It was a knockdown, beat out, fender-banging duel at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and at the end of it all it was NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular Tyler Ankrum who took home the checkered flag in the ARCA Menards Series Zinsser SmartCoat 150.
Ankrum and the No. 61 team for Hattori Racing Enterprises didn’t simply cruise to the victory, the 22-year-old racer had to overcome a mid-race spin through the gravel trap, and a fall outside of the top 10 to pull off the stirring victory.
— ARCA Menards Series (@ARCA_Racing) July 7, 2023
“I was thinking to myself ‘I’m just gonna drive it to the 100, brake, downshift, and turn and it’ll stick. And it did the same exact thing as the first time, but I just couldn’t hang onto it this time,” Ankrum said about the spin in his post-race press conference.
While he knew he had a rocket ship under him in the race, Ankrum had no clue he’d be able to claw his way all the way back to the race lead with so few laps remaining in the race.
“Did I think that I had a really fast car? Yes. Did I think that I could make it back to the front? No,” Ankrum added. “At the moment I didn’t think I could do that. It wasn’t until…about a lap or two later I passed two cars and could still see the leaders off-turn two. I was thinking to myself ‘I’ve got the car to do this.'”
While he didn’t think it was possible, Ankrum hung in there and in the end he found a way to score the victory.
— Ben Branscum (@BrBranscum43) July 8, 2023
Rookie William Sawalich came home second, five seconds behind Ankrum. The was just Sawalich’s second road course start in the ARCA platform (the first was Portland International Raceway).
Jack Wood came home third in the No. 6 Rev Racing entry.
Jesse Love, the ARCA Menards Series point leader, had a similar day to Ankrum. Love was unable to turn a lap in qualifying due to an electrical issue, which relegated him to an 18th-place starting spot. His Venturini Motorsports team also had the same issue right before the start.
The No. 20 team for Venturini Motorsports was able to get Love’s car fired and running in time for the green flag. As the race unfolded, the Menlo Park, CA native worked his way through the field to come home fourth.
Dale Quarterley was able to come home in fifth.
Tempers were hot between VMS cars though as last-lap contact between Truck Series driver Dean Thompson and rookie Sean Hingorani put both cars in the gravel trap. They’d end up 10th for Thompson and 13th for Hingorani.
The contact from Hingorani on Thompson was retaliation for a heated battle for the lead between the two teammates with eight laps to go, which led to Hingorani skidding off the track and spinning through the grass.
ARCA Menards Series Zinsser SmartCoat 150 at Mid-Ohio Race Results
|1||2||61||Tyler Ankrum||Hattori Racing Enterprises|
|2||4||18||William Sawalich||Joe Gibbs Racing|
Starkey / SoundGear
|3||3||6||Jack Wood||Rev Racing|
|4||19||20||Jesse Love||Venturini Motorsports|
|5||8||4||Dale Quarterley||1/4-Ley Racing|
Van Dyk Recycling
|6||7||30||Frankie Muniz||Rette Jones Racing|
|7||10||13||Todd Souza||Central Coast Racing|
Central Coast Cabinets
|8||9||25||Conner Jones||Venturini Motorsports|
|9||11||11||Zach Herrin||Fast Track Racing|
|10||6||55||Dean Thompson||Venturini Motorsports|
Thompson Pipe Group
|11||12||32||Christian Rose||AM Racing|
West Virginia Department of Tourism
|12||13||66||Jon Garrett||Veer Motorsports|
Venture Foods Stores
|13||1||15||Sean Hingorani||Venturini Motorsports|
|14||16||75||Bob Schacht||Bob Schacht Racing|
|15||5||2||Andres Perez de Lara||Rev Racing|
Max Siegel Inc.
|16||14||10||Tim Monroe||Fast Track Racing|
Universal Technical Institute
|17||17||0||A.J. Moyer||Wayne Peterson Racing|
River's Edge Cottages
|18||20||03||Casey Carden||Clubb Racing, Inc.|
Bill's Speed Shop
|19||15||06||Tim Richmond||Wayne Peterson Racing|
Circle Track Wearhouse
|20||21||12||Zachary Tinkle||Fast Track Racing|
|21||18||48||Brad Smith||Brad Smith Racing|
Up next, the ARCA Menards Series heads to the cornfields of Iowa for the Calypso 150 in the ARCA East combination race. You can watch that event live on Saturday, July 15th at 8 PM ET on FS2.