Sunday, March 26, 2023

Christian Eckes Brings Home First Truck Series Win for McAnally Hilgemann Racing at Atlanta

Christian Eckes made an impressive move on Nick Sanchez on the final lap of Saturday’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Atlanta, claiming the first victory for McAnally-Hilgemann Racing. PC: Jonathan McCoy |

In just his third start for McAnally-Hilgemann Racing, Christian Eckes has delivered the organization its first victory in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series, capturing the victory in Saturday’s Fr8 Auctions 208 at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Eckes, who has bounced between organizations over the last handful of years, put together a masterful NASCAR Overtime restart to capture his second victory in the NASCAR Truck Series, and his first for Chevrolet.

After starting fourth, the Middletown, New York native was able to secure the lead of the race on the first lap, maintaining his position atop the scoring pylon until the end of the race’s first stage.

However, it was a mixed bag of strategy that placed the NAPA Auto Care-sponsored entry in the back half of the field, forcing him to fight and claw his way back through the field and into a position to capitalize on a late-race restart.


Eckes was leading the field coming to the start-finish line to take the white flag and was determined to be the official winner of the event, but what happened in the 1.5 miles between that is what makes Saturday’s triumph more impressive.

Nick Sanchez, a rookie of the year contender for Rev Racing, made an aggressive move to the inside of the first corner, securing the top spot from the No. 19 Chevrolet Silverado. That, however, was short-lived, as Eckes – with an aggressive shove from Ben Rhodes – whipped back to the outside and pinned the No. 2 to the inside lane.

Unfortunately, the start-finish line wasn’t what ended up determining the official finishing order for the first of two events at Atlanta Motor Speedway on Saturday, after a multi-track accident broke out on the final lap involving Tyler Ankrum, Stewart Friesen, and others.

Despite pointing towards the infield at the exit of turn four, Nick Sanchez held on to finish second, with John Hunter Nemechek holding down the third position at the time of caution. Bayley Currey secured a career-best fourth-place finish for Niece Motorsports, while Ben Rhodes finished out the top five.

Matt DiBenedetto, Chase Purdy, Timmy Hill, Matt Crafton, and Jack Wood completed the top-10, in what was a caution-filled event at the newly-reconfigured 1.5-mile ‘superspeedway-like’ facility.

Leaving Atlanta, the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series heads to Austin, Texas for its first road course event of the season at Circuit of The Americas, a race that will take place next Saturday, March 25th.

Joseph Srigley
Joseph Srigley
University of Windsor | Business Administration - Supply Chain & Data Analytics Editor at

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