Tyler Ankrum Celebrates First Career NASCAR K&N Pro Series East Championship at Dover

by October 7, 2018 0 comments

DOVER, Del. – After a Sunoco Rookie of the Year campaign filled with checkered flags, Tyler Ankrum can call himself a champion.

The 17-year-old was officially crowned with the 2018 NASCAR K&N Pro Series East title following the Crosley 125 at Dover International Speedway on Saturday morning.

The San Bernardino, California, driver posted four wins, nine top fives and finished inside the top 10 in all but two races. After clinching the title in the previous race at New Hampshire Motor Speedway, Ankrum finished 11th at Dover to end with an 84-point margin over runner-up Tyler Dippel.

NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series points leader Ruben Garcia Jr. earned his second K&N Pro East victory of the season in the Crosley 125.

To go along with Ankrum’s success, DGR-Crosley captured the championship in their first full season of K&N Pro Series action.

“Every single season you come with high expectations for yourself,” said Ankrum, who had an average finish of 4.8. “Sometimes they don’t come out the way you want, but everything that we dreamt of this year has exceeded more than our expectations. I’m ecstatic.”

RACING-REFERENCE: Crosley 125 Results | Final Standings

Garcia Jr took the lead after a battle with Todd Gilliland ended with Gilliland making hard contact with the front-stretch wall. Form there, Garcia set sail around the Monster Mile, becoming the third Rev Racing driver to win at Dover — joining Bubba Wallace (2011) and Collin Cabre (2015).

Garcia became the seventh driver under the NASCAR Drive For Diversity banner to win a NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race earlier this year when he went to Victory Lane in Memphis. Rev Racing, which has fielded the competition team for the program since 2010, has 19 victories.

Garcia joined NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series driver, Daniel Suarez, as the second Mexican-born driver to win multiple NASCAR K&N Pro Series East races. Ruben Pardo (2006) and Rogelio Lopez (2007) both have one win with the series, respectively.

The win vaulted Garcia into a third place finish in the championship standings. He edged Ronnie Bassett Jr by two points while falling short of Tyler Dippel by one point for second. Dippel did not compete in the Crosley 125 after parting ways with DGR-Crosley last week.

New Hampshire winner Brandon McReynolds challenged Garcia for several laps before settling for second.

Derek Kraus rallied for a third-place finish. Kraus sits fourth in the K&N Pro West championship battle, just seven points from second-place with two races remaining.

The top five was rounded out by 15-year-old Sam Mayer and defending series champion, Harrison Burton. Mayer was fasted in practice Friday and Burton won the pole later in the day, before weather pushed the race to Saturday.

Anthony Alfredo was sixth, followed by Ryan Vargas, Chase Cabre, Ronnie Bassett Jr and Dillon Bassett.

The Crosley 125 will air on NBCSN on Thursday, Oct. 11 at 6 p.m. ET.

Ankrum and DGR-Crosley will be honored along with NASCAR K&N Pro Series East top finishers and special awards winners at the NASCAR Awards Charlotte on Friday, Dec. 7.

Source: NASCAR Integrated Marketing Communications

By: Jaxson Jacobs/HomeTracks.NASCAR.com

Photo Credit: Nigel Kinrade Photography

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