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Eckes Captures Stage Win before Brake Issue Slows Atlanta Run


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Christian Eckes was one of the early favorites at Atlanta Motor Speedway before a brake issue put a halt to his strong afternoon. The driver of the No. 19

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Chevrolet Silverado RST led 20 laps in the opening segment enroute to a stage win and captured his first playoff point of the season. However, Eckes’ afternoon resulted in a 32nd-place finish after completing 50 circuits.

#19: Christian Eckes, McAnally Hilgemann Racing, NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet Silverado

Eckes took the green flag in fifth position as he and his MHR teammates dominated qualifying, with all four trucks occupying the top-five spots in the starting lineup. In typical fashion, Eckes wasted no time making bold moves towards the lead. He grabbed the second position on the opening lap and took the lead on lap 11. Shortly after a restart on lap 22, Eckes radioed his NAPA Auto Care team that his brake pedal was going to the floor and that he did not have any brakes. Despite the alarming discovery, Eckes drove to the stage win on lap 30, but was forced to pit under the stage caution.

#19: Christian Eckes, McAnally Hilgemann Racing, NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet Silverado

Crew chief Charles Denike and the MHR team attempted to resolve the issue, but Eckes was forced to retire early and was credited with the 32nd-place result.

#19: Christian Eckes, McAnally Hilgemann Racing, NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet Silverado

“We had a really fast NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet,” Eckes said. “We drove straight to the lead early and was able to control the race for most of the first stage. The brake pedal went to the floor towards the end of the first stage and had some fluid inside the truck, so its really unfortunate for our team and everybody at NAPA that was out here today with us. We’ll go to Vegas and try to make up for it”

Start / Finish: 5 / 32
Points Standing / Total: 9th / 54 pts.

Next Race: Friday, March 1, Las Vegas Motor Speedway
How to Watch or Listen: 9:00 p.m. ET on FS1, MRN or SiriusXM

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