forced Ankrum out of his No. 17 Railblaza Toyota Tundra, but he remained eligible for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series playoffs by driving for NEMCO Motorsports at Iowa Speedway and World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway.
Ankrum’s most recent race with DGR – Crosley resulted in a career best third-place finish. That third-place finish came after he had two flat tires, bounced off the wall, was two laps down, and spun down pit road.
“I’m excited to be back with my DGR-Crosley guys this weekend at Chicagoland,” Ankrum explained. “I think with the speed we had at Texas [Motor Speedway] we should unload good and be able to put together a solid race even though I’ve never been to Chicagoland.”
After two weeks in the NEMCO No. 87, Ankrum enters Chicagoland 15th in the championship points standings. He was given a waiver because he missed four races due to his age. However, Ankrum is now 193-points behind the cutoff for the playoffs. Only a victory will guarantee him a spot on the playoff grid.
To date, Ankrum has just four starts on 1.5-mile tracks. His speed was evident with three finishes of 11th or better. The 18-year-old was running inside the top-10 at Charlotte Motor Speedway when damage forced him to the garage.
Ankrum detailed the preparation for Friday night’s race.
“My preparation for this race is very important, and I’ve been working hard. My No. 17 team has been working hard at the shop as well. They have brought me fast trucks to other 1.5-mile track. I think we have a really good shot at performing well and running out front. We need a win, so we will do everything we can to get my Railblaza Tundra to victory lane.”
In the three practice sessions for the 225-mile race, Ankrum was 14th, 14th, and eighth fastest on the speed charts.