Race Weekend Central

Tyler Ankrum Spins-and-Wins in Mid-Ohio ARCA Race

After beginning the second half of the race in the turn 1 gravel pit, Tyler Ankrum made an impressive run through the field to win the Zinsser SmartCoat 150 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Friday evening (July 7).

The win marks Ankrum’s first in the national division of the ARCA Menards Series, though he did score four wins in the ARCA East series in 2018. 

“I can’t thank these [Hattori Racing Enterprises] guys enough,” Ankrum told FS1 after the race. “They brought an awesome car. I don’t think if my car was as good as it was, I’d been able to drive through the field like that.” 

William Sawalich was able to bring home a second-place finish, marking the third straight ARCA national division race in which he’s finished inside the top two.

“We made some really good laps there in the last ten or so laps,” Sawalich told FS1.

Jack Wood scored a career best ARCA finish of third while ARCA points leader Jesse Love brought his No. 20 home fourth after fighting mechanical issues throughout the event. Dale Quarterley spent almost the entirety of the race inside of the top 10 and his No. 4 car home for his first ARCA top five in fifth.

Frankie Muniz, Todd Souza, Conner Jones, Zach Herrin, and Dean Thompson rounded out the top 10, finishing sixth through 10th, respectively. Thompson was running second on the final lap until he was put in the gravel pit by teammate Sean Hingorani as retaliation for an earlier incident.

Hingorani took a quick lead on the initial start of the event, holding a lead of over a second by lap three. Thompson, who is pulling double duty in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race on Saturday (July 8), had a brief mechanical issue that caused the No. 55 car to lose many spots, but he was able to get the car refired to continue.

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Thompson was not the only Venturini Motorsports driver to have early issues, as points leader Love, who had to start in the rear after failing to set a time in qualifying, made contact with Muniz while battling for 7th, nearly spinning the driver of the Rette-Jones Racing No. 30 out. 

Out front, Hingorani and Ankrum put an early gap of nine seconds on the remainder of the field, including Love, who made the early charge to fourth. However, a lap seven caution for a stalled vehicle reset that lead, grouping the field back up for the first time in the race. 

The lap nine restart brought about a change in the front of the field, as Ankrum got around Hingorani into the first hairpin of the 2.258-mile road course. Hingorani was able to keep Ankrum in his sights however, as the two remained nose to tail, again gapping the remainder of the field, until the next caution came out on lap 16 for another stalled car.

On the lap 18 restart, the duo of Hingorani and Ankrum battled side by side for nearly an entire lap, before Ankrum was able to edge ahead of the 16-year-old in the final turns of the course. The battles within the top five didn’t stop there, as Quarterley, Sawalich, and Andres Perez de Lara had a three-wide battle for fourth that sent Quarterley into the grass off of the No. 2’s front bumper. A few laps later, Ankrum led the field into the lap 21 halfway break caution.

When the race restarted with 18 laps to go, Ankrum overshot turn one with possible help from Love and found himself in 12th by the time the dust settled. That sent Love to the point for the first time in the race, with Hingorani close in tow. 

During the latter half of the race, many different cars experienced issues. Hingorani missed turn one while running second, and both Love and Andres Perez de Lara lost momentum while running the straightaway between turns 3 and 4. Love was able to maintain the lead for the time being, but Perez de Lara, who was running second at the time, was not able to recover, finishing the race multiple laps down.  

The gremlins continue for Love a few laps later, as the No. 20 slowed in the same spot, allowing Thompson by to the lead, as well as Hingorani, which put Love back to third. The two battled for a handful of laps, before making contact in turn 13, coming to seven laps to go. Hingorani attempted a bump and run on Thompson, but Thompson shoved the No. 15 off the track, spinning him right at the start-finish line. 

Hingorani eventually got the car refired, but he made contact with the lapped car of Bob Schacht a few turns later. 

With five laps to go, Ankrum finished off his impressive climb through the field, passing Thompson for the lead through turns 1 and 2. 

While Ankrum sailed to victory on the white flag, Hingorani intentionally made contact with Thompson, putting both VMS cars into the sand trap. Thompson was running second prior to the incident, and Hingorani had just been put a lap down by Ankrum. Hingorani waited for Thompson to attempt to lap him and ran him off the track at the first opportunity.

ARCA Results at Mid-Ohio

The ARCA Menards Series will be back next Saturday, July 15, as the national division tackles the Iowa Speedway for the Calypso 150 in combination with the East Series. FS2 will have the television coverage, while a stream will be available at FLORacing.com. The green flag will fly at 8 p.m. ET.

About the author

Josh joined Frontstretch in 2023 and currently covers the ARCA Menards Series. Born and raised in Missouri, Josh has been watching motorsports since 2005. He currently is studying for a Mass Communication degree at Lindenwood University

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