THOMPSON, Conn. – After being sent to the rear for failing to pass post qualifying inspection, there was nothing that was going to stop Tyler Ankrum from charging through the field to win the King Cadillac GMC Throwback 100 on Saturday.
It was an eventful day for the series points leader to say the least. After setting the pace in practice and breaking the track record in qualifying, Ankrum was forced to start the 100-lap event from the rear. After nearly 70 straight green flag laps, the field was brought back together for the only restart of the night on Lap 73 after Ruben Garcia Jr. spun in Turn 3.
Ankrum capitalized and on Lap 94 he made the winning pass around Dillon Bassett en route to his second win of 2018.
“It was a pretty hectic 100 laps” said Ankrum. “I was in qualifying mode from start to finish. Awesome racecar, awesome night with the DGR Crosley Modern Meat Toyota.”
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The excitement came with the restart at Lap 73. Spencer Davis, who started from the pole, led the first 75 laps and appeared to be well on his way to victory, began to fade. Bassett was able to get around Davis for the lead at Lap 75 and started to pull away.
“At about halfway I figured it was going to go all green” said Davis. “With that caution our tires just cooled down so much and made us so tight in the center and I think we just blew through the right-front which you’re going to get that when you go that hard so early.”
The battle for the lead intensified at Lap 90 as Ankrum reached the back bumper of Bassett. The two would race door-to-door for the next four laps before Ankrum was finally able make the high side stick around Bassett.
A win would have been the first since 2015 for Bassett.
“The 17 (Ankrum) was really strong” said Bassett. “I just did everything I could, I pinched him off a little bit to just try to slow up his momentum but he was too strong for me to hold off.”
“Second place finish ain’t all that bad.”
Tyler Dippel finished third after an eventful weekend. Extensive repairs after Friday’s test session put the team behind the eight ball, however, a steady 100 laps allowed Dippel to claim a podium finish.
“We wrecked this car in practice and all of the DGR guys had to cut the back of the car off and fix the rear clip” said Dippel. “Third is never a bad deal but I think we could been better.”
Davis wound up fourth, while Chase Cabre rounded out the top five.
Alfredo, Brandon McReynolds, Chase Dowling, Garcia Jr., and Ryan Vargas complete the top 10.
The second win for Ankrum in 2018 allows him to extend his points lead to 22 over his teammate, Dippel.
The K&N Pro Series East will be back in action next week at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Ankrum is excited to carry the momentum with him.
“We had so much fun tonight. I just can’t wait to get to the next one.”
The King Cadillac GMC Throwback 100 from Thompson will air on July 24 at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN.