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Eckes Begins Playoffs with Huge Points Night at IRP

#19: Christian Eckes, McAnally Hilgemann Racing, NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet Silverado

Christian Eckes began the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) playoffs with a second-place finish on Friday night at Indianapolis Raceway Park. The driver of the No. 19 NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet Silverado RST delivered a huge points night thanks to a consistent effort throughout the 200 laps that netted him 50 points. His second runner-up result of the season allowed him to more than double his advantage of the cut line, now 39 points above the bubble, and moved into third position in the championship standings.

#19: Christian Eckes, McAnally Hilgemann Racing, NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet Silverado

Eckes led the field to the green flag after capturing his second pole position of the season in qualifying by stopping the clock at 22.88 seconds. He led the race’s first three laps before settling into third for the majority of the opening stage. The balance on Eckes’ NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet began on the tight side but began to swing marginally free as the run went along. yet he did not request any adjustments. The final 39 laps of Stage 1 went green and Eckes collected eight points on lap 60 by running third.

#19: Christian Eckes, McAnally Hilgemann Racing, NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet Silverado

Crew chief Charles Denike called Eckes to pit road for a set of fresh tires and fuel and returned him to the track in sixth position for the lap 71 restart. The top lane proved valuable as Eckes quickly jumped to fourth position on lap 86. On lap 110, he reported the No. 19 machine was lacking rear grip, but managed to maintain his position through the balance of Stage 2 and scored another seven points in fourth position on lap 120.

#19: Christian Eckes, McAnally Hilgemann Racing, NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet Silverado

Eckes came to pit road for the second and final time for four tires, fuel, and an adjustment under the second stage caution. He restarted third on lap 128 and threw a slide job to take the second position. Two successive yellows on lap 131 and 142 provided Eckes a chance to fight for the victory. On lap 149, Eckes restarted second, on the inside of the front row, and threw a massive slide job on the leader, momentarily taking the lead. Despite the full-commitment maneuver, Eckes settled into second and held that position throughout the 52-lap run to the checkered flag. The second-place run marks Eckes’ best-career short track finish and his sixth top-five finish this season.

#19: Christian Eckes, McAnally Hilgemann Racing, NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet Silverado

“I thought our NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet was really good there,” Eckes said. “He’d (No. 98) fire off a little bit better, then just be a little bit better throughout. They’re kind of been the class of the field on these style races for the last two years. We have a little bit of homework to do on this style stuff, but overall, just really proud of my guys for bringing what we had. Like I said, I thought we had a pretty good truck. We just needed a little bit more. Just proud of everybody.”

Start / Finish: 1 / 2
Points Standing / Total:  3rd / 2,069 pts. (-8)

Next Race: Sunday, Aug. 27, Milwaukee Mile
How to Watch or Listen: 4:00 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN or SiriusXM

NAPA: @NAPARacing
Christian Eckes: @christianeckes
Bill McAnally Racing / McAnally-Hilgemann Racing: @BMR_NASCAR

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