CTS: Eckes fends off Busch to take win in Weather Guard Truck Race at Bristol Motor Speedway

After running on dirt for the last few years Bristol would finally revert to both weekends on the concrete with the trucks the first up in the spring to take on the half-mile bullring in Eastern Tennessee. Christan Eckes would take the pole over Nick Sanzhez earlier in the day.

Eckes would get the quick jump on Sanchez before the second spot would swap several times between Sanchez and Busch who entered into his second truck event of the season after winning in his first attempt at Atlanta. But caution would come out quickly when Matt Mills would go for a spin off turn four down the front just five laps into the race.

As the first stage of the night would begin to come to a close with Eckes well in control and working lapped traffic Keith McGee and Stefan Parson trying to stay on the lead lap just in front of the leader would collide with each other sending McGee spinning to bring out the second caution of the night.

On the restart the first lead change of the night when Ky. Busch would challenge Eckes and take the lead away to run away with the remaining laps to take home the opening stage win of the night over Eckes, Sanchez, Majeski and Z. Smith.

Stage two would go wire to wire caution free with Kyle Busch once again controlling the stage to take the second stage win of the night over Sanchez, Eckes, Majeski and Z. Smith.

Just as the final stage of the night would get underway Majeski would come off the second turn getting just loose enough to turn the truck and sending it down the track collecting his teammate Ben Rhodes in the process. Both would sustain light damage to their trucks and would continue but within laps of the restart Majeski would drive his truck to the garage with an engine issue ending his night.

Meanwhile, back up front on the restart Busch and Eckes would once again go at it for the lead with the pair beating and banging with Busch getting loose causing Eckes to bail for a moment and gather it back up. Eckes would once again run Busch back down for a second time, this time making the second pass for the lead of the night.

Within 30 laps of the finish caution would once again be displayed when Nick Sanchez would ride up by the wall trying to make the pass on Stewart Friesen when Friesen would run up trying to close the gap and run making contact. Friesen would end up going for a spin down the front as Sanchez would continue on, both sustaining front-end damage to their trucks in the process.

On the final restart Eckes would take off with the lead over Kyle Busch who would race for several laps with Zane Smith allowing the No. 19 truck to scoot out to a one-plus second lead.

However, Eckes’ large lead wouldn’t last as Busch would begin to chip away at the lead all the way up to the checkered flag when Eckes would cross the finish line with Busch on his bumper to take home the win by just 0.141 seconds over Busch.

Z. Smith, Crafton and Ankrum would round out the top-five finishers.

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series now moves onto COTA on Saturday, March 23 at 1:30 p.m. ET on FS1.