Christian Eckes wins wreck-marred Atlanta Truck race

Christian Eckes wins wreck-marred Atlanta Truck race

A late-race wreck involving Carson Hocevar sent the race into a two-lap overtime with Nick Sanchez in the lead.

Eckes, 22, powered to the lead on the restart, briefly lost it to Sanchez, and grabbed it back before a caution was displayed for a multi-truck wreck in Turn 4 on the last lap.

The win is the first of the season for Eckes, who had to fight back from the rear of the field mid-race after a speeding penalty.

Eckes, a native of Middletown, N.Y., has one previous series victory and moved in the offseason from ThorSport Racing to Bill McAnally Racing.


“There’s a lot of thoughts for sure. It was a tough offseason,” Eckes said. “I’m driving as hard as I ever have – a have a lot to prove to the people who know who they are.

“Just really happy. Thanks to this team, they work so damn hard and this is what makes it all worth it. I’m pumped. This is going to be a really good year.”

Sanchez ended up second, John Hunter Nemechek third, Bayley Currey fourth and Matt DiBenedetto rounded out the top-five.

Completing the top-10 were Ben Rhodes, Timmy Hill, Chase Purdy, Matt Crafton and Jack Wood.

The race featured 11 cautions – including seven in the final stage – that covered 58 of the 137 laps completed.

Stage 3

Following the caution between Stages 2 and 3, all the lead-lap truck pit with Nemechek first off pit road.

On the restart on Lap 68, Nemechek was followed by Corey Heim, DiBenedetto, Stewart Friesen and Tyler Ankrum.

Akinori Ogata spun off Turn 2 on Lap 78 and tagged in the inside wall on the backstretch to bring out the fifth caution of the race.

The lead-lap trucks all pit with Nemechek first off pit road. Both Eckes and Bret Holmes were penalized for speeding on pit road and had to restart from the rear of the field.

Heim and Colby Howard collided on pit road during the stops but were both able to continue in the race.

On the restart on Lap 84, Nemechek led the way.

Sanchez appeared to fall off the pace on the restart and Heim slammed into the rear of his No. 2 truck to immediately place the race back under caution.


The race returned to green on Lap 94 with Nemechek still out front, followed by Purdy, Ankrum, DiBenedetto and Rhodes.

Dean Thompson got pinched into the wall and wrecked on Lap 97 to bring out the seventh caution of the race.

Nemechek remained in the lead on the restart on Lap 103.

With a push from Crafton, Wood moved briefly into the lead on Lap 104 only to see Nemechek reclaim it on…

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