Corey Heim may have led on the final restart, but it was McAnally-Hilgemann Racing’s Christian Eckes who made the most of the final lap during the Kansas Lottery 200 on Friday night.
The No. 19 MHR Chevrolet took it three wide with Zane Smith and Corey Heim with one lap to go, finding an opening on the bottom lane as the two battled in the top groove. With one turn to go, Eckes surged to the front and stole the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series victory.
He went from fourth to first in two laps.
“That was wild. I didn’t know if I was going to win or not. We had like a sixth-place truck all day, but with that caution coming out, I knew we had a shot at it. Here we are. We haven’t won in a really long time,” Eckes said in his interview on FOX.
Taylor Gray, Matt DiBenedetto, Heim and Smith completed the top five at Kansas Speedway.
Sanchez won the first stage in his No. 2 Rev Racing Chevrolet, leading Chase Purdy, Ben Rhodes, Heim and Eckes at the line. With 11 laps to go in stage two, Hocevar took the lead and held it, picking up the stage win. Sanchez, Heim, Smith and Grant Enfinger completed the top five.
There were five cautions and 18 lead changes.
Eckes will move on to the Round of 8 in the Truck Series playoffs, along with Enfinger, Ty Majeski, Heim, Hocevar, Smith, Sanchez and Rhodes.
One driver eliminated from the playoffs was Matt Crafton, who had to go to a backup truck after running over debris and wrecking in practice earlier in the day. Crafton’s No. 88 Ford slapped the wall on lap 69 of Friday’s race, and after attempted repairs, he finished 33rd, nine laps down and 11 points out of the Round of 8.