Coming off a big win at Kentucky a couple of weeks ago, DGR-Crosley driver Tyler Ankrum was hoping to carry that momentum to Pocono Raceway, a track he has never raced on before Friday.
Ankrum qualified his No. 17 Truck in the ninth position after Friday’s qualifying session, giving him some decent track position. From there, all Ankrum and the DGR-Crosley team could do is hope to move forward and they did just that.
After an eventful first couple of laps, the California native was able to miss all the drama that took place early. In fact, Ankrum avoided all the turmoil throughout the race, finishing 10th in Stage 1 and 21st in Stage 2 after pitting to gain track position for the third and final stage.
Ankrum restarted on the front row alongside eventual race winner Ross Chastain. He was able to get close to Chastain with 13 to go, with the leader saving a little bit of fuel in case of a caution. But ultimately, Ankrum wound up finishing second. Still, it was an impressive performance at a track he had never raced on before.
“I fought myself there at the beginning of the race,” Ankrum said to MRN Radio in his post-race interview. “I was just kind of stepping on my own toes, overdriving the racecar. That’s really easy to do here (at Pocono). You know, you don’t really feel over driving the truck, but the lap times show it. As soon as I could fix myself, it was smooth sailing from there. I burned my tires up trying to chase Ross (Chastain) down, couldn’t get close enough to him in the draft, but just kind of ping-ponged right there.”
“You know, awesome Toyota Tundra, gotta thank Railblaza, DGR-Crosley and all the people who helped me get here.”
With the second-place finish, it gave Ankrum his second top-five of the season.
For Harrison Burton and company, it was a much-needed finish and a great points day for the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports team who is facing the possibility of missing the Playoffs. (Photo by Kirk Schroll/SpeedwayMedia.com.)
Burton came into Pocono sitting right outside the cutoff line and was hoping to have a good day, and he did indeed have just that.
Burton finished third in Stage 1 and after staying out for Stage 2, he was able to win that stage by not pitting under the first stage break and gained some playoff points.
For Stage 3, Burton restarted ninth and had to really work his way up to the front without any cautions. The No. 18 KBM driver was able to do so, finishing in the third position.
“We had a really good truck, we were really fast,” Burton explained to MRN Radio. “It was fun, we had to charge through the field there. We started ninth on the last restart and just had to go. Just ran out of time there at the end, just frustrating. Those guys had good strategy and we were cutting it close there on fuel. I knew they were riding around a little bit, thinking I could get to them. Driving as hard as I could there at the end and driving my butt off at the end, just couldn’t come our way.”
It was Burton’s seventh top five of the season.