NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Overview
Location: Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, Ohio (.5-mile clay oval)
Date/Broadcast: Aug. 1, 2019 at 9 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
What You Need to Know
- As the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series heads off road for the Eldora Dirt Derby this week at the half-mile clay oval in Rossburg, Ohio, Christian Eckes will climb back behind the wheel of the No. 51 Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra for his first start at Eldora Speedway. The 18-year-old has never taken a lap at the facility but holds claim to one victory on dirt in the ARCA Menards Series at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield, Illinois and across three career dirt races has compiled an average finish of 3.6.
- Eckes’ last outing in the No. 51 Tundra was last weekend at Pocono Raceway in Long Pond, Pa. where he earned his first career top-five finish in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series with a fourth-place result after qualifying 13th.
- Veteran crew chief Rudy Fugle leads the No. 51 team this season. Fugle has guided his team to four Owner’s Championships (2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017) as a crew chief at KBM, including combined Owner’s/Driver’s Championships with Erik Jones in 2015 and Christopher Bell in 2017. The New York native’s drivers have combined for 28 wins, 22 poles, 65 top-five and 100 top-10 finishes across his 127 races calling the shots for the organization. Fugle has been atop the box for five races at Eldora Speedway with a best result of fourth, twice – with Erik Jones in 2015 and Christopher Bell in 2017.
- After 14 races in 2019, the No. 51 team leads the owner’s points standings by nine points over second place. The team has earned five wins with owner-driver Kyle Busch behind the wheel and one win with veteran driver Greg Biffle at Texas Motor Speedway. The team has two poles, eight top-five and nine top-10 finishes.
- The world’s leading synthetic motor oil brand, Mobil 1 features anti-wear technology that provides performance beyond our conventional motor oils. This technology allows Mobil 1 to meet or exceed the toughest standards of car builders and to provide exceptional protection against engine wear, under normal or even some of the most extreme conditions. Mobil 1 flows quickly in extreme temperatures to protect critical engine parts and is designed to maximize engine performance and help extend engine life.
Christian Eckes, Driver Q&A
How different is it going to be to race on dirt this week?
“It’s going to be extremely different. I don’t have a lot of experience on dirt. What I do is on a mile. It’s definitely going to be different, but it looks like Eldora is a cool place to race dirt. It’s going to be a little bit of an adjustment for me, but I’m really excited to get in our No. 51 Mobil 1 Tundra.”
How close do you feel like you are to a win?
“I feel like we’re really close. At Pocono last week we were just missing it by a little bit to go run the leaders down. Obviously at Gateway I felt like we had a race winning truck. Hopefully we have that at Eldora this week, obviously it’s going to be a little different for me being on the dirt, but I’m excited to go see what we’ve got.”
Christian Eckes Career Highlights
- In February, Eckes earned his first career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series pole at Daytona International Speedway in just his fifth series start. Overall in seven Gander Trucks starts since making his series debut last June, he has recorded one top-five and four top-10 finishes, an average starting position of 7.0 and average finish of 13.4.
- Eckes has recorded two wins, two poles, 262 laps led, eight top-five and 12 top-10 finishes across 14 ARCA Racing Series starts in 2019. His first victory this year came in May at Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, Tenn., and he earned his second victory at Pocono Raceway in July.
- Overall in 41 career ARCA Series starts, Eckes has posted five wins, four poles, 956 laps led, 18 top-five and 30 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 7.5.
- The talented teenager 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. The Snowball Derby win was part of a three-race winning streak in Late Models to close out the 2016 season after the teenager was victorious in the Myrtle Beach 400 Late Model Stock event at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway and the Thanksgiving Classic All-Star Super Late Model race at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C.
Christian Eckes’ No. 51 Mobil 1 Tundra:
KBM-134D: The No. 51 Mobil 1 team will unload chassis KBM-134D for Thursday’s Dirt Derby at Eldora. This chassis is a dirt-only chassis that has been raced four times at Eldora, notably Christopher Bell led 22 laps en route to a ninth-place finish in 2017.
KBM Notes of Interest
- KBM drivers have collected two wins, one pole, 302 laps led, five top-five and 10 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 11.4 across 17 starts at Eldora.
- Darrell Wallace Jr. won the event in 2014 and Christopher Bell was victorious in 2015.
- KBM holds the Gander Truck Series records for most career wins (74) 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).
- The No. 51 is the winningest number in the KBM stable with 30 trips to victory lane in Gander Trucks action