Concord, North Carolina (September 11, 2018) – It’s safe to say no driver is looking forward to returning to Salem Speedway for this weekend’s ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards Kentuckiana Ford Dealers Fall Classic 200 more than the driver of the No.15 JBL Audio Toyota, Christian Eckes.
Eckes, already a two-time ARCA Series winner, thrilled onlookers back in April with a late race, side-by-side battle with teammate Chandler Smith before capturing the checkered flag for his first series victory.
“Winning at this level, in this series is not easy, winning at Salem is even tougher,” says Eckes. “I’ll always remember my first win. I’m excited to get back for another shot. Kevin Reed (Crew Chief) and this JBL Audio team has been on point all season long. Saturday night will be tough – you can expect another strong field of cars but we’ll be ready to defend.”
The Middletown, NY native has a lot of reasons to like his chances of repeating. Eckes has been on a roll this season. In addition to capturing his first ARCA Series win at Salem, the 17-year old driver repeated as a series winner last month at Springfield. He also won his first General Tire Pole award at Elko back in July.
Saturday night’s race will mark Eckes’ fourth career start on the high banks of Salem. During his first track appearance back in the Spring of ’17 he led 91-laps before settling for an 8th place finish. He led another 72-laps earlier this year on his way to victory lane.
Over the course of his 11-races entered on the ’18 season Eckes has led laps in six events for 250-laps. Averaging a fifth place starting spot the college freshman has notched five top-5’s and six top-10’s on the season campaign.
The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers Fall Classic 200 presented by Meadow View/Salem Crossing from Salem Speedway is slated to go green Saturday, September 15 at 7:15pm. MAVTV will carry live broadcast coverage starting at 7:00pm. Spectator gates open on Saturday at 11:15 a.m., with practice getting underway at 12-noon. Qualifying is set for 3:00pm. All times Eastern Standard Time.
ABOUT VENTURINI MOTORSPORTS:
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.