Tyler Ankrum Proves Why You Never Stop Digging
Lucama, NC – Growing up my parents always used to tell me to never give up on things I believed in, or were passionate about. I thank them for that everyday because it has made me a stronger person today. Those same values must have been instilled in Tyler Ankrum the young man from Colton California, who has really taken the Late Model Community by storm.
This past November we awarded Ankrum a Hard Charger award for his effort at the 2014 Autumn Classic (Tyler Ankrum Wins Autumn Classic Hard Charger Award) at none other than Southern National Motorsports Park. A motor swap was the reason Ankrum had to start in the rear of the field during that race, this time it was mishap during qualifying. Ankrum was coming out of turn four to take the green flag when the rear end snapped loose and sent him for a slow spin down the front stretch. With no steam behind him at the line you can only imagine how qualifying turned out for him.
Earlier that afternoon I confirmed with CARS Tour officials that the top twenty-five times during qualifying will be locked into the show, the remaining cars will be sent to a 20 lap Last Chance Qualifier race where the top four finishers from that move on. In addition, a provisional shall be awarded to one driver to make up a thirty-car field.
“Oh, during qualifying I thought it was done for us, I really thought our day was done,” Ankrum told The Weekly Racer after the race. “I kind of lost hope at that point but after qualifying was over all the guys were telling me to keep my head up, we still had the last chance race.” Ankrum would go on to win the last chance race and would start the 150-lap feature from the twenty-sixth spot on the grid.
Because Tyler did not find himself so deep in the pack due to the lack of speed, it did not take long for him to start picking his way through the field. With the help of his spotter and crew chief to keep him out of trouble and some well timed cautions, Ankrum was able to claw his way to a fifth place finish – a net gain of 21 positions. Easily earning himself the Weekly Racer Hard Charger Award.
During our conversation, Ankrum was almost shocked at the sheer amount of cars on track. “It was just car, after car, after car that we passed,” said Ankrum. “This 58 crew put this Ion Shoot/Share Camera Ford together real well, this car is a dooms day machine for the rest of the guys out there I swear!”
We also talked a little bit about the difference in running the Hooiser tire on his late model during weekly races against running the American Racer tire on the tour. Telling us it takes a lot longer for the tire to fall allowing you to driver the car hard, and longer than you would with the hooisers. We also asked him with the first race in the books, what is the plan for the rest of the tour, his answer could not have been anymore definitive.
“After this run our guys just discussed it… we are going to run for the championship!”
The CARS Tour will be back in action April 18th at Orange County Speedway located in Rougemont, NC. Head over to the official CARS Tour website for up to date ticket pricing, times, and entry list.