Concord, North Carolina (September 7, 2017) – Sixteen year-old rookie Christian Eckes will make his tenth and final ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards start of the season in Saturday’s Eddie Gilstrap Motors Fall Classic 200 at Salem Speedway.
“We had a good run here in the spring race – led a bunch of laps and gained a ton of experience,” said Eckes. “Winning is never easy especially when you come to a place like Salem. Pit strategy and conserving your stuff is key. Salem’s rough surface is tough on these General Tires – we saw the drastic drop-off earlier in the year on those long green flag runs – the guys who guess right and have tires at the end have got the best shot.”
Driving a partial season behind the wheel of his Venturini Motorsports prepared No.15 New York Bus Sales Toyota, Eckes has produced – quietly emerging as one of the series brightest newcomers leading 274-laps and posting an impressive 5.8 finishing average in nine season starts. Eckes has twice finished second (Elko Speedway and Winchester Speedway) and has strung together nine consecutive top-10 finishes.
“Picking up a win this weekend would be a great way to cap off a solid season for this fifteen-team. Jeff (McClure) and these guys have worked their tails off all season long. We’ve been really close a few times. It would mean a lot to pick-up my first series win and bring these guys to victory lane to celebrate.”
Although Saturday’s race under the lights will be his final ARCA Series race of the season, Eckes recently announced he’ll be returning to the series with Venturini Motorsports in 2018 for a 15-race schedule.
With 43 all-time ARCA Series victories, Venturini Motorsports has earned six team victories at Salem Speedway over three decades of series competition (Billy Venturini ’06, Steve Arpin ’10, Brennan Poole ’11, Kyle Benjamin ’13 and Christopher Bell twice in ’16).
The Eddie Gilstrap Motors Fall Classic 200 presented by Meadow View/Salem Crossing has been designated “The Official Throwback Weekend of ARCA”. Two full days of activities are scheduled to take place, including a golf scramble, parade of haulers, Friday night Fan Fest with live music and more.
Spectator gates open on Saturday (Sept. 9) at 11:15 a.m., with practice getting underway at 12-noon. Qualifying is set for 3 p.m. with the Great American Stock rolling off at 5 p.m. ARCA Throwback Weekend pre-race ceremonies, including the First Harrison Bank on-track autograph session, is set for 5:45 p.m. with the ARCA 200 slated for a 7:15 p.m. start time.
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.