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Truck Series star 'pissed off' after proving Chase Elliott's former spotter wrong at Martinsville

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Two teams dominated much of the Craftsman Truck Series racing tonight. McAnally-Hilgemann Racing and Thorsport Racing fought a tough battle until the former prevailed in the end. Christian Eckes stole the thunder from Ty Majeski. Another MHR star gave the team the decisive advantage in the race: Tyler Ankrum.

The #19 driver has done well this season, scoring two top-five finishes in Las Vegas and Bristol. Ankrum appeared to be able to build on his momentum from Thunder Valley at the second short track track of the season in Martinsville. However, he couldn't do better and was visibly upset when interviewed after the race.

Tyler Ankrum settles a score amid static performance

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A little over a month ago, MHR driver Tyler Ankrum found his luck growing. With P7 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, he secured the first top ten result of his season. However, he had to fight for this good result as restarts slowed his momentum. Ankrum was frustrated and Eddie D'Hondt and Chase Elliott had condescendingly said that the 22-year-old still had a long way to go.

Now Ankrum can rub it in his face because his team performed exceptionally well in the restarts in Martinsville. In a post-race interview, Tyler Ankrum looked particularly sombre as he described his experience with the restarts. “I mean, it's always difficult, but we were so lucky tonight on the restart. I had great restarts throughout the night. Eddie D'Hondt, he was phenomenal in helping me with the reboot juice. All I can say is that I proved him wrong just once tonight with the juice. But we have to do it again to keep it fun.”

Still, Tyler Ankrum was happy with his progress overall. “I mean, overall we're doing exactly what we set out to do. At the beginning of the year our goals were not as high as they are now. If we compete in the first six races and are so fast that we are in 2nd or 3rd place in points, that will be a great starting position.”

He also praised his ride for the exemplary speed at which he flew around the field. “We had a great truck. It’s a lot of fun coming to Martinsville when you have fast trucks.” Ankrum further added: “So if we come out of Martinsville with a truck that’s in one piece and has a good point record, we go to Texas, stack them back up and beat them down.” Tyler Ankrum returned this year for his fourth full-time season in the Truck Series under MHR, and his team owner had confidence in his talents.

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McAnally relied on Ankrum's speed in 2024

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With three top-five finishes already, Tyler Ankrum is on the road to success this season. Before joining MHR, Ankrum worked for Hattori Enterprises for the past two years. Last year he achieved six top ten finishes, with a best finish of fourth at the Circuit of the Americas. He's obviously done his homework as he's now slowly climbing up the rankings. Ankrum's current team owner believed in his potential and signed him for 2024.

“We are excited to have Tyler on the team as we continue to grow in 2024.” said team owner Bill McAnally. “Tyler has shown he can get the job done at this level and we want to get him back to the playoffs and be a strong contender this year. Surrounding him with Mark and last season’s #35 team will be a great fit for Tyler and we are excited for him to join our expanding program.”

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With the support of a good team, Tyler Ankrum could soon claim a truck victory.

The Truck Series star makes no apologies after jeopardizing the 'pinch' effort against Ty Majeski in Bristol