Off and Running … Christian Eckes is off and running to the best start of his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) career after two of 23 events. The driver of the No. 19 NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet Silverado RST holds the third position in the championship standings, a mere four markers out of the top spot. He has finishes of third and sixth under his belt at Daytona International Speedway and Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS), respectively, and has already asserted himself as a weekly threat. Eckes’ average running position of 6.24 is the best in the series, and he’s second in average finish (4.5), driver rating (112.6), and pass differential (+29). Eckes looks to improve those figures with the first victory for the NAPA Auto Care team in his third appearance at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) on Saturday.
Wide Open Game … Eckes and the NCTS competitors will square off at a 1.5-mile track for the second straight race, but AMS’ recent configuration makes it one of the most unique venues on the schedule. While an ample drafting and pack-racing craft will inevitably be crucial to success at AMS, Eckes added to his recent success on 1.5-mile tracks at LVMS with a sixth-place result. Since last May at Kansas Speedway, Eckes has constructed a string of six consecutive top-10 finishes at 1.5-mile tracks, which include five finishes of seventh or better. He’s also become one of the best drafters in the series with three-straight podium finishes on superspeedways.
Atlanta Stats … Saturday’s 208-mile event marks Eckes’ third appearance at AMS, and his second on the newly constructed hybrid superspeedway reconfiguration. The New York native has led laps in both of his AMS starts and finished third in 2020.
Crew Chief / Chassis Selection … Crew chief Charles Denike and the NAPA Auto Care squad have prepared chassis No. 328 for it’s first appearance of the 2023 season. This Chevrolet Silverado RST most recently raced at Kansas Speedway last September with Derek Kraus behind the wheel.
Tune In … Coverage from AMS begins Friday afternoon on FOX Sports 1 with pole qualifying at 3:00 p.m. ET. FS1’s coverage on Saturday begins at 1:00 p.m. ET with NASCAR Raceday followed by the green flag at 2:00 p.m. ET. Stay connected with the No. 19 NAPA Auto Care team by following @BMR_NASCAR on Twitter, @bmrnascar on Instagram, and Bill McAnally Racing on Facebook.
Christian Eckes Quote:
On continuing the No. 19 team’s momentum at Atlanta
“It’s hard to know exactly what to expect at Atlanta with having only one race under our belt there on the new repave and no practice this weekend. I know Charles (Denike) and everybody at MHR put a lot of effort into our NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet for this weekend, so we’ll have to feel it out when they drop the green on Saturday. We’ve had really good driving Chevrolets in both races this year, and we’ll need to continue that on Saturday to be able to maneuver in the draft this weekend. We’ve been doing a good job at getting stage points in both races, so we’ll try to keep that up and put ourselves in position for our first win at the end of the day.”
McAnally Hilgemann Racing PR