MOORESVILLE, N.C. – Newly crowned NASCAR K&N Pro Series East champion Tyler Ankrum will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut for DGR-Crosley in the Texas Roadhouse 200 at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway.
Ankrum will pilot the No. 54 May’s Hawaii Toyota Tundra on Oct. 27.
The San Bernadino, Calif., native will be making his Truck Series debut just three weeks after being crowned the K&N East champion. In his rookie season, the 17-year-old scored four wins, nine top-five’s and finished outside of the top-10 in only two races. Ankrum and his No. 17 Modern Meat Co. team led nearly 300 laps during the 2018 season and had an average finish of 4.8.
Ankrum will have a team of familiar faces with him as he takes on the .526-mile track of Martinsville. His crew chief, Seth Smith, and many other members of his K&N East Championship team will work on Ankrum’s No. 54 truck next weekend.
“Making my Truck Series debut at Martinsville is huge. So many big names in the sport have made their national series debut at Martinsville,” said Ankrum. “I’ve been dreaming of this day for so long now, I can’t believe it’s actually happening. It’s going to be really cool having Seth [Smith] and my K&N guys there with me.”
Ankrum has one previous start at the paperclip shaped track which occurred in 2014 when he raced a Late Model Stock Car in the MDCU 300.
“Martinsville is an aggressive track, I’ve raced there one other time in a late model. I think that little bit of experience will be an advantage and help with the transition. I’ve already been racing on the simulator and practicing live pit stops with the 54 pit crew because this will actually be the first live pit stop for me. There’s a little bit of pressure, but I’m ready for it. I know the DGR-Crosley guys are going to bring me a fast truck, and hopefully we’ll be able to get them a solid finish.”
Aside from having his K&N East team coaching him along, Ankrum will also have veteran Cup Series driver and team co-owner David Gilliland at Martinsville to lean on for advice.
“We are extremely excited to have Tyler in the truck at Martinsville,” said Gilliland. “He’s been such an important part of our team this year, and it’s been awesome to watch him progress and learn each race in the K&N Series. He’s proven that he’s ready for the next step and I’m glad that everyone at DGR-Crosley is going to be a part of his Truck Series debut.”