Christian Eckes Wins Pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Picks Up Third Top-3 in a Row for No. 51

Christian Eckes Wins Pole at Las Vegas Motor Speedway and Picks Up Third Top-3 in a Row for No. 51 NK Photography Photo
Christian Eckes added to his already impressive list of accomplishments with his second pole and second top-five finish in just 10 NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series starts in the World of Westgate 200 at Las Vegas (Nev.) Motor Speedway. On Friday morning, Eckes was ninth-fastest in the single, two-hour Gander Trucks practice. In the afternoon, Eckes blasted a lap of 30.324 seconds, 178.077 mph to earn his second pole position in 10 series starts and fourth pole in a row at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for Kyle Busch Motorsports.
 
At the start of the race, Eckes jumped out front for three laps, but then dropped back on the first restart on lap 14. The young driver finished the first stage in 11th. He was able to climb back into the top-10 in the second stage, finishing in sixth. In the final stage, Eckes worked his way into the top-five and remained there, finishing third, his second top-five in six starts in 2019.
 
Stage One Recap:
  • Eckes earned his second career pole position and started the 134-lap event from the point.
  • The New York-native led four laps early in the race, but then reported that the SiriusXM Tundra was extremely loose and the right rear tire felt slick.
  • Eckes finished the first stage in 11th.
  • Crew chief Rudy Fugle brought Eckes to pit road following the first stage for two right-side tires and adjustments, gaining six spots on pit road.
 
Stage Two Recap:
  • After stopping for just two tires between stages, Eckes gained track position and was able to restart the second stage in fourth.
  • He reported that the No. 51 Tundra was better, and completed the second stage in sixth.
  • Fugle brought him to pit road for four tires and fuel following the second stage, but a quick stop gained Eckes three positions.
 
Stage Three Recap:
  • Eckes began the final stage in second, but he was shuffled back to eighth on a restart early in the stage.
  • Under caution on lap 80, Fugle brought him to pit road for two more fresh tires, gaining him one spot.
  • The talented teenager was able to climb back into the top-five within five laps, where he remained in third, challenging for second-place in the closing laps.
  • Eckes finished third, earning his second top-five and sixth top-10 finish in 10 career Gander Trucks starts.

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