Tyler Ankrum will move to the Gander Outdoors Truck Series in 2019 to compete for Rookie of the Year honors with DGR-Crosley, the driver and team announced on Twitter.
In 2018, Ankrum won the K&N East Championship with DGR-Crosley through four wins, nine top fives and 12 top 10s in 14 starts. Ankrum won three consecutive races at Thompson (CT) Speedway, New Hampshire Motor Speedway and Iowa Speedway during the summer. His other victory came in May at South Boston (VA) Speedway.
Ankrum made two starts in the Truck series last year – scoring a top 10 in one of those races. He finished sixth at ISM Raceway.
“Taking the next step of my racing career is mind blowing,” Ankrum said in a tweet. “And I’m lucky enough to do it again with DGR-Crosley and Toyota Racing in 2019.”
Last year’s K&N Championship came in his rookie campaign in that series.
DGR-Crosley announced 19-year-old Anthony Alfredo will compete with the team part-time in 2019 in the Gander Outdoors Truck series. Alfredo is part of the NASCAR Next program.
Last year, Alfredo won a 100-lap K&N Pro Series East series race at South Boston after taking the lead from Chase Cabre on the last lap. Alfredo had three more top fives and nine total top 10s in 14 starts.
In 2017, he won twice in the CARS Late Model series at Hickory Speedway driving for Dale Earnhardt Jr.
“Going to DGR-Crosley next season is a huge opportunity for me,” said Alfredo in a press release. “To be able to work with David (Gilliland), who’s not only the owner but also someone who has a lot of racing experience, is going to be very beneficial. They have a great group of hardworking, knowledgeable people in their shop which is going to make the transition to Trucks a lot smoother for me. They’ve had a lot of success at every level they’ve competed in, and it’s a dream come true to be able to race for them at the national level.
“Making it to the Cup Series is the end goal, and I feel like I’m one step closer to where I want to be. I can’t thank everyone who has made this possible and supported me throughout my career enough, especially my family and sponsors who continually believe in me.”
DGR-Crosley says Alfredo is expected to make his Truck Series debut at Atlanta Motor Speedway. A full schedule will be released at a later date.
“I’m excited to have Anthony on board next season,” said Gilliland in the press release. “I watched him all year in the K&N Series and he did a great job. He’s a talented racer and has shown that he has the drive to keep getting better. He’s a great fit for our program at DGR-Crosley and going to do a very good job for us next season in the Truck Series.”
Natalie Decker will seek to make her NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series debut in February with DGR-Crosley, the team announced Friday.
The team co-owned by former Cup driver David Gilliland signed the 21-year-old Decker for its driver development program. She will run a select number of Truck races and a combination of K&N Pro Series and ARCA races.
She has competed in ARCA the past two seasons. Decker finished seventh in the points in ARCA last year, scoring two top-five and nine top-10 finishes. She became the fourth woman to win a pole at Daytona International Speedway.
“I’m really excited to be making the step up to trucks, especially with DGR-Crosley,” Decker said in a statement from the team. “Making the transition to trucks is going to help me progress my career and build my skillset. I think it’s very important that I’ll have the same team around me whichever series I’m running and having David (Gilliland) there to help coach me and give me advice.”
Said Gilliland: “I’m excited to be adding Natalie to our 2019 driver roster at DGR-Crosley. We have really competitive cars and a lot of talented drivers lined up for next year, so I’m excited to see what we can do together.
Decker’s full schedule for 2019 will be released at a later date.
Tyler Ankrum, who won the NASCAR K&N East Pro Series title on Oct. 6, will make his Camping World Truck Series debut next weekend at Martinsville Speedway.
Ankrum, 17, will drive for DGR-Crosley’s No. 54 truck. Ankrum drove for the team co-owned by David Gilliland in the K&N East series.
Driving the No. 17, Ankrum earned four wins and nine top fives and led the standings for the final 12 races of the season.
The native of San Bernadino, California, had an average finish of 4.8.
Next Saturday’s race will be Ankrum’s second at Martinsville. He competed in a Late Model Stock Car race there in 2014.
“Making my Truck Series debut at Martinsville is huge. So many big names in the sport have made their national series debut at Martinsville,” Ankrum said in a press release. “I’ve been dreaming of this day for so long now, I can’t believe it’s actually happening. It’s going to be really cool having (crew chief) Seth (Smith) and my K&N guys there with me.”