Tyler Ankrum has competed in some of Late Model racing’s biggest events and soon will be able to add a start in another marquee event, the U.S. Short Track Nationals at Bristol Motor Speedway (TN), to an already impressive resume.
At 17 years old, Ankrum has already made quite a name for himself in Late Model racing, with results including a fourth-place finish in the 2015 Hampton Heat at Langley Speedway (VA), a fifth-place finish in the 2015 Denny Hamlin Short Track Showdown at South Boston Speedway (VA), a fifth-place finish at the 2015 Florida Governor’s Cup at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) and, most recently, a ninth-place finish at the SRL Winter Showdown held at Kern County Raceway Park (CA).
Named to the “Best of The Rest” in Speed51.com’s Short Track Draft presented by PFC Brakes in both 2016 and 2017, Ankrum comes into Bristol, like many other drivers, excited to see what “The Last Great Colosseum” will offer.
“I have to pinch myself, honestly, I never thought I would be racing at such an iconic race track like Bristol at such a young age and especially in a Super Late Model,” Ankrum told Speed51.com powered by JEGS. “I’m glad that the CARS Tour, Southern Super Series and JEGS/CRA Super Series all got together to make this happen.”
While Ankrum, a native of San Bernardino, California, has never competed on the high banks of Bristol, he has raced at the on the high banks of Winchester when he ran with the ARCA/CRA Super Series in 2016, finishing sixth after starting tenth.
“Last year I took my first stab at Winchester Speedway. I would say that it is comparable in speed. Outside of that, nothing compares to Bristol; it’s unique unto its own.”
When Ankrum takes the track at Bristol, he will make memories for fans that will last forever, but he already has a memory from Bristol.
“I remember when Dale Jr. swept at Bristol, he was the first one to do it. I’m always impressed when someone presses the envelope and accomplishes something that has never been done,” Ankrum explained.
In the first test, Ankrum ran the fourth quickest lap, turning a time of 14.906 seconds. Ankrum says he will be at the second and final practice on Saturday, May 13 hoping to gain a little more speed prior to the big weekend.
Race fans that cannot make it to this marquee event can watch Ankrum and more than 500 other drivers take on the “Last Great Colosseum” via a live pay-per-view broadcast on Speed51.com.
Fans can purchase the two-day pay-per-view package for an early-bird special rate of $44.99 now through May 19 by clicking here.
-By Reese Nobles, Speed51.com Mid-Atlantic Correspondent – Twitter: @RNoblesSpeed51