LOUDON, N.H. – Tyler Ankrum returned to a place that he has become awfully familiar with in 2018: Victory Lane.
After snagging the lead on the opening lap Ankrum would never look back en route to winning the United Site Services 70 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.
The win marks the third of the season for Ankrum, who extended his championship point lead in the process.
The race went 70 laps green from start to finish with the only change for the top spot coming on Lap 1 when Ankrum was able to power by the pole sitter, Derek Kraus. From there Ankrum was forced to fend off Harrison Burton, but was able to pull away late in the race.
“I pretty much figured we could go hard from start to finish,” said Ankrum. “We just tried to grab the lead straight from the bat and that’s what we did.”
“We’ve brought something on and I really feel like it’s the guys that I am working around.”
RACING-REFERENCE: Tyler Ankrum
Not only is the win his third of 2018, but it is the second in a row for the native of San Bernadino, California. Ankrum won last week at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in Connecticut. He also won at Virginia’s South Boston Speedway in early May.
He extends his points lead and captures his third #KNEast victory of the season.
– NASCAR Home Tracks (@NASCARHomeTrack) July 22, 2018
Saturday, defending series champion Burton returned to action with the K&N Pro Series for the third time in 2018. He was able to apply pressure on Ankrum during the mid-stages of the race, however, he dropped off the bumper of the No.17 Modern Meat Company Toyota as the laps began to wind down.
“It’s probably one of the toughest series in the nation right now,” Burton said of the competition in the K&N Pro East. “We were really tight as it was and then we started getting worse as we got closer to him. I felt like we had a good car, just not the track position that we needed.”
“We had a good day, not a great day, but a good day.”
NASCAR Next driver, Anthony Alfredo, completed the podium with a third-place finish. He felt that he may have had something for the leaders had there been a late race caution. Unfortunately for Alfredo, that would never come.
“I’m definitely happy with what we gained in the racecar this weekend and how we performed,” Alfredo said. “A caution would have been really great for us.”
Ankrum’s teammate, Tyler Dippel, finished fourth. He maintains his position in the standings, however, for the fourth consecutive race he lost ground on Ankrum. Kraus, who set the track record in qualifying Friday, finished fifth.
After nine of 14 races, Ankrum leads Dippel by 30 points and Ronnie Bassett Jr. by 61.
Brandon McReynolds, Spencer Davis, Chase Cabre, Tristan Van Wieringen and Cole Rouse rounded out the top 10.
The United Site Services 70 will air on NBCSN on Wednesday, July 25 at 6 p.m.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series East is right back in action next Friday, July 27, with the annual combination race with the West at Iowa Speedway for the Casey’s General Store 150.