Concord, North Carolina (April 11, 2019) – Current ARCA Menards Series’ points leader Christian Eckes is hoping to relive the magic of his first ARCA win when he straps back into his Venturini Motorsports’ JBL Audio Toyota Sunday afternoon for the series’ Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200 at Salem Speedway.
Off to a strong start with one pole position and top-5 finishes in the season opener at Daytona International Speedway and last month’s effort at Five Flags Speedway, Eckes goes into ARCA’s third round holding a 65-point advantage in the driver championship point standings.
Joining VMS’ stable in 2015, Eckes, now 18, saw limited action making 15 ARCA starts before breaking into the win column at Salem Speedway during last year’s spring race. Showing speed throughout his young career, Eckes’ first win opened the gates to further success as the talented teen went onto to capture two additional trophies during the 2018 season – winning on the dirt at Springfield and then covering the field at Lucas Oil Raceway later late in the season.
“It’s a great feeling going back to Salem,” says Eckes. “It meant a lot to finally just get an ARCA win, no matter the race track. It was a rough year and a half after the derby where there was a lot of things but not one thing that was important to me – wins. I really put all my effort forward over the 2017 off season and realized i needed to be better. Spring Salem was where it all paid off and was definitely one of the best feeling wins in my career for sure.”
Overall Eckes has made 29 series starts earning three General Tire Pole Awards, three victories, 12 top-5’s and 20 top-10 finishes. Poised for a full season effort with VMS, Eckes’ past experiences help pave the way for a strong championship run in 2019.
“The past few years have been absolutely crucial not only in my development but getting familiar with the cars and different tracks of the ARCA Menards Series. It helps a lot to go back to places that I’ve been 2 or 3 times, and I’m lucky to have those past opportunities that are going to help this year especially.”
Practice for the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA 200 is set for 11 am ET on Saturday, April 13 with General Tire Pole Qualifying scheduled for 3 pm ET that afternoon. The green flag on round three of the 2019 ARCA Menards Series season will drop shortly after 2 pm ET on Sunday, April 14. The race will be televised live on MAVTV and live timing & scoring will be available at ARCARacing.com.
ABOUT VENTURINI MOTORSPORTS
With 54 all-time victories, Venturini Motorsports, an official Toyota Racing Development team, has been a permanent fixture in the ARCA Menards Series since 1983 and is considered one of the early pioneers in NASCAR driver development programs.
Since Joey Logano, last year’s 2018 Monster Energy NASCAR Cup champion, raced for the team in 2007, VMS has gone onto assist many of the sports’ top driver prospects in pursuit of making it to the highest levels of stock car racing.
The growing list of drivers racing today in one of NASCAR’s top-three touring series include current Toyota drivers Erik Jones, Christopher Bell, Harrison Burton, Christian Eckes, Chandler Smith, Brandon Jones, Todd Gilliland, Brennan Poole, Ryan Reed and Natalie Decker. VMS Alumni also include Joey Logano, William Byron, Ryan Blaney, Alex Bowman, Daniel Suarez, Bubba Wallace, Matt Tifft, Noah Gragson, Justin Allgaier and Justin Haley.