Eckes Earns Top-10 at Martinsville Speedway
Martinsville, VA (October 27, 2018) - Making his first NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start at Martinsville Speedway and just his third overall start in NASCAR's third division, Christian Eckes kept the nose of his No. 46 Craftsman Tundra clean for 200 laps and clocked out of the Virginia track with a respectable ninth-place finish.
"Our goal today was to be a little bit better to be honest with you,” said Eckes. I've had a lot of momentum with other series and we ran really well at Gateway as well. It's a solid result, but I felt like we should have been a little better today. We'll move on to Phoenix now and really looking forward to that."
After Friday's practice sessions were washed out, Eckes took to the 0.526-mile oval for the first time in a truck for the opening round of knockout qualifying Saturday morning. The talented teenager was 21st at the end of Round 1, but after getting a feel for the challenging track was able to advance to the final round of qualifying and earned the 12th starting position for the 200-lap race.
Stage 1 Recap: Eckes had improved one position, to 11th, when the first caution of the race occurred on lap 36. Crew chief Cody Glick summoned his young driver to pit road for four fresh tires and a full tank of fuel. The Craftsman Tundra would restart 19th when the field went back green with seven laps remaining in Stage One and remain there when it ended.
Stage 2 Recap: Six trucks would hit pit road between stages, moving Eckes up to the 13th position when Stage Two went green on lap 60. He lost one position on the restart and was scored in the 14th spot when the field was slowed for a caution on lap 62. This time Eckes would gain a spot on the lap-67 restart and halfway through the stage advanced up to the 12th spot, where he remained when it ended on lap 100.
Final Stage Recap: When pit road opened, Eckes brought the Craftsman Tundra to pit road for a four-tire and fuel stop. He returned to the track scored in the 15th position when the Final stage went green on lap 111. He fell back to the 16th spot on the restart, but was able to gain two positions back shortly after that. He was scored 14th when the field was slowed for the fifth time on lap 153. With two trucks in front of him hitting pit road, he moved up to 12th for the restart on lap 159. Eckes had trouble getting going on the restart and fell back to the 14th spot with 25 laps remaining, but began posting some of the fastest lap times of any truck on the track in the closing laps and maneuvered forward to the ninth position by the time the field crossed the stripe.
Eckes will be back behind the wheel of the No. 46 Mobil 1 Tundra at ISM Raceway in Avondale, Ariz. on Nov. 9. Live coverage of the Lucas Oil 150 begins Friday at 8:30 p.m. on FS1.