Indianapolis, Indiana (December 9, 2016) – Announced today from the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show in Indianapolis, sixteen-year old Christian Eckes will return to Venturini Motorsports (VMS) for nine short track races in the upcoming 2017 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season.
Today’s announcement comes on the heels of Christian Eckes’ dramatic super late model victory earlier in the week at the prestigious 49th annual Snowball Derby.
Eckes, a native of Middletown, New York, made four starts with VMS in 2016.
“We got to race with Christian a little bit last year and he demonstrated a lot of potentiation and raw speed,” said Billy Venturini, VMS team owner and general manager. “Towards the end of 2016 he was able to further demonstrate those abilities and turn them into impressive late model wins. We feel very confident going into the 2017 season that Christian is going to have great success.”
Eckes will rejoin VMS driving the No.15 Toyota Camry starting in Nashville on April 8. Eckes’ 2017 ARCA schedule will also include; Salem Speedway (April 30), Toledo Speedway (May 21), Elko Speedway (June 3), Madison International Speedway (June 23), Iowa Speedway (July 8), Lucas Oil Raceway (July 21), Winchester Speedway (August 6) and Salem Speedway (September 9).
“I’m happy to announce my return to the ARCA Series with Venturini for next season,” said Eckes.
“Coming off a few big wins in the last couple of months I’m excited to start focusing on next season’s efforts. The Venturini team is a great organization to be aligned with and I’m confident we’ll enjoy success. Last season we made a handful of starts together and I learned a lot – making the transition from the super late models to the ARCA car has definitely been a learning experience but overall a smooth transition. I’ve got a lot of confidence in myself and this team – I’m determined to come out and compete for wins and top-five’s right away.”
Veteran crew chief Jeff McClure will coordinate efforts for Eckes and the 15-team during the 2017 campaign. Since joining Venturini Motorsports in 2013, McClure has gone to victory lane three times (Todd Gilliland ’15 and twice with Christopher Bell ‘16). Sponsorship for Eckes will be named at a later date.
Eckes a high school Junior honor student split his 2016 season running multiple series including ARCA, NASCAR K&N, CARS Tour and the PASS Series along with a variety of high profile late model and super late model events.
Proving to be a very demanding schedule Eckes completed his 37-race breakout season with an impressive stat sheet earning three wins, 17-Top 5’s and 25 Top-10 finishes. His three wins coming in succession to wrap up his season came via three of the year’s most prestigious Late/Super Late Model races of the season – the Myrtle Beach 400, Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park and most recently the 2016 Snowball Derby.
Entering their 35th year of ARCA Series competition, Venturini Motorsports is widely-known for their driver development success, recording 43-team victories during their longstanding series involvement. Thirty of VMS’s all-time victories have been recorded since 2008.
For more information on Christian Eckes visit ChristianEckesRacing.com, Christian Eckes (Facebook) and @ChristianEckes (Twitter).
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, Justin Allgaier, Alex Bowman, Brian Scott, Ryan Blaney, Brennan Poole, Daniel Suarez, Brandon Jones and John Wes Townley. 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.