Let the Good Times Roll … Christian Eckes has had plenty of good times in the first three races of the 2023 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS) season. The driver of the No. 19 NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet Silverado RST comes to Circuit of the Americas (COTA) fresh off his first victory of the season at Atlanta Motor Speedway (AMS) last weekend and looks to keep the good times rolling by pursuing his first career road course win. The Middletown, N.Y. driver leads the NCTS point standings for the second time this season and is seeking his fourth-straight finish of sixth or better to begin the 2023 campaign.
Career-Best Start … Eckes and the NAPA Auto Care team are off to a blazing start through three races, and their victory at AMS has given McAnally-Hilgemann Racing its first playoff berth. To compliment the AMS triumph, two stage wins and a series-leading average finish of 3.3 has Eckes back on top of the drivers’ point standings for the second time in three races. Not only does Eckes lead all full-time NCTS drivers with the best average finish, but he also owns the highest driver rating (111.4), best average running position (7.5), and has led the most laps (54). His finishes of third, sixth, and first thus far count for the best start to a season in his NCTS career.
Road Course Stats … Saturday’s 42-lap event on the 3.41-mile behemoth at COTA will mark Eckes’ seventh road course NCTS start. He has competed in both previous events at COTA and earned a best-finish of eighth last season. Eckes has shown to be a consistent road course performer with three top-10 finishes and five finishes of 13th or better in six previous starts. His best outing came in the most recent road course event at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2022 where he finished fifth.
Chassis Selection … Crew chief Charles Denike and the NAPA Auto Care team have prepared chassis No. 148 for the first of two road course races this season. This Chevrolet Silverado RST was built during the 2022 season and will see it's first competitive laps this year on Friday afternoon.
Tune In … Coverage from Austin, Tex. begins Friday afternoon on FOX Sports 1 with practice and pole qualifying at 4:30 p.m. ET. FS1’s coverage on Saturday begins at 12:30 p.m. ET with NASCAR Raceday followed by the green flag at 1:30 p.m. ET. Stay connected with the No. 19 NAPA Auto Care team by following @BMR_NASCAR on Twitter, @bmrnascar on Instagram, and Bill McAnally Racing on Facebook.
Christian Eckes Quote:
On continuing his hot start at COTA:
“The win at Atlanta was big for our NAPA Auto Care team, but I had plenty of confidence in everyone at MHR that we could get to victory lane this year. I’m glad it came so early in the year so we can focus on chasing even more wins and playoff points for the rest of the regular season. Road course racing is always a big challenge, and COTA will be this weekend too for sure. Pit strategies will probably be all over the board on Saturday, so it’ll be important to manage that and keep our track position as much as we can. It’d be great to keep this strong start going and run in the top-five all day and give ourselves a chance at the win.”