Eckes Looks to Repeat on Throwback Weekend at Darlington

McAnally Hilgemann Racing Photo

Wind Back the Clock … NASCAR Throwback Weekend starts off with the defending NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series (NCTS) race winner from a year ago looking to defend his trophy. Christian Eckes is sporting another throwback paint scheme, just as he did in his victorious effort from 2023, and will honor NASCAR pioneer driver, Brownie King. Eckes’ No. 19 Gates Hydraulics Chevrolet Silverado RST resembles King’s 1957 Chevrolet that he drove on the original Daytona Beach course, the inaugural Daytona 500, and at Darlington Raceway in 1957. Eckes looks wind back the clock to 2023 and drive another throwback scheme to victory lane at “The Lady in Black”. 

A True Force … Eckes and the No. 19 team return to Darlington County on a roll, thanks to a third-place finish at Kansas Speedway last weekend for their third straight top-five finish. Friday’s throwback event marks the beginning of the second half of the regular season and Eckes has become an elite force through eight races. He led 11 laps last Saturday at Kansas to continue his streak of leading laps in every race this season with an average finish of 8.1, the second-best in the series. The New Yorker has also been a force to be reckoned with at the track “Too Tough to Tame” in his young career. In three previous starts, Eckes has two top-five finishes, including leading 82 laps en route to victory last May.

Season to Date … With half of the NCTS regular season complete, Eckes has separated himself from the field along with the current points leader, Corey Heim. Eckes sits second in the drivers’ championship standings, only seven markers out of the lead, and has accumulated a 42-point advantage over third. He has finished in the top-10 in seven of the eight races this year, including wins at Bristol Motor Speedway and Martinsville Speedway with four top-five finishes. Eckes has led the most laps of any driver in the series, a total of 348, only three laps shy of his single-season career high set last season. 

Tune In … FOX Sports 1 coverage from “The Lady in Black” begins on Friday at 3:00 p.m. ET with practice and qualifying. Coverage rolls on with NASCAR Raceday at 6:30 p.m. ET followed the green flag at 7:30 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 returning to Darlington as the defending winner:

“Throwback weekend is always fun and Darlington is about the most challenging racetrack for a driver as there is on the schedule. It’s really cool to have another throwback scheme with Gates Hydraulics to honor Brownie King. He and his family have been great supporters of our team and NAPA Auto Care owners, so it’s cool to highlight his career. Our group has found the consistency we need and we’ve been executing pretty well to start the year and proud of the progression we’ve made to this point. I’d love to get another win at Darlington this week. Last year’s win was really special and doing it again would be a pretty cool accomplishment, for sure.”

McAnally Hilgemann Racing PR

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