Tyler Ankrum resigns with Hattori Racing for 2023, continued sponsorship from LiUNA!, but what will get Ankrum and Hattori back to victory lane?
Tyler Ankrum and Hattori Racing will contest the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series season with long-time sponsor Laborer’s International Union of North America (LiUNA). LiUNA has signed on for 21 races in 2023, with more sponsors to be announced. This will be Ankrum’s second season with the team, driving the number #16 Toyota Tundra. Ankrum, while at Hattori has scored three top-five finishes and thirteen top-tens.
— Tyler Ankrum (@TylerAnkrum) January 13, 2023
Hattori and Ankrum’s winning history
Ankrum’s results at Hattori have been lackluster, with the last driver of the #16 truck, Austin Hill, scoring two wins and eight top-five finishes. Ankrum is fully capable of winning races. He scored his first win at Kentucky and qualified for the playoffs in his first full-time season. Ankrum beat Brett Moffitt in a fuel mileage battle, passing the veteran driver on the second to last lap at Kentucky Speedway in 2019. Tyler would finish that season eighth in the championship, a solid finish for a first year of Truck racing.
How can Ankrum bring back the fire he had in his first Truck seasons? Stay with Hattori for a while. Ankrum jumped from DGR Crosley to GMS Racing at the end of the 2019 season. Hattori seems to be invested in Ankrum and his sponsors, with more sponsorship announcements to come. Hattori Racing Enterprises is also making a crew chief change, from Scott Zipadelli to Doug Randolph. Randolph’s crew chief resume reads like a Hall of Fame ballot, Bobby Labonte, Joey Logano, Ryan Blaney, and Tyler Reddick just to name a few. A veteran atop the pit box and now with a season under his belt at Hattori, Ankrum has the tools to return to his winning ways.
Hattori and Ankrum are race winners who need to rediscover their winning ways. The crew chief swap will be a big help, but ultimately this relies on Tyler Ankrum. He can be a race winner in 2023, and equal or better the playoff bid from his 2019 rookie season.