With a season on the line for multiple drivers, the finish to Friday’s NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series event at Kansas Speedway did not disappoint, with an epic three-way battle between Corey Heim, Zane Smith, and Christian Eckes for the victory.
The mind-blowing battle for the victory was prompted by a series of late-race cautions, which began with Mason Maggio slamming the outside wall inside the final 15 laps of the race, triggering a restart which caused another wreck with Rajah Caruth and Tanner Gray.
Christian Eckes, who went on to score his third victory of the season for McAnally-Hilgemann Racing, made his first of two bold three-wide moves coming to the white flag, as he launched his No. 19 to the outside of Heim and Smith.
Taylor Gray, Matt DiBenedetto, Corey Heim, and Zane Smith rounded out the top-five.#NASCAR
— Joseph Srigley (@joe_srigley) September 9, 2023
The trio was able to remain three-wide for about a half-lap before Smith and Heim nearly made contact in the middle of the first corner, causing a major loss of momentum for the top two drivers.
Then, entering the third corner, Eckes made another aggressive move, diving to the inside of the leaders and putting them three wide for the second time in the final two laps, allowing the New York native to pull a slidejob.
Eckes was able to get clear of the pack, capturing the victory by more than three-tenths of a second over Taylor Gray and Matt DiBenedetto, who snuck into the picture to secure a second and third-place finish.
Corey Heim and Zane Smith would finish fourth and fifth.