Concord, NC (June 4, 2018) – Making his superspeedway debut in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards, Christian Eckes, finished 11th in last weekend’s #AnywhereIsPossible 200 at Pocono Raceway.
Eckes, 17, took to Pocono’s intimidating 2.5-mile track for the first time behind the wheel of his now familiar Venturini Motorsports prepared No.15 JBL Audio Toyota.
Known for his short track prowess Eckes started from the seventh position after ARCA officials canceled qualifying due to inclement weather, basing the starting lineup off speeds posted during Friday afternoon’s abbreviated 45-minutes practice session.
Taking the green flag Eckes quickly demonstrated the talent and speed of a veteran mixing it up with the front runners as he raced his way solidly inside the top-5 positions. Playing pit strategy and nearing the halfway point of the 80-lap event, Eckes, hoping to gain advantage, was the first driver to bring his car down pit road for a green flag pit stop.
After a successful stop the caution flag flew canceling Eckes’ pit strategy but still kept him up front on the pursuing restart. With 38-laps remaining Eckes drove around teammate Brennan Poole taking away the third position – a race high for the Middletown, NY driver.
After another caution and pit stop Eckes returned to pit road giving up track position. Racing his way back towards the front Eckes was pinched down going into turn two – resulting in the loss of air – sending his car spinning without contact.
Giving up valuable real estate on the track, Eckes brought his car back in for fresh tires re-entering the race 17th with 25-laps remaining. Giving up his shot at contention the young driver regained his composure before picking up six spots and taking the checkered flag in 11th position.
“Today was definitely a learning experience for me,” said Eckes. “I’m really proud of the effort my team gave today. I was having a really solid day – running inside the top-5 during the first half of the day. Track position was everything. A couple bad misfortunes put us behind. I’ll take the good with the bad and be prepared the next time out.”
Eckes will have two weeks off before making his highly anticipated NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut with Kyle Busch Motorsports June 16 at Iowa Speedway. He’ll rejoin his Venturini Motorsports team on June 22 at Gateway Motorsports Park.