Ankrum Gets First ARCA/CRA Super Series Victory at Toledo Speedway SaturdayScott Menlen
Salem, IN. (September 16, 2018) – Colton, California teenager Tyler Ankrum got his first ever ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS victory Saturday night in the prestigious Central Transport Glass City 200 presented by the Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn and Courtyard by Marriott at Toledo Speedway. Ankrum bettered his runner-up finish in the series event at Toledo in June, in all Ankrum has eight top 10 finishes with the series in his 12 starts. June event winner Brian Campbell looked to be on his way to a Toledo sweep this season, but motor issues ended his day on lap 75.
“It was a pretty exciting race all the way throughout,” remarked Ankrum in victory lane. “We had that really long green flag run in the middle of the race. We had a really fast race car. I let Brian (Campbell) go because he was applying a lot of pressure to me. As soon as he got out front he was really strong. I figured I was just going to race my own race. He’d get a half straightaway out and he’d back up and I’d think, ‘Oh I’m faster than him,’ and I’d start catching him a little bit. I think we would’ve had something for him if he wouldn’t have broken. He’s a really smart and fast racer and it sucks for him.”
Wisconsin ace Dennis Prunty grabbed the early lead from three time series Champion Scott Hantz from his outside front row starting position at the drop of the green flag after EDCO Welding Fast Qualifier Campbell drew the max nine invert for the events line-up. Prunty led the first 20 laps until Ankrum worked his way from his fifth place starting position to pass Prunty for the lead on lap 21.
Ankrum pulled away for a sizable lead, but Campbell was already working his way through the field, aided by a couple of early cautions. Campbell was able to get by Ankrum on lap 29. Campbell fought off Ankrum on a couple of restarts, but pulled away each time for a sizable lead until disaster struck on lap 75 when he pulled into the pits with engine problems, handing the lead back to Ankrum.
From there Ankrum would pull away and win by two and a half seconds over Kyle Crump, who scored his best ever series finish. Besides the $5,000 first place money, Ankrum also picked up $165 in lap leader bonus money. The win adds to Ankrum’s impressive season in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East, where he has four wins so far this season and a sizeable point’s lead.
Ankrum added, “We’ve tried and tried to win one of these things and we’ve came close many times, but we just couldn’t get it done. All the guys in the pits and at the shop would be like, ‘When are you going to win?’ So it’s awesome to finally win here. Toledo is probably my favorite Super Late Model track and we’ve had some really strong runs here. I love this series, it’s so cool to finally be able to win an ARCA/CRA Super Series race. We’ll go on to Loudon in the K&N Series and try to lock up that championship then head to the Winchester 400.”
Crump came back from an earlier incident that resulted in a flat tire and a visit to the pits, to charge through the field and get a second place finish far car owners Stan and Judi Rosen after starting the event in tenth place.
Michael Simko came from his 12th place starting position to finish a series best of third. Simko picked up a Hoosier Racing Tire Performance Award and the Hamner Racing Engines Hardcharger Award. Jordon Pruitt came from his 13th place starting position to finish in fourth place in his first series start of the season. Pruitt picked up the FLUIDYNE High Performance Cool Under Pressure Award.
Josh Brock ran up front throughout the event until being part of a three wide move by another racer on a restart that resulted in Brock getting spun out in turn three. Brock took his car to pit road were his pit crew made haste repairs to get Brock back out. Brock then worked his way back through the field to get a fifth place finish, highest of the Chase for the Championship drivers. For their hasty repairs Brock’s pit crew earned the PitBoxes.com Pit Crew of the Race Award.
Prunty would finish in sixth place. Hunter Jack held on to get a seventh place finish, second highest of the Chase drivers after also suffering some damage. Austin Kunert also made several trips to pit road during the event but came back to get an eighth place finish, third among the Chase drivers and earned the Senneker Performance Rookie of the Race Award. Jon Beach finished in ninth place, fourth among the Chase drivers.
The Glass City event was the last of the three Chase for the Championship playoff races to determine the four drivers who will battle for the series Championship at the October 14th Winchester 400. The four drivers, all determined by points in the three playoff events, are Brock, Kunert, Jack and Beach. The two Chase drivers not getting to race for the Championship included 2017 series Champion Logan Runyon and Greg Van Alst.
The next ARCA/CRA Super Series Powered by JEGS event will be the 47th Annual Winchester 400 Presented by Vores Welding and Steel on Sunday, October 14th on the famed High banks of Winchester Speedway. Additional information on the ARCA/CRA Super Series can be found at www.cra-racing.com.