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Eckes Claims Best Finish of the Season at Las Vegas

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

Christian Eckes tallied a resilient sixth-place finish on Friday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) for his best finish through three races. The driver of the No. 19 NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet Silverado RST remains ninth in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) standings after his second top-10 result of the young season. Eckes has now posted top-10 finishes in six of his eight races at LVMS.

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

Eckes started the day in strong fashion by posting the second-quickest laps in practice and qualifying. He got the early holeshot off the initial green flag and led the first seven circuits. However, Eckes began wrestling with an extremely tight condition throughout the opening stage. The balance issues relegated him to run in 14th position at the end of Stage 1 on lap 30.

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

Crew chief Charles Denike brought Eckes to pit lane during the stage yellow to change four tires and address the handling woes. A track bar and wedge adjustment proved to be the right direction for Eckes in Stage 2, but the tight condition persisted. Eckes restarted 16th on lap 36 but immediately leaped into the top 10 by lap 38. Despite his efforts, Eckes once again ran 14th at the end of Stage 2 on lap 60.

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

Denike and the NAPA Auto Care team made an even bigger swing to improve the balance with chassis adjustments during the second stage caution. Significant wedge and a front suspension changes proved to be the proper tonic to wake up Eckes’ Chevrolet. He restarted 21st on lap 67 and marched back into the top-10 in less than 20 laps. A smoothly executed green-flag pit stop cycle vaulted Eckes from ninth to sixth with roughly 30 laps remaining. The improved balance allowed him to string together consistent laps over the final run to take the checkered flag in sixth for his second top-10 result of the season.

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

“We definitely made improvements throughout the night to our NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet,” Eckes said. “My guys kept making swings at it and we got the balance better, but we have some work to do to get the balance where we need it. It’s good to finish better than we ran all night, but we have some work to do.”

Start / Finish: 2 / 6
Points Standing / Total: 9th / 85 pts. (-22)

Next Race: Saturday, March 16, Bristol Motor Speedway
How to Watch or Listen: 8:00 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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