Eckes holds off Friesen in OT to win Darlington Truck race

Eckes holds off Friesen in OT to win Darlington Truck race

What had been a very tame race, turned a bit chaotic down the stretch with six cautions in the final 56 of 158 laps.

Eckes, with fresh tires, powered past Hailie Deegan on older tires on a restart on lap 132 to move into the lead for the final time but then had to hold off various challengers through two two-lap overtimes.

Just as Eckes took the white flag in the second overtime, the race was placed back under caution when Grant Enfinger spun on the final lap. The caution froze the field and locked Eckes into the win, his second of the 2023 season.

Eckes, 22, is the first multiple Truck winner of the year, which is his first with McAnally Hilgemann Racing.


<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-partner=”tweetdeck”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>Eck yeah!<a href=””>@christianeckes</a> wins <a href=””>@NASCAR_Trucks</a> at <a href=””>@TooToughToTame</a>. <a href=””></a></p>&mdash; Xfinity Racing (@XfinityRacing) <a href=””>May 13, 2023</a></blockquote>

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“I can’t say enough about this truck. I’m not that excited because it was such a damn good truck it drove itself,” Eckes said. “So proud of everyone on our team. It’s been a really, really rough couple of weeks.

“To come back and win shows the resilience of this team and how we had to win shows the fight in this team.”

Stewart Friesen was credited with second, Tanner Gray third, William Byron fourth and Carson Hocevar rebounded from an accident to finish fifth.

Completing the top-10 were Rajah Caruth, Bubba Wallace, Corey Heim, Kaden Honeycutt and Dean Thompson.

Stage 1

Eckes easily held off Heim by 1.797 seconds to take the Stage 1 win. Matt DiBenedetto was third, Byron fourth and Enfinger completed the top-five.

Heim started on the pole and led the first 26 laps until Eckes powered around him to move out front on lap 27.

Stage 2

Byron ran down and passed Heim with two of 45 laps remaining and claimed the Stage 2 win by 1.597 seconds. Eckes ended up third, Hocevar fourth and Wallace rounded out the top-five.

Ty Majeski, who lost power steering in the race, was forced to the garage for extensive repairs, which took…

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