NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Overview
Event: M&M’s 200, Race 9 of 23, 200 Laps – 60/60/80; 175 Miles
Location: Iowa Speedway in Newton (0.875-mile oval)
Date/Broadcast: June 16, 2018 at 7 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
What You Need to Know
- Christian Eckes will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) debut for Kyle Busch Motorsports (KBM) in the M&M’s 200 at Iowa Speedway Saturday as part of a four-race schedule driving a fourth entry for the organization. Mobil 1™ – the world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand– will be the primary sponsor for the 17-year-old driver’s debut this weekend and will also adorn the hood of his No. 46 Tundra at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill., June 23 and ISM Raceway in Avondale, Ariz., Nov. 9. Eckes’ sponsor for his race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway Oct. 27 will be named at a later date.
- In preparation for his Truck Series debut, Eckes participated in a two-day test with his KBM teammate Todd Gilliland at the 0.875-mile oval May 29 and 30. He has also competed in the ARCA Racing Series event at Iowa the past two seasons. In 2016, he qualified second and finished 11th while last year he qualified 15th and finished eighth.
- Eckes picked up his first career ARCA Racing Series victory at Salem (Ind.) Speedway Apr. 22 after leading 72 laps of the 200-lap event, including the final 52 circuits. He has an average finish of 10.2 across his four ARCA starts in 2018.
- The Middletown, N.Y., native put his name on the motorsports map when he won the prestigious Snowball Derby Super Late Model race at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla., in December of 2016. The then 15-year-old battled side-by-side with John Hunter Nemechek for the final two laps before narrowly edging him to the finish line.
- Cody Glick, who oversees KBM’s Super Late Model program, will serve as Eckes’ crew chief for his four-race schedule. Glick picked up his first career Truck Series victory when he called the shots for Kyle Busch’s win from the pole at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway last year. The No. 46 team has made one start this season, a third-place finish with Brandon Jones at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway.
Christian Eckes, Driver Q&A
What have you done to prepare for your Truck Series debut?
“I’ve watched a lot of film and taken a lot of notes. I’ve really worked on me personally, because KBM’s trucks are always really good — it’s up to me now. I’ve done a lot to prepare myself to get ready for the race and really excited to get in my No. 46 Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra.”
Does the fact that you’ve had two ARCA starts at Iowa make you more comfortable making your Truck Series debut there?
“Yeah — absolutely. I’ve raced there in ARCA twice now and had a great deal of success there. I’m really looking forward to getting to Iowa and getting to know my KBM guys some more and hopefully contending at Iowa.”
Do you have any goals set for this weekend?
“Hopefully a top-10 finish at the least. I’m really confident and hopeful in my debut to get a good finish for these guys and get ready for the races coming up.”
Christian Eckes Career Highlights
- Has produced one win, 74 laps led, one top-five and two top-10 finishes across four ARCA Racing Series starts in 2018.
- In 18 career ARCA Racing starts since 2016 has produced one win, five top-five and 12 top-10 finishes.
- In 2017, collected four top-five and nine top-10 finishes across 10 ARCA events and four top-five and five top-10 finishes in six CARS Super Late Model Tour starts.
- In 2016, recorded one top-10 result in four ARCA starts and two top-10 finishes across three K&N Pro Series East starts.
Christian Eckes’ No. 46 Mobil 1 Tundra:
KBM-034: The No. 46 Mobil 1 team will race KBM-034 for Saturday’s M&M’s 200 at Iowa Speedway. The Tundra finished eighth in its most recent outing with Harrison Burton at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway in March. Owner-driver Kyle Busch piloted the truck to its lone victory in March of 2016 at Martinsville.
KBM Notes of Interest
- KBM drivers have collected three wins, three poles, 525 laps led, seven top-five and 15 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 8.0 across 21 starts at Iowa
- William Byron led a race-high 107 laps en route to the victory at Iowa in 2016. Erik Jones took the checkered flag in both 2014 and 2015, combining to lead 243 of 400 laps in those events.
- The No. 46 team finished third at Charlotte (N.C.) Motor Speedway with Brandon Jones last month in their first start of the 2018 season. All together in four races last season, two with Kyle Busch and two with Todd Gilliland, the No. 46 team earned one win, one pole, 109 laps led, two top-five and three top-10 finishes
- KBM holds the NCWTS records for most career wins (67) and most wins in a single season (14 in 2014). In addition to collecting a series-record six Owner’s Championships, the organization has produced two championship-winning drivers; Erik Jones (2015) and Christopher Bell (2017).