Date: Aug. 30, 2020
Event: CarShield 200 Presented by CK Power (Race 14 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series
Location: World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (1.25-mile oval)
Format: Three Stages; 55 laps/55 laps/50 laps
Start/Finish: 7th/32nd (Running, completed 121 of 160 laps)
Winner: Sheldon Creed of GMS Racing (Chevrolet)
Christian Eckes was having another strong run Sunday at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, running in the second position early in the Final Stage when Sam Mayer made contact with him while trying to complete the pass for the runner-up spot. Shortly after, the Safelite Tundra suffered a flat tire and brushed the outside wall. After Eckes made his way to pit road, the crew determined that his Toyota had a broken driveshaft and would be unable to return to the race. The No. 18 team would be relegated to a 32nd-place finish.
Stage One Recap:
- Eckes started from the seventh position after a performance matrix based off his finishing position from the previous race, ranking in owner points standings and the ranking of the fastest lap he turned from the previous race at Dover (Del.) International Speedway.
- On Lap 4, he had fallen back to the ninth position as he was “free on entry,” but as the Safelite Tundra began to come to him, he began to maneuver forward on Lap 34. On Lap 40, he made his way into the top five and then with one lap remaining in Stage One captured the fourth position.
Stage Two Recap:
- Eckes communicated to championship crew chief Rudy Fugle that he “needs more on-throttle turn,” before hitting pit road for four fresh tires and full load of fuel.
- With the field frozen under NASCAR’s pit road rules for the event, Eckes exited the pits fourth, but Brett Moffitt gave up third place to start on the outside via the choose rule, putting the Safelite Tundra third when Stage Two went green on Lap 61.
- The No. 18 Toyota fell back to fourth momentarily but on Lap 64 regained third and remained there when the second caution of the race occurred on Lap 78.
- This time Eckes chose the outside lane and lined up fourth when the field went back green on Lap 82 and was able to capture the runner-up position on Lap 83. He fell from a half second back on Lap 95, to 1.1 seconds behind leader Todd Gilliland when Stage Two came to completion on Lap 110.
Final Stage Recap:
- Eckes reported that his Safelite Tundra was “free in and tight exit,” before hitting pit road for four fresh tires, a full load of fuel and chassis adjustments between stages.
- Gilliland took the outside lane and Eckes the inside lane of the front row for the restart on Lap 116. The two would battle side-by-wide for a lap and a half, but Eckes’ Toyota pushed up the track and he was forced to settle in line in the third position.
- Shortly after, the Safelite Tundra suffered a flat tire and brushed the wall. He was forced down pit road and after a quick observation the over-the-wall crew determined that the team would not be able to continue due to a broken driveshaft.
Christian Eckes, driver of the No. 18 Safelite Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
You were going for the lead. What happened?
“Yeah, well I got ran through, but it all started when I had a vibration at the end of stage two. I really did not know what happened. That was not the reason that we broke, but I’m sure it didn’t help matters. We ended up breaking a driveshaft. Like I said, I had a really bad vibration at the end of stage two, but as a whole, I obviously wish we could finish a damn race here, both for me and Rudy (Fugle, crew chief), but oh well, I guess. We will get ready for Darlington and Richmond, and hopefully get enough cushion there and go get a win.”
CarShield 200 Presented by CK Power Recap:
- Shelden Creed picked up his third career Gander Trucks victory finishing 0.881 seconds ahead of runner-up finisher Brett Moffitt. Austin Hill, Sam Mayer, and Stewart Friesen rounded out the top-five.
- The race featured five cautions for a total of 23 laps. There were five lead changes among four drivers. Eckes failed to lead a lap, breaking his streak of six consecutive races with at least one lap led.
How Eckes’ KBM Teammates Fared:
- Raphael Lessard, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished sixth
- Chandler Smith, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished 24th
Gander Trucks Championship Standings:
Eckes, the rookie of the year candidate, fell back three positions to sixth in the Gander Trucks point standings. With two races remaining in the regular season, he sits 78 tallies behind points leader Austin Hill. The driver of the Safelite Tundra sits eighth on the 10-driver playoff grid, 73 points above the cutoff line.
Eckes will be back behind the wheel of the No. 18 Safelite Tundra when the NASCAR Gander RV & Outdoors Truck Series resumes action on Sunday, Sept. 6 at Darlington (S.C.) Raceway. Live coverage of the South Carolina Education Lottery 200 will be on FS1, Motor Racing Network and SiriusXM at 2 p.m. ET.