By: Zach Catanzareti, Staff Writer
Saturday at Pocono Raceway went quite well for Tyler Ankrum. And he sure needed it.
In the afternoon’s Camping World Truck Series race from the 2.5-mile triangle, Ankrum drove his GMS Racing Chevrolet to a fourth-place finish, tying his career-high in top fives (three) and closing the point gap to the playoffs.
“We had a good handling truck, a good handling truck,” Ankrum said. “We didn’t have anything for the KBM (Kyle Busch Motorsports) trucks. In clean air, I just had no speed. I was better on restarts when there is a big draft.”
Starting 18th, Ankrum improved on his truck throughout the 60-lap race, overcame a pit road speeding penalty and took advantage of a lap-race restart to eat into the top five.
“Overall, it wasn’t a bad day,” he said. I don’t know what happened on pit road. If it was of my doing or if our lights were wrong. I know there are some hot spots on this pit road. We push our pit speeds all the way to the tolerance.
Exiting Pocono 33 points below the cut line, Ankrum knows everything is on the table with just three races left in the regular season.
“Unless the dirt race [at Knoxville Raceway] is a total bleep-show, which more than likely it will be, if guys wreck out, don’t ever say never. Anything is possible. Everyone just gets crazier and crazier into this. Everybody thinks they can win on dirt.”
Does Ankrum believe he can win on dirt next time out at Knoxville?
“Hell yeah I can win on dirt,” he said. “For us, there is nothing to lose. At this point in time, there is no reason for us not to have confidence. If we don’t have the mentality of ‘grip it and whip it’, we shouldn’t. We’re going to go into these next few races open-minded and try to haul ass.”