Christian Eckes Shifts Focus to the Springfield Dirt Mile in Next ARCA Start

Venturini Motorsports

Concord, North Carolina (August 15, 2018) – The dog days of summer are a solid reminder of one thing in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, the triumphed return of dirt racing to the annual tour schedule. A long standing series tradition, the next stop on the season features the Springfield State Fairgrounds dirt mile for the 56th running of the Allen Crowe 100 on Sunday, August 19.

Christian EckesEagerly awaiting his next ARCA shot, Christian Eckes returns to the seat of his No.15 JBL Audio Toyota Camry set to make his second career start on the historic Illinois 1-mile dirt track. Last season, in just his first ever dirt race, the 17-year old turned in an impressive outing leading laps in his Toyota Camry before a late race pit stop shuffled him back before crossing the stripe at the checkered flag in the sixth position.

“I had a lot of fun last year racing at Springfield,” said Eckes. “This will be my second dirt race ever. I really started to figure it out at the end of the race so hoping to put forward that experience into this year. ARCA dirt is kinda strange in comparison to real dirt, almost turns into a pavement track at the end of the race and I feel that’s really where I’ll thrive. Thankfully it only matters who leads that last lap! Really excited to get back with JBL Audio guys this weekend.”

In addition to strong showings in his first two career NASCAR Camping World Truck Series events, the Middletown, New York native claimed his first career ARCA victory at Salem Speedway in May and picked up his first General Tire Pole award last month at Elko Speedway.

Splitting seat time this season behind the wheel of the fifteen-car with Venturini Motorsports’ teammate Michael Self, Eckes goes back to work with crew chief Kevin Reed looking their second victory of the season together. Reed has collected 16 ARCA (12 with VMS) wins throughout his ARCA career on the pit box including all four of Venturini Motorsports’ victories in 2018.

With 22-career ARCA starts to his credit, Sunday’s matinee will mark the teen’s ninth series appearance of the 2018 campaign. Eckes has led 146-laps on the season and 420 overall since making his ARCA debut at Nashville in 2016.

ARCA considered the most versatile and leading auto racing sanctioning bodies in the country, has run 357 dirt races since the series’ inception in 1953. Of Venturini Motorsports’ 48-series victories, the longtime series team has earned four wins on dirt, two each at Springfield and DuQuoin since 2010 – Steve Arpin (DuQuoin ’10), Brennan Poole (Springfield ’13), Kevin Swindell (Springfield ’14) and Tom Hessert (DuQuoin ’16).

The Allen Crowe 100 is coming Sunday, August 19th. The grandstands will open at 8:30 AM, followed by practice at 9:00 AM, qualifying at 11:00 AM and an on-track autograph session starting at 12:15 PM. MAVTV will broadcast the race live starting at 1:30 PM. All times local.

Over the last 35-years Venturini Motorsports (VMS) has evolved into one of the most recognizable names in professional motorsports. Known for long-time dominance in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, Venturini Motorsports is held in high regard as one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the county. Since 2007, VMS has specialized in the career development of some of today’s top racing talent including current NASCAR “Stars” – Joey Logano, Erik Jones, William Byron, Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, Darryl ‘Bubba’ Wallace Jr., Daniel Suarez, Christopher Bell, Justin Allgaier, Noah Gragson, Ben Rhoads, Ryan Reed, Brandon Jones, Matt Tifft, Brennan Poole, Dalton Sargeant, Justin Haley and Todd Gilliland. Integrity, dedication and continuous innovation paired with years of on-track success has helped define Venturini Motorsports as one of the longest tenured teams in all of modern day racing. In 2012, the Venturini racing family was recognized for their collective achievements and inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame – now finding themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Chip Ganassi, Andy Granatelli, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano.