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Qualifying 12th and failing to score a stage point in the Texas Roadhouse 200 from Martinsville Speedway, most would expect Christian Eckes to be thrilled with a top-10 finish… let alone, a truck in one piece.
But he wasn’t.
Racing for Kyle Busch Motorsports’, it was the first start for the 17-year-old in five months and his third start of 2018 for the Toyota organization. After qualifying second an crashing out early at Gateway last time out, Eckes entered Martinsville with fire under his feet to bring his No. 46 home with a good result.
With a caved-in rear bumper at the checkered flag, the day was far from perfect and Eckes knew his mistakes cost him a better result.
“I made mistakes myself and we didn’t have good track position,” Eckes said. “I’m really happy with coming back to finish top 10. I felt we honestly had a truck capable of running really well today. Unfortunately, we got behind on strategy.”
A part of a four-truck team that started Saturday’s (Oct. 27) race, Eckes leaves Martinsville with a few lessons learned in the third-tier national series.
“As a whole, we learned a lot,” he said. “Our goal is to be better, to be honest. I’ve had a lot of momentum with other series’, we ran really well at Gateway as well.
“It’s still a solid result but I felt we should have been better today.”
Announcing he will run full-time in the ARCA Racing Series in 2019, Eckes’ 2018 NASCAR season will cap off with a return at ISM Raceway for KBM.
“I’m really looking forward to that,” he said. “Top 10s are always good, hopefully, we can be about nine spots better in Phoenix and have a great day there. I’m looking forward to it.”
About the author
Growing up in Easton, Pa., Zach Catanzareti has grown his auto racing interest from fandom to professional. Joining Frontstretch in 2015, Zach enjoys nothing more than being at the track, having covered his first half-season of 18 races in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series in 2017. With experience behind the wheel, behind the camera and in the media center, he thrives on being an all-around reporter.
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