Eckes’ Top-Five Run at Kansas Ends Early

McAnally Hilgemann Racing Photo

Christian Eckes captured his first pole award of the season on Saturday at Kansas Speedway, but his strong run ended early after being involved in a multi-truck accident on lap 79. The driver of the No. 19 Instacoat Premium Products (IPP) Chevrolet Silverado RST is sixth in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series drivers’ championship standings after eight events. 

Eckes’ raceday began in impressive fashion by posting the fastest lap in Saturday morning’s practice session, two tenths quicker than the field, and followed that up with a blistering lap of 30.93 seconds and the only truck in the 30-second bracket. He jumped out to the lead at the drop of the green flag and led the first six laps of the event before a loose handling condition developed. The New York native held on to the sixth position until the first caution flew on lap 20. Eckes stayed on track to race for stage points at lap 30 but was scored 14th when the first stage came to a close.

Crew chief Charles Denike and the IPP team serviced Eckes with four tires, fuel, and a track bar adjustment to improve his loose balance under the stage caution. The adjustments proved to be beneficial as Eckes rocketed to 11th from 23rd in just five laps. A caution on lap 49 allowed Denike and company to reverse the strategy and gained track position by staying on track and inherited the seventh position. Eckes would earn five points in sixth position at the end of Stage 2 on lap 60. 

After pitting under the stage caution for four tires and fuel, Eckes restarted 15th and briskly advanced into the top five. However, on the lap 79 restart, Eckes was blocked down the frontstretch which triggered a multi-truck pileup causing terminal damage to the IPP Chevrolet. As a result, he was relegated to a 30th-place finish. 

Christian Eckes Quote:

“I think the (No. 25 truck) threw a little bit of a late block, got loose, and I think I tagged him in the right rear quarter panel trying to avoid him. That’s a bummer for sure. I didn’t have any brakes either at the end and got hit. It is what it is. We’re just going to move on here. It’s all we can do. A 30th-place finish isn’t what we needed, but we’ll move on. It was great to have everyone from Instacoat Premium Products on board tonight, and hopefully we can get a good finish for them later on this year at Nashville.”

McAnally Hilgemann Racing PR

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