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NASCAR Truck: Christian Eckes leads record night for ThorSport

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – SEPTEMBER 24: Christian Eckes, driver of the #98 Curb Records Toyota, celebrates in victory lane after winning the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Victoria’s Voice Foundation 200 presented by Westgate Resorts at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on September 24, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)


Part-time driver Christian Eckes played playoff spoiler Friday night at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and claimed his first-career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series win in the Victoria’s Coice Foundation 200.

“This is big,” Eckes said. “It’s been a tough year. Hopefully I proved I can still do this.”

Eckes was second to Todd Gilliland for the final restart on lap 131 of the 134-lap race. He took the lead on the restart and wound up leading a ThorSport Racing one-two-three-four finish, a first for a team in Truck Series history. Eckes’ teammates Ben Rhodes, Matt Crafton and Johnny finished second through fourth.

Gilliland wound up fifth at the checkered flag after leading a race-high 66 laps and claiming a stage-two win at lap 60.

“I think that was the most fun I’ve ever had racing a truck, but it stinks walking away from a race track for the second straight week, ultra-disappointed,” Gilliland said a week after his elimination from the playoffs.

Pole sitter and former points leader John Hunter Nemechek led the first 33 laps, including a stage-one win at lap 30, but he wound up with a 33rd-place finish after being plagued by engine woes in Vegas.

Most of the eight playoff drivers struggled Friday night. Rhodes and Crafton were two of only three  remaining playoff drivers who finished in the LVMS race in the top-10. The other was Stewart Friesen in sixth. No other playoff driver finished in the top-20 in a race that saw 10 cautions, including one on the final lap that resulted in the race ending under yellow.
Reigning Series champion Sheldon Creed wound up 36th, second-to-last, after hitting the wall on lap 69.

“Restarts were insane all night,” Creed. “I didn’t have a great truck, but thought we were a top-eight truck, at least. Unfortunate, but it’s going to make Talladega fun and interesting.”

Other top-10 finishers included Grant Enfinger in seventh, Austin Wayne Self in eighth, Ryan Truex in ninth and Austin Hill in 10th.

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Posted by on September 25, 2021. Filed under Breaking News,Camping World Truck Series,Featured,NASCAR. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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