NASCAR Truck Series

Christian Eckes gr8 l8 in Fr8 208 d8

2 Mins read
Credit: Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Atlanta Motor Speedway‘s conversion into a superspeedway-like track may have been too extreme for the youngsters of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as crashes resulted in eleven yellow flags, the most for the division there, including a last-lap wreck to end Saturday’s Fr8 208 under caution. Said accident came just moments after another caution to set up overtime, which Christian Eckes capitalised upon to score his seond career victory and first in just his third start for McAnally-Hilgemann Racing and Chevrolet.

Eckes had received a speeding penalty after leading every lap in Stage #1 and spent much of the race trying to regain ground. The cautions worked in his favour as they bunched up the field for ensuing restarts multiple times: he sat outside the top ten as the lap counter crossed triple digits, but found himself in second by overtime. After clearing Nick Sanchez for the lead on the final lap, a three-truck wreck involving Tyler Ankrum, Stewart Friesen, and Zane Smith ended the race.

The win is also MHR’s first in the Truck Series. Eckes has scored top tens in all three of his races for the team so far.

John Hunter Nemechek led a race-high fifty-three laps but fell back after an attempted draft with Jack Wood resulted in contact.

“I was trying to push him away from everybody else so that we could get clear and just race, but that’s part of speedway racing and that’s what they turned Atlanta into,” Nemechek commented.

Bayley Currey scored his maiden top five in any NASCAR series when he finished fourth, and Timmy Hill enjoyed his first top ten since 2021 with an eighth-place run. Ryan Vargas was fourteenth in his Truck Series début, while Akinori Ogata secured G2G Racing‘s best-ever finish in seventeenth.

Besides crashes that resulted in green-flag runs only lasting about seven laps on average, mechanical issues haunted the field. Eckes’ team-mate Jake Garcia went three laps down to a shock problem but fought to place in the top twenty. Carson Hocevar blew a right-front tyre twice while Kaden Honeycutt led his first career lap after cycling into the top spot but a small piece of metal got into his truck and relegated him to thirty-third. Rajah Caruth slipped to twenty-fifth when a tyre went down, prompting him to ask, “Can I buy some luck or something?”

Race results

FinishStartNumberDriverTeamManufacturerLapsStatus
1419Christian EckesMcAnally-Hilgemann RacingChevrolet137Running
2202Nick SanchezRev RacingChevrolet137Running
32417John Hunter Nemechek*TRICON GarageToyota137Running
43041Bayley Currey*Niece MotorsportsChevrolet137Running
5399Ben RhodesThorSport RacingFord137Running
61025Matt DiBenedettoRackley WARChevrolet137Running
794Chase PurdyKyle Busch MotorsportsChevrolet137Running
81856Timmy HillHill MotorsportsToyota137Running
9888Matt CraftonThorSport RacingFord137Running
101751Jack WoodKyle Busch MotorsportsChevrolet137Running
11298Ty MajeskiThorSport RacingFord137Running
123213Hailie DeeganThorSport RacingFord137Running
133332Bret HolmesBret Holmes RacingChevrolet137Running
143530Ryan VargasOn Point MotorsportsToyota137Running
152502Kris WrightYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet137Running
161943Daniel DyeGMS RacingChevrolet137Running
173446Akinori OgataG2G RacingToyota137Running
181235Jake GarciaMcAnally-Hilgemann RacingChevrolet137Running
19723Grant EnfingerGMS RacingChevrolet137Running
20138Zane SmithFront Row MotorsportsFord137Running
212712Spencer BoydYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet137Running
221452Stewart FriesenHalmar Friesen RacingToyota137Running
232822Josh ReaumeAM RacingFord137Running
241115Tanner GrayTRICON GarageToyota137Running
252224Rajah CaruthGMS RacingChevrolet137Running
261316Tyler AnkrumHattori Racing EnterprisesToyota136Running
27159Colby HowardCR7 MotorsportsChevrolet134Track Bar
28231Layne RiggsTRICON GarageToyota134Running
292633Mason MasseyReaume Brothers RacingFord134Running
30165Dean ThompsonTRICON GarageToyota131Running
31542Carson HocevarNiece MotorsportsChevrolet127Accident
322145Lawless AlanNiece MotorsportsChevrolet126Accident
332904Kaden HoneycuttRoper RacingFord123Running
34611Corey HeimTRICON GarageToyota83Accident
353120Mason MaggioYoung’s MotorsportsChevrolet52Accident
363634Keith McGee*Reaume Brothers RacingFord7Transmission
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points
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Justin is not an off-road racer, but he writes about it for The Checkered Flag.
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