McAnally-Hilgemann Racing (MHR) confirmed today that Christian Eckes will return to drive the No. 19 NAPA Auto Care Chevrolet Silverado RST full time in the 2024 NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series (NCTS). Eckes has constructed a career-best campaign in 2023 during his first year behind the wheel of MHR’s No. 19 by winning three races and is challenging for the NCTS championship in his third playoff run.
The 2024 NCTS season will mark the 34th-consecutive season of Bill McAnally’s partnership with NAPA Auto Care and NAPA Auto Parts. The relationship dates to McAnally’s own driving days at All-American Speedway and has included 11 ARCA Menards Series West titles, multiple NCTS victories, and MHR’s first playoff berth. Eckes returned NAPA to the NCTS victory lane at Atlanta Motor Speedway in March for the first time since 2002, which also marked MHR’s first NCTS win.
Crew chief Charles Denike will also return to lead Eckes and the No. 19 NAPA Auto Care team in 2024. Eckes and Denike have become an elite duo in the series and have scored three wins in 21 races along with nine top-five and 12 top-10 finishes.
“I’m very excited to return to the #19 Silverado next season with Charles (Denike) and our entire NAPA Auto Care team,” Eckes said. “Our current main priority is trying to cap 2023 off with a championship, but having the opportunity to build upon our successes and continue growing MHR is something I’m really looking forward to in 2024. It’s been a pleasure to work with the NAPA store owners, NAPA shop owners, suppliers, and everyone in the NAPA Network. I’m thrilled to continue that relationship, and ready for another great year with all our amazing partners.”
“Christian coming in has been a major boost to elevate our race team to another level,” McAnally said. “To have the success we’ve had this season is even sweeter when you can share it with long-time partners like NAPA and all the owners, customers, and suppliers nationwide. We’re excited and looking forward to keeping the No. 19 group together next season, but we want to finish the job this season in Phoenix for everyone in the NAPA Network.”
Eckes and the No. 19 NAPA Auto Care team will begin their 2024 quest at Daytona International Speedway on Friday, February 16.