Christian Eckes gr8 l8 in Fr8 208 d8

Atlanta Motor Speedway‘s conversion into a superspeedway-like track may have been too extreme for the youngsters of the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series as crashes resulted in eleven yellow flags, the most for the division there, including a last-lap wreck to end Saturday’s Fr8 208 under caution. Said accident came just moments after another caution to set up overtime, which Christian Eckes capitalised upon to score his seond career victory and first in just his third start for McAnally-Hilgemann Racing and Chevrolet.

Eckes had received a speeding penalty after leading every lap in Stage #1 and spent much of the race trying to regain ground. The cautions worked in his favour as they bunched up the field for ensuing restarts multiple times: he sat outside the top ten as the lap counter crossed triple digits, but found himself in second by overtime. After clearing Nick Sanchez for the lead on the final lap, a three-truck wreck involving Tyler Ankrum, Stewart Friesen, and Zane Smith ended the race.

The win is also MHR’s first in the Truck Series. Eckes has scored top tens in all three of his races for the team so far.

John Hunter Nemechek led a race-high fifty-three laps but fell back after an attempted draft with Jack Wood resulted in contact.

“I was trying to push him away from everybody else so that we could get clear and just race, but that’s part of speedway racing and that’s what they turned Atlanta into,” Nemechek commented.

Bayley Currey scored his maiden top five in any NASCAR series when he finished fourth, and Timmy Hill enjoyed his first top ten since 2021 with an eighth-place run. Ryan Vargas was fourteenth in his Truck Series début, while Akinori Ogata secured G2G Racing‘s best-ever finish in seventeenth.

Besides crashes that resulted in green-flag runs only lasting about seven laps on average, mechanical issues haunted the field. Eckes’ team-mate Jake Garcia went three laps down to a shock problem but fought to place in the top twenty. Carson Hocevar blew a right-front tyre twice while Kaden Honeycutt led his first career lap after cycling into the top spot but a small piece of metal got into his truck and relegated him to thirty-third. Rajah Caruth slipped to twenty-fifth when a tyre went down, prompting him to ask, “Can I buy some luck or something?”

Race results

Finish Start Number Driver Team Manufacturer Laps Status
1 4 19 Christian Eckes McAnally-Hilgemann Racing Chevrolet 137 Running
2 20 2 Nick Sanchez Rev Racing Chevrolet 137 Running
3 24 17 John Hunter Nemechek* TRICON Garage Toyota 137 Running
4 30 41 Bayley Currey* Niece Motorsports Chevrolet 137 Running
5 3 99 Ben Rhodes ThorSport Racing Ford 137 Running
6 10 25 Matt DiBenedetto Rackley WAR Chevrolet 137 Running
7 9 4 Chase Purdy Kyle Busch Motorsports Chevrolet 137 Running
8 18 56 Timmy Hill Hill Motorsports Toyota 137 Running
9 8 88 Matt Crafton ThorSport Racing Ford 137 Running
10 17 51 Jack Wood Kyle Busch Motorsports Chevrolet 137 Running
11 2 98 Ty Majeski ThorSport Racing Ford 137 Running
12 32 13 Hailie Deegan ThorSport Racing Ford 137 Running
13 33 32 Bret Holmes Bret Holmes Racing Chevrolet 137 Running
14 35 30 Ryan Vargas On Point Motorsports Toyota 137 Running
15 25 02 Kris Wright Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet 137 Running
16 19 43 Daniel Dye GMS Racing Chevrolet 137 Running
17 34 46 Akinori Ogata G2G Racing Toyota 137 Running
18 12 35 Jake Garcia McAnally-Hilgemann Racing Chevrolet 137 Running
19 7 23 Grant Enfinger GMS Racing Chevrolet 137 Running
20 1 38 Zane Smith Front Row Motorsports Ford 137 Running
21 27 12 Spencer Boyd Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet 137 Running
22 14 52 Stewart Friesen Halmar Friesen Racing Toyota 137 Running
23 28 22 Josh Reaume AM Racing Ford 137 Running
24 11 15 Tanner Gray TRICON Garage Toyota 137 Running
25 22 24 Rajah Caruth GMS Racing Chevrolet 137 Running
26 13 16 Tyler Ankrum Hattori Racing Enterprises Toyota 136 Running
27 15 9 Colby Howard CR7 Motorsports Chevrolet 134 Track Bar
28 23 1 Layne Riggs TRICON Garage Toyota 134 Running
29 26 33 Mason Massey Reaume Brothers Racing Ford 134 Running
30 16 5 Dean Thompson TRICON Garage Toyota 131 Running
31 5 42 Carson Hocevar Niece Motorsports Chevrolet 127 Accident
32 21 45 Lawless Alan Niece Motorsports Chevrolet 126 Accident
33 29 04 Kaden Honeycutt Roper Racing Ford 123 Running
34 6 11 Corey Heim TRICON Garage Toyota 83 Accident
35 31 20 Mason Maggio Young’s Motorsports Chevrolet 52 Accident
36 36 34 Keith McGee* Reaume Brothers Racing Ford 7 Transmission
Italics – Competing for Rookie of the Year
* – Ineligible for points