NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Overview
Location: Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn (Two-mile oval)
Date/Broadcast: Aug. 10, 2019 at 1 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN and SiriusXM NASCAR 90
What You Need to Know
- This weekend, the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series will take to Michigan International Speedway for the Corrigan Oil 200 on Saturday afternoon. Christian Eckes will return to the No. 51 SiriusXM Tundra for his first Gander Trucks start at the two-mile oval. Eckes has one ARCA Menards Series start at the facility earlier this year, where he started second and finished seventh.
- On the dirt at Eldora Speedway last week, Eckes earned a top-10 finish in his first start at the half-mile clay oval, nearly breaking into the top five with a sixth-place finish.
- 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 101 top-10 finishes across his 128 races calling the shots for the organization. At Michigan, Fugle’s drivers have not finished below fifth in five starts, with two top finishes of second, in 2013 with Kyle Busch and in 2017 with Christopher Bell, resulting in an average finishing position of 3.0.
- After 15 races in 2019, the No. 51 team is tied for the lead in the owner’s points standings with 622 markers. 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, nine top-five and 11 top-10 finishes.
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Christian Eckes, Driver Q&A
What are your expectations at Michigan in your first start?
“I’m expecting for the race to be a little crazy, to be honest. They get some big runs and stuff like that. It makes the race interesting, you always kind of plan for that and hopefully we’ll have a good weekend in our SiriusXM Tundra.”
You have one ARCA Series start at Michigan, what will the differences be in the truck?
“Obviously there’s a little bit of difference. We were wide open in the ARCA car for a little bit as well. I have a little experience with that going in. And hopefully being able to race and stuff like that will help me this weekend.”
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 eight Gander Trucks starts since making his series debut last June, he has recorded 96 laps led, one top-five and five top-10 finishes, an average starting position of 8.2 and average finish of 12.5.
- 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 SiriusXM Tundra:
KBM-038: The No. 51 SiriusXM team will unload chassis KBM-038 for Saturday’s Corrigan Oil 200 at Michigan International Speedway. This chassis has been raced 14 times and has ended up in Victory Lane in six outings. It was most recently raced to the win at Martinsville earlier this season by owner-driver Kyle Busch, and Chandler Smith started on the front row and finished eighth with it at Iowa in his first start. Noah Gragson, Christopher Bell and William Byron have all also had victories in this chassis.
KBM Notes of Interest
- KBM drivers have collected one win, 326 laps led, 10 top-five and 12 top-10 finishes resulting in an average finish of 10.2 across 20 starts at Michigan.
- Owner-driver Kyle Busch earned the only KBM win at Michigan International Speedway 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.