Concord, North Carolina (April 29, 2019) – Over the weekend the ARCA Menards Series made its fourth tour stop on the season by kicking-off NASCAR weekend at Talladega Superspeedway with Friday’s running of the ARCA General Tire 200.
Venturini Motorsports’ Brandon Lynn (No.20 Carolina Excavating Toyota) made the most of his only scheduled race of the season by turning in a team best performance starting from the top spot after earning his first ever General Tire Pole Award and finishing third overall. Matching his best career finish, the 24-year old driver kept his Toyota Camry up front and within striking distance throughout the race.
“Venturini Motorsports brought me a great car tonight,” said Lynn. “I can’t say enough about this team, we were fast off the trailer and put the twenty-car on the pole. It was fun to run up front and have another shot – obviously I wanted more but I’ll take a top-three finish for these guys.”
Lynn’s pole award was VMS’ sixth in the last seven years at Talladega and the team’s fourth consecutive restrictor plate race pole dating back to last season at Daytona International Speedway.
Michael Self (No.25 Sinclair Oil Toyota) finished fifth and in doing so took over the lead in ARCA’s driver point standings. Self has come on strong with two wins and three consecutive top-5 finishes after a disappointing start of the season at Daytona.
“Couple close calls out there but in the end we were able to give Sinclair Oil another solid finish,” said Self. “This is a place anything bad can happen at any time – and it almost did. Early in the race I saw the Daytona incident flash before my eyes when I got shuffled out of line. We fell to the back but thanks to a good pit stop we were able to drive back up to the front and put ourselves back in contention. We had a chance and I tried to make the money moves on the last lap but couldn’t get the help to make it work.”
Christian Eckes (No.15 JBL Audio Toyota) returned to the seat after missing his last start due to illness and finished 26th after hitting the outside wall after being collected by the No.46. who slowed and came down on Eckes as he was attempting to come down pit road on lap-39.
A blow in the point standings, Eckes’ premature departure leaves the championship contender in seventh-place overall, 180-points back from teammate and point leader Michael Self.
“Super disappointing day,” said Eckes. We came here with a lot of high hopes after missing Salem. This one was tough, it really hurt us in the points. They were all over the place, I knew it was gonna happen. We had such a fast JBL Audio Toyota Camry – but just got caught up in the wrong spot at the wrong time. Not much we can do now but focus on Nashville and get this team back on track.”
Eckes won’t have to wait long for his next chance as the ARCA Menards Series will be back in action this coming Saturday at the Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville. The General Tire Music City 200 presented by Inspectra Thermal Solutions at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville will be televised live on MAVTV beginning at 9PM ET/8PM CT.