Tyler Ankrum captured his first career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series win in Thursday night’s Buckle Up in Your Truck 225 at Kentucky Speedway.
Ankrum inherited the lead when Brett Moffitt ran out of fuel two laps from the finish and went on to take the checkered flag.
“Honestly, I don’t think I was listening, I was just driving my rear end off,” Ankrum said of radio communication in the closing laps of the race. “Holy cow, I think I held my breath the last three laps. That was awesome.
“I cannot believe I just did this. Man, it’s going to take a lot of work. Honestly, one of my biggest faults is I’ve always doubted myself. I kind of feel like all that has washed away. I can’t thank David Gilliland and DGR-Crosley enough. I just don’t know what else to say.”
It was the 18-year-old Ankrum’s 12th career series start. He is the first driver born in the 2000’s to win a NASCAR National Touring Series Race. He led 40 laps.
Ankrum did not compete in the first three races of the season because he did not turn 18 until March 6. He is now eligible for the playoffs with the victory since NASCAR granted a waiver for missing the races because of the age restriction.
Stewart Friesen, Harrison Burton, Ross Chastain and Dylan Lupton rounded out the top five.
Friesen finished second in his back-up truck after his primary entry was confiscated by NASCAR earlier in the day’s morning inspection for a firewall issue.
Austin Wayne Self, Moffitt, Spencer Davis, Jeb Burton and Matt Johnny Sauter completed the first 10 finishers.
Series points leader Grant Enfinger made an early exit when he was involved in an accident with Brandon Jones as the duo battled for the lead on lap 65.
Sheldon Creed and Matt Crafton won the first two stages.
The Gander Outdoors Truck Series returns to action July 27th at Pocono Raceway.