MARTINSVILLE, VIRGINIA - APRIL 05: Christian Eckes, driver of the #19 Adaptive One Calipers Chevrolet, takes the checkered flag to win the NASCAR Craftsman Long John Silver's 200 at Martinsville Speedway on April 05, 2024 in Martinsville, Virginia. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Christian Eckes claims masterful Martinsville victory in NASCAR Trucks

April 5, 2024

By Reid Spencer

NASCAR Wire Service

 

MARTINSVILLE, Va. — It was indeed a special night for NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series driver Christian Eckes, who dominated Friday night’s Long John Silver’s 200 at Martinsville Speedway.

 

Eschewing a trip to pit road between the first and second stages at the 0.526-mile short track, Eckes led the first 104 laps, swept the stages and worked his way back through the field from 19th after pitting at the Stage 2 break.

 

Undeterred by the chaos that produced 11 cautions for 81 laps, Eckes took the lead for the final time on Lap 172 in a side-by-side battle against pole winner Ty Majeski, who regained the top spot when Eckes came to pit road for the only time during the 200-lap event.

 

“Something really special,” Eckes said of the effort of his No. 19 McAnally Hilgemann Racing team and the quality of his Chevrolet. “We came here last year, and we weren’t really that great… we were maybe a sixth-place truck (started sixth and finished 15th).

 

“And we worked really hard on it, and here we are in Victory Lane. So just super proud of this entire team.”

 

The victory was the second of the season for Eckes, who won from the pole at Bristol last month. It was his first triumph at Martinsville and the seventh of his career.

 

Starting from the top spot on the grid, Majeski gave up the lead on the first lap as Eckes powered past him.

 

“The 19 (Eckes) was tough tonight,” Majeski said. “He was just a little but better than us. He had better tires (in the final stage), and I just could not launch on restarts…

 

“But I think we left here with the points lead today. Really solid day. Obviously, you want to win. I wanted that grandfather clock (trophy), but I’m super proud of this team. We’ve been working hard at getting our trucks better, and just a little but short tonight.”

 

Majeski leaves Martinsville as the series leader, with a seven-point edge over Corey Heim and Tyler Ankrum.

 

Chase Purdy ran third to post his fourth top-five finish in 81 Truck Series starts. Nick Sanchez was fourth, followed by Ankrum, Taylor Gray, Rajah Caruth, Sammy Smith, Kaden Honeycutt and Heim.

 

Australian Supercars star Cam Waters finished 30th in his NASCAR debut, a casualty of a chain-reaction collision on Lap 177 that left his No. 66 ThorSport Racing Ford spewing hot vapor like a geyser.

 

“I had so much fun tonight and all day today,” Waters said. “It is totally different racing from what I usually do, and I just wanted to learn. I learned so much.

 

“There at the end I just had nowhere to go and knocked the radiator out of it. It is a shame, but I was having fun and learning and had some awesome battles, too.”

 

NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Race – Long John Silver’s 200

Martinsville Speedway

Martinsville, Virginia

Friday, April 5, 2024

 

1. (2)  Christian Eckes, Chevrolet, 200.

2. (1)  Ty Majeski, Ford, 200.

3. (11)  Chase Purdy, Chevrolet, 200.

4. (5)  Nick Sanchez, Chevrolet, 200.

5. (9)  Tyler Ankrum, Chevrolet, 200.

6. (12)  Taylor Gray, Toyota, 200.

7. (16)  Rajah Caruth, Chevrolet, 200.

8. (13)  Sammy Smith(i), Chevrolet, 200.

9. (17)  Kaden Honeycutt, Chevrolet, 200.

10. (4)  Corey Heim, Toyota, 200.

11. (29)  Mason Massey, Chevrolet, 200.

12. (24)  Matt Crafton, Ford, 200.

13. (23)  Daniel Dye, Chevrolet, 200.

14. (6)  Ben Rhodes, Ford, 200.

15. (3)  Layne Riggs #, Ford, 200.

16. (19)  Tanner Gray, Toyota, 200.

17. (15)  Bayley Currey, Chevrolet, 200.

18. (10)  Jack Wood, Chevrolet, 200.

19. (14)  Stewart Friesen, Toyota, 200.

20. (27)  Timmy Hill, Toyota, 200.

21. (7)  Jake Garcia, Ford, 200.

22. (20)  Grant Enfinger, Chevrolet, 200.

23. (18)  Ty Dillon, Chevrolet, 200.

24. (28)  Bret Holmes, Chevrolet, 200.

25. (30)  Spencer Boyd, Chevrolet, 200.

26. (21)  William Sawalich, Toyota, 200.

27. (33)  Thad Moffitt #, Chevrolet, 200.

28. (31)  Stephen Mallozzi, Ford, 198.

29. (25)  Matt Mills, Chevrolet, Accident, 193.

30. (22)  Cam Waters, Ford, Accident, 176.

31. (26)  Lawless Alan, Ford, DVP, 166.

32. (34)  Justin Carroll, Toyota, Accident, 158.

33. (8)  Dean Thompson, Toyota, Accident, 145.

34. (32)  Blake Lothian, Chevrolet, Overheating, 17.

 

Average Speed of Race Winner:  55.908 mph.

Time of Race:  1 Hrs, 52 Mins, 54 Secs. Margin of Victory:  0.644 Seconds.

Caution Flags:  11 for 81 laps.

Lead Changes:  5 among 3 drivers.

Lap Leaders:   C. Eckes 1-104;T. Majeski 105-153;N. Sanchez 154;T. Majeski 155-171;C. Eckes 172-200.

Leaders Summary (Driver, Times Lead, Laps Led):  Christian Eckes 2 times for 133 laps; Ty Majeski 2 times for 66 laps; Nick Sanchez 1 time for 1 lap.

Stage #1 Top Ten: 19,98,38,11,2,99,18,13,45,77

Stage #2 Top Ten: 19,18,77,98,45,13,5,41,17,1

 

About Martinsville Speedway 

Founded by H. Clay Earles in 1947, Martinsville Speedway is the only NASCAR track to host NASCAR Cup Series races every year since its inception in 1949. At .526 miles in length, the track annually hosts two NASCAR race weekends featuring the NASCAR Cup Series, along with NASCAR Xfinity Series and NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series races in the fall. Martinsville Speedway also annually hosts the ValleyStar Credit Union 300, the nation’s biggest, richest and most prestigious NASCAR Late Model Stock Car race. For more information about Martinsville Speedway, visit martinsvillespeedway.com.   

 

About NASCAR     

The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body for the No. 1 form of motorsports in the United States and owner of 16 of the nation’s major motorsports entertainment facilities. NASCAR sanctions races in three national series (NASCAR Cup Series™, NASCAR Xfinity Series™, and NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series™), four international series (NASCAR Brasil Sprint Race, NASCAR Mexico Series, NASCAR Pinty’s Series (Canada), NASCAR Whelen Euro Series), four regional series (ARCA Menards Series, ARCA Menards Series East & West and the NASCAR Whelen Modified Tour) and a local grassroots series (NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series). The International Motor Sports Association™ (IMSA®) governs the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship™, the premier U.S. sports car series. NASCAR also owns Motor Racing Network, Racing Electronics, and ONE DAYTONA. Based in Daytona Beach, Florida, with offices in eight cities across North America, NASCAR sanctions more than 1,200 races annually in 12 countries and more than 30 U.S. states. For more information visit www.NASCAR.com and www.IMSA.com, and follow NASCAR on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (‘NASCAR’).