Date: Oct. 26, 2019
Event: NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 (Race 21 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series
Location: Martinsville (Va.) Speedway (.526-mile oval)
Format: Three Segments; 50 laps/50 laps/100 laps
Start/Finish: 1st /17th (Running, completed 201 of 201 laps)
Winner: Todd Gilliland of Kyle Busch Motorsports (Toyota)
Christian Eckes finished 17th at Martinsville Speedway on Saturday, after earning his third-career pole and battling for the lead late in the race. On Friday, Eckes was fastest in first practice and 19th-fastest in the final Gander Trucks practice session. On Saturday morning in one round of single vehicle qualifying, the No. 51 SiriusXM team earned the pole with a lap of 19.944 seconds and 95.424 mph.
Eckes spent most of the day in the top-10, and was battling for the lead amidst several late-race restarts, when he was roughed up and shuffled back in the pack. As he was making his way forward again, he was caught up in a wreck in the final laps, ultimately finishing 17th.
Stage One Recap:
- Eckes earned his third pole of the 2019 season in one round of single-vehicle qualifying.
- On the start, the young driver fell to second and reported that his Tundra was fighting a tight handling condition.
- Eckes finished the first stage in second, and crew chief Rudy Fugle decided to keep him on track during the stage break.
Stage Two Recap:
- Eckes started the second stage in second position.
- Under caution on lap 80, Fugle called Eckes to pit road for four tires and fuel.
- Following the pit stop, Eckes restarted in sixth, and he finished the stage in fifth.
Stage Three Recap:
- Eckes began the final stage in fifth.
- The talented teenager remained in the top-five and largely damage-free through multiple cautions in the final stage.
- With 65 laps remaining, Eckes restarted in the second position. He continued to battle for the lead until lap 160, when he was roughed up and shuffled back in the pack slightly.
- On the final green-white-checkered restart, the No. 51 was collected in an incident and crossed the finish line in 17th.
Christian Eckes, driver of the No. 51 SiriusXM Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
Talk about your day.
“Today was an up and down day. It was great to get our SiriusXM Tundra on the pole and we were able to run near the front, but the last few restarts we just got killed. I’ve still got one start this year with these 51 guys at Homestead, and I hope we can make the most of it and end up in Victory Lane.”
NASCAR Hall of Fame 200 Recap:
- Todd Gilliland won the race with Ross Chastain, Johnny Sauter, Grant Enfinger and Timmy Hill rounding out the top-five finishers.
- The race featured 12 cautions for 80 laps and eight lead changes among seven drivers.
How Eckes’ KBM Teammates Fared:
Todd Gilliland, driver of the No. 4 Toyota Tundra, finished first
Harrison Burton, driver of the No. 18 Toyota Tundra, finished 18th
Gander Trucks Owner Championship Standings:
The No. 51 team leaves the 21st race of the season ranked third in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Owner’s Playoff Standings. The No. 51 has earned six wins, 13 top-five finishes and 15 top-10 finishes in 2019, recording an average starting position of 8.0 and an average finish of 6.9.
Brandon Jones is scheduled to pilot the No. 51 Tundra at ISM Raceway in Phoenix, Ariz. when the Gander Trucks Series returns on Friday, Nov. 8. Live coverage of the event begins at 8 p.m. EST on FS1.