Transcripts: Christian Eckes – Phoenix Raceway

THE MODERATOR: We’re joined by the winner of tonight’s race, Christian Eckes.

Q. Christian, just want to get your thoughts on being able to lead McAnally to a one-two finish in NASCAR and what they’ve done for you?

CHRISTIAN ECKES: Yeah, it’s great, obviously. For Bill and all of our partners to give me this opportunity is something that really has kind of made a better trajectory of my career.

I’m super happy to be here. This one kind of stings. I know it’s a win, but the stupid mistakes the last two weeks of a near perfect playoffs cost us a championship.

It’s kind of hard to be happy right now, but overall just super proud of everybody for the year that we’ve had and just ready for 2024.

Q. You kind of alluded to it just now, but is this kind of the story of what-if, what-could-have-been, and how do you put that scenario behind you, or is that just the nature of the playoffs?

CHRISTIAN ECKES: Yeah, like I said, it hurts for sure. To finish second, third, first, second, then 20th and 19th and then first again, it’s those two races that killed the whole playoffs pretty much, and that’s just kind of the nature of it. I didn’t do my job last week and really the week before, either.

That gets us out, and that puts us in this situation, but it’s motivating for next year, and it was motivating for this race, too.

Q. Four overtime restarts. What were you thinking with all of them, and how did you approach them?

CHRISTIAN ECKES: Yeah, I was determined to win, to try to make up for my mistakes the last few weeks. I messed up the second-to-last one and almost threw it away. It’s kind of nice to have another chance at it, but then the last one was pretty near perfect.

Yeah, really good truck today. Needed to be a little bit better to beat the 38. I think the 38 was probably the best truck, but overall it was a pretty solid day of execution for our group.

Q. Was that fun? We were watching here just like, oh, my gosh, another one —

CHRISTIAN ECKES: I don’t even know how long we were in the truck. It was a long time. It’s never fun racing under caution; that’s for sure. I wanted to go back green multiple times and just never got the chance to. But it just fell our way. That’s kind of the way on these truck restarts. Some restarts you’re good at them, and some you’re bad at them. Luckily we were on the right end of it.