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NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series

Christian Eckes Furious With Second at WWTR

Christian Eckes leads Rajah Caruth in Toyota 200 practice. (Photo: Josh James | The Podium Finish)

MADISON, Il. – Christian Eckes’ third straight runner-up finish at World Wide Technology Raceway might be the most frustrating.

Nobody wants to finish second, especially when they believe they should have won.

However, such was the case for Eckes on Saturday.

While not leading much, Eckes was in the hunt all day during the Toyota 200, trailing the dominant trucks of Ty Majeski and Corey Heim.

Ultimately, Eckes managed to get past Majeski on the final run, but was unable to catch Heim.

It’s his third consecutive runner-up finish at the 1.25-mile oval, and his first in the 2024 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series campaign.

“We had a good points day but that’s about it,” Eckes said. “Really disappointing end result, I felt like we had the best truck. The No. 98 was a little bit better than us to start, but whenever we got to stage two I felt like we were the best truck by a significant margin.”

Eckes started on the outside of the front row next to Majeski, getting the lead for two laps after the first caution.

These two laps led means that Eckes has now led laps in 12 races to start the season.

Christian Eckes continues to lead the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points standings. (Photo: Josh James | The Podium Finish)

With cautions coming out early in both stages, strategies varied between staying out or not, as well as taking two or four tires.

Eckes lost track position as a result of this, falling further behind Majeski and Heim.

“It’s super hard to pass here,” Eckes said. “We could never get all the way there. I felt like we had the track position early in the race, but coming from 11th and coming from fourth was just not ideal.

“I’m proud of the effort, proud of the truck we brought. The truck was extremely good. We improved on last week and came up short.”

On the final restart with 23 laps to go, Eckes got to work hunting down Majeski for second.

He trailed him for several laps before going for a dive-bomb in turn one and sliding up the track.

Eckes was able to win the position over a fading Majeski, but the battle led to Heim driving even further away.

For the second time, Eckes followed Heim to the checkered flag at World Wide Technology Raceway. This time he came in 1.854 seconds back.

“I pissed the tires off of it trying to get past the No. 98 and just tried to hard past that,” Eckes said. “When you come back from however many spots we lost on pit road, I think it was nine, we had to restart 11th and it just makes it really challenging. We’ll go back to work and try to figure out our issues.”

Christian Eckes has seven career wins in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. (Photo: Josh James | The Podium Finish)

This capped off a season-long five-week stretch of races at five very different tracks.

Eckes recorded three top-fives and five top-10s in the stretch and says he and his team learned a lot about themselves.

“We’re capable of a lot and we’ve just got to be able to do it,” Eckes said. “We finished second here today and should have won. ”

The NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series takes the next three weeks off before returning on June 28 for the Rackley Roofing 200 at Nashville Superspeedway.

Eckes will hope for a better run than he had last year, where he was collected in two accidents and finished the race in 23rd, two laps behind race winner Carson Hocevar.

Eckes will enter the race as the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series points leader.

Harry Loomis is a 23-year old co-managing editor of The Podium Finish. He joined TPF in September 2023, having previously written for his own racing outlet. He graduated from Missouri Western State University in May 2023, earning his degree in Convergent Journalism. At Missouri Western, Loomis became the Sports Director of Griffon Media, becoming a trusted member of the student newspaper and weekly newscasts. A passionate race fan since age six, Loomis is originally from St. Charles, MO, and is a big NHL and MLB fan.

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