Concord, North Carolina (October 8, 2018) – Christian Eckes, driving his familiar No.15 JBL Audio Toyota, scored his third career ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards victory with a dominant performance in Saturday’s Shore Lunch 200 at Lucas Oil Speedway. Eckes, one of Toyota’s highly touted TD2 drivers, started from the pole position after setting a track record in qualifying and led 171 of 200 laps on the night.
“What an incredible night,” said a jubilant Eckes from victory lane. “I really should give all the credit to my crew chief Kevin Reed and all the guys on this team. They gave me the best car I’ve ever had. I was just the lucky one who got to drive it.”
Putting an exclamation point on what can only be defined as a break out season driving for Venturini Motorsports (VMS), Saturday’s Indianapolis race marked the 13th and final ARCA appearance of the year for the Middletown, New York native.
Eckes, making his ARCA series debut in 2016, made the most of his third consecutive season driving part-time for VMS. Continuing to improve from year-to-year, Eckes’ 2018 performance with three wins (Salem Speedway, Springfield and Lucas Oil Raceway), two General Tire Pole Awards (Elko Speedway, Lucas Oil Raceway) and 421-laps led throughout the season, helps thrust the 17-year old driver back into conversation as one of the brightest up and coming young drivers in the sport today.
Adding to his overall statistics, Eckes with three victories and two pole positions, has earned 10 top-5 and 18 top-10 finishes with 695 laps led in 27 ARCA career starts.
“It’s been a great year in the ARCA Series. The support from Toyota, JBL, Quality Bus Sales and Venturini (Motorsports) made it all possible. I really can’t thank everyone enough for believing in me and giving me this opportunity.”
With his ARCA season in the rear view mirror, Eckes will now shift his focus to the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series where he’ll reunite with Kyle Busch Motorsports for two more starts behind the wheel of his No.46 Toyota Tundra at Martinsville Speedway on October 27 and ISM Raceway in Arizona on November 9. With two NCWTS career starts both coming this season, Eckes earned a top-10 finish in his debut at Iowa Speedway and a stage win at Gateway Motorsports Park.
Although Christian will not be competing the final race of the season is up next with the Kansas 150 at Kansas Speedway. Teammate Michael Self will take over the driving duties of the No.15 Toyota at Kansas. The fifteen-team, currently in second-place in the owner point standings will look to close out the year the way they started, with a win. The race will air live on FOX SPORTS 1 on Friday, October 19.
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.