Wednesday June 26th, 2019 12:00AM

Ankrum takes K&N Pro Series title, Garcia, Jr. wins Dover

By Jaxson
  Contact Editor

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.”

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 Darrell Wallace, Jr. (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.

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, December 7.

NASCAR K&N Pro Series East
Dover International Speedway – Dover, DE
Crosley Brands 125 – October 6, 2018

1. Ruben Garcia, Jr.
2. Brandon McReynolds
3. Derek Kraus
4. Sam Mayer
5. Harrison Burton
6. Anthony Alfredo
7. Ryan Vargas
8. Chase Cabre
9. Ronnie Bassett, Jr.
10. Dillon Bassett
11. Tyler Ankrum
12. Devin Dodson
13. Tristan Van Wieringen
14. Todd Gilliland
15. Spencer Davis
16. Juan Manuel Gonzalez
17. Colin Garrett

  • Associated Categories: NASCAR News, Other Motorsports
  • Associated Tags: nascar, motorsports, Auto Racing, Stock Car, Short Track, Asphalt, K&N Pro East Series
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