Charlotte, N.C. (October 2, 2016) – Tyler Ankrum and the No. 58 iOn Camera, K&N Filters, Performancecenter LTO team made their first start in a 400-lap event at the 32nd annual All American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, TN, finishing strong in the 6th position. The All American 400 was the single biggest and most historic event that the No. 58 team competed in so far during the 2016 racing season, as 32 of the best short track drivers in the country all competed for the prestigious guitar given to the winner each year.
Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, TN is the second oldest continuously operated track in the United States (second to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway), and has seen NASCAR Sprint Cup, Xfinity and Camping World Truck Series competition throughout its storied existence. The list of previous winners at Fairgrounds Speedway reads like a who’s who in NASCAR history and includes names like Richard Petty, David Pearson, Bobby Isaac, Bobby Allison, Cale Yarborough, Buddy Baker, Darrell Waltrip, Benny Parsons and Dale Earnhardt.
As the green flag flew on the 2016 running of the All American 400, 15 year old rookie driver immediately started to come up through the field from his 22nd place starting position. The track and event are historic but so is the pavement at Fairgrounds Speedway and tire conservation is a must if you want to finish all 400 laps, but luckily for Ankrum, his crew chief Roger Johnson and driver coach Clay Rogers had experience in the event and was able to guide the youngster through the star-studded field. Early in the event, right after the 100 lap mark Ankrum went one lap down to the leaders as a result of poor track position and the cars handling after Ankrum used up his four Hoosier tires passing cars. Although down early, crew chief Roger Johnson had a plan to get that track position back through tire and pit strategy. By the halfway mark in the 400-lap event, Ankrum had raced his way back onto the lead lap by earning the lucky dog and was knocking on the door of the top 10. With only 100 laps remaining, the No. 58 had made its way into the top 10 but a spin with no damage after old tires got the best of the rookie driver setup a late race charge for Ankrum. The No. 58 iOn Camera, K&N Filters, Performancecenter LTO team overcame adversity in the biggest event of the racing season to date and finished strong in the 6th position.
“The No. 58 iOn Camera, K&N Filters, Performancecenter LTO team really did a great job this entire weekend at our first All American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, TN. This was a really big test for our small and young race team, it was our first 400 lap competition which is a big stretch when you take in consideration we normally only race 100 lap events. Everything from practice all the way up to the race was all about being able to make good lap time but also conserving tires, which puts a lot of emphasis on the car setup and track position. We battled to get and then keep track position all day, we lost a lap to the leaders early and spun late in the race so we weren’t able to keep the track position that we needed to really compete for the win which was really our only issue of the day. I cant thank the guys who work on this car day in and day out enough, we overcame a lot of events during the course of 400 laps but they never gave up and my crew chief Roger Johnson and Clay Rogers kept working with me to get better, even throughout the race. We are definitely gaining momentum here at the later stages of the season which is what we want, our biggest races of the season are coming up and I think we as a team are figuring out these race cars and new tracks. I’m excited to see how we perform and what’s around the corner for our team, performance like this give us all a lot of confidence which is translating into good finishes.”