Christian Eckes is looking to get his first NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series playoff appearance with McAnally-Hilgemann Racing off to a strong start, scoring the pole for Friday’s T-Sport 200 at Indianapolis Raceway Park.
The Middletown, New York-native was able to secure his second pole position of the year at the 0.686-mile, after putting down a time of 22.894 seconds (107.918mph) in Friday’s single-truck qualifying session.
Eckes narrowly edged out Ty Majeski for the top spot in qualifying, scoring the pole by 0.038 seconds. Majeski, who dominated the series last event at Richmond Raceway, will start alongside the No. 19 for Friday’s 200-lap contest.
Corey Heim, the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series regular-season champion, will start the event from third place, while Rajah Caruth posted the fourth-quickest lap in qualifying. Carson Hocevar, the winner from Richmond Raceway, completed the top five.
The defending winner at Indianapolis Raceway Park, Grant Enfinger, will start from sixth, while Jake Garcia, Zaen Smith, Nick Sanchez, and William Sawalich will complete the first five rows for the first event in the NASCAR Truck Series post-season.
Layne Riggs, making his first start in the No. 7 for Spire Motorsports, will start 12th, after having a top-five pace in the series’ 20-minute practice session earlier in the afternoon, similar to Playoff driver Matt Crafton, who will start 13th.
Chase Purdy and Matt DiBenedetto were the only two playoff-eligible drivers to not qualify inside the top-15 for Friday’s event in Indianapolis, Indiana, with Rhodes slotting in 21st, and DiBenedetto in 24th.
Shane van Gisbergen, making his NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series debut for Niece Motorsports, posted a respectable qualifying effort of 28th, after a battery issue in practice further limited his on-track time.
With a total of 39 entries, Josh Reaume (#33), Chad Chastain (#44), and Armani Williams (#46) were the three drivers who failed to qualify for Friday’s T-Sport 200.