Concord, North Carolina (August 14, 2017) – Sixteen year-old Christian Eckes has been tapped to replace Christopher Bell, current points leader in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series (NCWTS), behind the wheel of Venturini Motorsports’ (VMS) No.15 Toyota Camry on the legendary dirt mile at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield on Sunday, August 20.
Bell, proven to be one of the premier dirt track racers in the country, will be forced to miss out on his previously scheduled ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards’ dirt spectacle due to recent unforeseen changes in his busy racing schedule.
For Eckes, Sunday’s Herr’s Potato Chips 100 will mark the driver’s first career dirt race.
“I’ve got some pretty big shoes to fill come next week,” says Eckes on replacing Bell. “But I’m definitely excited for the chance to run my first dirt race. I’m really looking forward to it, every time I go with Venturini Motorsports, it’s always fun. Trying something new for the first time makes it even more fun.”
Eckes, driving for VMS, has emerged as one of the top young drivers in the ARCA Series is coming off a second-place finish at Winchester Speedway – his second runner-up finish of the season to go along with four top five’s and eight consecutive top-10 series finishes.
“This is a great opportunity for me to get some dirt experience before heading into next season’s schedule. I’ve already started preparing – besides leaning on Bell for some pointers we’ll have Tom Hessert back with the team at Springfield – he’s got a ton of experience and won last year at DuQuoin. I’m hoping he shares some secrets,” added Eckes with a smile.
Eckes, a native of Middletown, NY, has made 12 career ARCA starts since joining VMS in 2016. The talented teenager recently announced his plans to continue his series involvement releasing news of fifteen scheduled events for next season with VMS.
Christopher Bell, a two-time ARCA Series winner with VMS, will return to the team’s driver lineup at Chicagoland Speedway on September 14.
The 55th running of the Herr’s Potato Chips 100, one of the capital city’s largest sporting events, takes center stage on the world’s fastest mile dirt track Sunday afternoon August 20 alongside the 165th annual Illinois State Fairgrounds.
Herr’s Potato Chips 100 Schedule
Practice for the Herr’s Potato Chips 100 is scheduled from 9-10 a.m. with General Tire Pole Qualifying following at 11:00 a.m. The 55th annual Herr’s Potato Chips 100 starts at 1:30 p.m. All times are local Central.
Live on MAVTV
The Herr’s Potato Chips 100 will be live on MAVTV. ARCAracing.com will feature live timing and scoring and live chat of all on-track activity throughout the afternoon.
Follow Christian Eckes on social media by visiting @ChristianEckes on Twitter and Instagram, @ChristianEckesRacing on Facebook or visit his official website at www.ChristianEckesRacing.com.
ABOUT VENTURINI MOTORSPORTS:
Venturini Motorsports (VMS), fielding cars for over 30-years in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, is one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the country. Multiple team championships and consistent on-track success, VMS has evolved into one of the most recognizable names in motorsports. Since 2007, VMS has assisted in the career development of notable NASCAR drivers such as Joey Logano, Erik Jones, William Byron, Christopher Bell, Justin Allgaier, Alex Bowman, Ryan Blaney, Brennan Poole, Kyle Benjamin, Daniel Suarez, and Brandon Jones. Over the years the Venturini name has become synonymous with modern-day racing in America. In 2012, the Venturini family was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame and now find themselves enshrined with such sports icons as Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Vince Lombardi, Tommy Lasorda and Rocky Marciano.