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Eckes finds redemption with Truck Series win at Bristol

Sometimes a victory tastes sweetest when it comes as a chaser for a bitter defeat.

That was certainly the case for pole winner Christian Eckes, who held off Kyle Busch in the closing laps to win Saturday night’s Weather Guard Truck Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

In last year’s NASCAR CRAFTSMAN Truck Series Playoff race at Bristol, Eckes gave up the lead to Corey Heim with six laps left and finished second by 0.218s.

The loss cost Eckes, who led 150 laps in that event, a berth in the Championship 4 at Phoenix, where his victory in the season finale gave him a consolation prize but not a title.

On Saturday night, Eckes passed Busch for the lead on lap 159 and held it for the final 92 circuits as Busch made a frenetic charge that fell just short. In traffic, Eckes crossed the finish line 0.141s ahead of the career Truck Series victory leader.

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“Oh, man, it’s so sweet,” said Eckes, who won for the first time this season, the first time at Bristol and the sixth time in his career. “There’s just so much behind this win from last year, missing out on the Championship 4 and losing the race with [six] to go.