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ThorSport Racing adds Christian Eckes to 2021 driver lineup

HAMPTON, GEORGIA – JUNE 06: Christian Eckes, driver of the #18 Safelite AutoGlass Toyota, stands during the national anthem prior to the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series Vet Tix Camping World 200 at Atlanta Motor Speedway on June 06, 2020 in Hampton, Georgia. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

ThorSport Racing announced Thursday that Christian Eckes has been added to their 2021 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS) driver lineup.

Eckes, who drove the No. 18 Kyle Busch Motorsports Toyota Tundra in 2020, will split the 22-race NCWTS schedule in the No. 98 Champion Power Equipment Toyota Tundra with Grant Enfinger.

Enfinger will run 12 races while Eckes will run the other ten. Jeirod Pierce will serve as the crew chief for them. Pierce will be taking over for longtime crew chief Jeff Hensley.

Enfinger’s first two races will be the Feb. 12 Daytona season opener and the March 20 Atlanta race. Eckes’ first two races will be the Feb. 19 Daytona road course race and the March 5 Las Vegas race.

“It’s pretty nice because we don’t have to worry about points or making the playoffs,” Eckes said. “We can go out and win races, try to make the playoffs in owner points and win the owner championship.”

No further details have been announced on the remainder of the schedule for either driver.

2021 will be ThorSport’s first season with Toyota since 2017. Johnny Sauter, Matt Crafton and Ben Rhodes will each be returning to race full-time in their respective rides for the upcoming season.

Johnny Sauter will drive the No. 13, with Sakar International’s Vivitar brand returning as his sponsor and Joe Shear Jr. returning as his crew chief. 2021 will be Sauter’s tenth full-time NCWTS season with ThorSport.

Matt Crafton will drive the No. 88, with Menards and their partners returning as his sponsor and Carl JoinerJr. returning as his crew chief. It will be Crafton’s 20th full-time NCWTS season with ThorSport and his 16th consecutive season racing full-time for the team.

Ben Rhodes will drive the No. 99, with Bombardier as his sponsor and Rich Lushes as his new crew chief. Lushes previously served as Sauter’s truck chief. 2021 will be Rhodes’ sixth full-time NCWTS season and sixth with ThorSport.

The first race for the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series is Friday, February 12, at Daytona International Speedway (7:30 p.m. ET; TV: FS1, Radio: MRN, SiriusXM NASCAR Radio).

Thorsport Racing

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