Eckes Seeks Advancement to Round 2 in First Milwaukee Start

McAnally Hilgemann Racing Photo

Just Advance … The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series’ (NCTS) return to the famed Milwaukee Mile comes at a critical time in the playoffs as Christian Eckes is on the verge of advancing to Round 2. The driver of the No. 19 Gates Hydraulics Chevrolet Silverado RST brings a 39-point cushion over the cut line to the Wisconsin State Fairgrounds and can advance to the Round of 8 on Sunday afternoon. Eckes is third on the playoff grid, thanks to a second-place finish in the playoff opener at Indianapolis Raceway Park (IRP) on August 11th. He’s pursuing his third victory this season, which would automatically advance the MHR squad to the second round. Eckes can also advance if the ninth and 10th-place drivers in points do not win and if he leaves Milwaukee with a 60-point cushion over eighth position in the standings.

Finding Consistency Just in Time … Eckes, crew chief Charles Denike, and the No. 19 team have found consistency in the second half of the season. After a handful of tumultuous weeks earlier this spring, Eckes has compiled a sturdy string of results dating back to a sixth-place finish at Charlotte Motor Speedway on May 26th. His runner-up finish at IRP two weeks ago was the fifth time in the last seven races that he’s finished seventh or better. During that stretch, he has just one finish worse than 11th. 

Season to Date … Eckes is constructing the best season of his NCTS career with two victories and his third playoff appearance in as many full-time seasons. Through 17 races, the New York state native has earned six top-five’s and nine top-10 finishes and has lowered his average finish to 12.4 over the last four races. Eckes’ second-place result at IRP was his best-career finish as a championship eligible driver in 15 career playoff races.

Tune In … FOX Sports 1’s coverage from The Milwaukee Mile begins Sunday morning with qualifying at 11:30 a.m. ET. NASCAR Raceday continues FS1’s coverage at 3:00 p.m. ET followed by the green flag at 4:00 p.m. ET. Stay connected with the No. 19 Gates Hydraulics team by following @BMR_NASCAR on Twitter, @bmrnascar on Instagram, and Bill McAnally Racing on Facebook. 

Christian Eckes Quote:

On racing at Milwaukee for the first time:

“It’s going to be a challenge, for sure. Not many people have raced at Milwaukee recently, so there’s not much of a notebook to look at other than some visual similarities to Gateway or Phoenix. We’d love to get another win with our Gates Hydraulics Chevrolet and we’re certainly capable of that. Hopefully we can take another step forward from how we ran at IRP and Gateway earlier this year and be one of the trucks to beat this weekend. Another great points day like we had at IRP would be great to help us get close to advancing, but getting back to victory lane is the priority for our team.”

McAnally Hilgemann Racing PR

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