Talented Teenager Records Three Top-10 Finishes Across Four Starts in Limited NCWTS Schedule
Date: Nov. 9, 2018
Event: Lucas Oil 150 (Race 22 of 23)
Series: NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS)
Location: ISM Raceway in Avondale, Ariz. (one-mile oval)
Format: Three Stages; 45 laps/45 laps/60 laps
Start/Finish: 11th/9th (Running, completed 150 of 150 laps)
Winner: Brett Moffitt of Hattori Racing Enterprises (Toyota)
Christian Eckes restarted 12th with three laps remaining in Friday night’s Lucas Oil 150 at ISM Raceway, but was able to gain three positions in the closing laps to earn his third top-10 finish in his fourth and final NASCAR Camping World Truck Series start of 2018.
Across the first four starts of his Truck Series career, the talented teenager led 38 laps while posting an average start of 8.5 and average finish of 13.5.
Stage One Recap:
- Eckes made it a perfect four-for-four this season in advancing to the final round of knockout qualifying when he earned the 11th starting position Friday afternoon.
- He gained one position on the initial start of the 150-lap event and remained in the 10th spot when the first caution of the race occurred on lap 28. When pit road opened, crew chief Cody Glick summoned his young driver to the attention of the over-the-wall crew who put on fresh right-side tires and a full tank of fuel in the Mobil 1 Tundra.
- Eckes took the lap-32 restart from the 11th position and once again gained one spot by the time the field got back to the stripe. He would end Stage One scored 10th.
Stage Two Recap:
- Eckes did not hit pit road between stages and would restart sixth when Stage Two went green on lap 53.
- Shortly after the green flag waved to start Stage Two, Eckes found himself in the middle of a few three-wide battle and had subsided back to the 14th position on lap 60.
- In the closing laps of Stage Two he was able to regain a few positions and crossed the stripe in the 11th position.
Final Stage Recap:
- When pit road opened, Eckes brought the Mobil 1 Tundra to pit road for another four-tire and fuel stop. He returned to the track scored in the 13th spot for the lap-99 restart.
- The New York native once again lost a couple spots on the restart and settled in line 15th. He regained one position before the fourth caution of the night slowed the field on lap 128.
- Glick summoned him to pit road for four fresh tires, a chassis adjustment and a full tank of fuel. He returned to the track scored in the 16th position for the restart with 14 laps remaining in the race.
- He put his four fresh tires to work, quickly gaining a couple of positions and moving back towards the top 10. The Mobil 1 Tundra was scored 12th when the final caution of the night occurred on lap l43.
- Eckes would gain three positions over the final three laps to collect his third top-10 finish of the season.
Christian Eckes, driver of the No. 46 Mobil 1 Tundra for Kyle Busch Motorsports:
How did your race go?
“It definitely wasn’t what we were looking for today, but overall I’m proud of everybody on my Mobil 1 team. We struggled trying to find the handle on the truck for most of the night, but the biggest thing was just getting pushed around when we were in good positions. I would’ve like to end the season on a higher note, but I can’t thank Toyota, TRD, KBM, Mobil 1 and Craftsman enough for giving me the opportunity to make four starts in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series this year.”
Lucas Oil 150 Recap:
- Brett Moffitt punched his ticket to the Championship 4 with his sixth victory of the season. Eckes’ KBM teammate Noah Gragson finished in the runner-up position 0.446 seconds behind Moffitt. Another KBM driver, Harrison Burton, finished third, while Grant Enfinger and Stewart Friesen rounded out the top-five finishers.
- The race featured five cautions for a total of 33 laps. There were eight lead changes among six drivers.
How Eckes’ KBM Teammates Fared:
- Noah Gragson, driver of the No. 18 Toyota, finished second
- Harrison Burton, driver of the No. 51 Toyota, finished third
- Todd Gilliland, driver of the No. 4 Toyota, finished 17th
Friday night’s event was the final race of 2018 for the No. 46 team.