Christian Eckes scored his third win of the 2019 ARCA Menards Series season last Saturday at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds (IL). Now, he’ll carry that momentum into the final weekends of the 2019 season, eyeing an ARCA Championship and his first career NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series victory.
Eckes’ win was his sixth with the ARCA Menards Series, and his second on a dirt track after winning at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in 2018. Eckes was pleased to return to Victory Lane after not meeting his expectations with the truck over the past month.
“It feels good, wherever it came from,” Eckes told Speed51. “It’s been a bit of a rough month on the Truck side. It’s good to be back in victory lane.”
The win also allowed Eckes to close the points gap on Venturini Motorsports teammate Michael Self. He now trails Self by 70 points in the series’ title hunt with three races remaining.
“We’ve still got a lot of work to do here. We’ve got three more races. They’re going to be tough to handle with Michael, but we’re looking forward to it and I think we’ll have a shot at all three of them.”
HomeEckes feels confident entering those three races, contested at Salem Speedway (IN), Lucas Oil Raceway (IN) and Kansas Speedway.
“Salem has always been a track that’s been good to me, but I haven’t always been the best there,” he stated. “It will take a little bit of work between me and (crew chief) Kevin (Reed) to figure out what we need and execute. Lucas Oil, I feel really confident going back. We won by a substantial margin there last year. I’m really looking forward to that one.”
Eckes also has three races remaining on his 2019 slate for the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series with Kyle Busch Motorsports. First on that docket is an event at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (NV) on September 13, one night before the ARCA event at Salem.
“Vegas next week is going to be a little tough because I have Salem the next day,” Eckes said. “We also have Martinsville and Homestead.”
Eckes is pleased with the speed his Toyota Tundra has shown throughout 2019, but hopes one of the upcoming races can produce the winning result he is longing for. He started on the pole at both Daytona International Speedway (FL) in February and World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway (IL) in June, but his best finish was fourth in July at Pocono Raceway (PA).
“Michigan and Eldora didn’t really go as planned. We had such a fast truck at Michigan,” Eckes said. We’ve had fast trucks everywhere we’ve gone, we just haven’t been able to put the races together for whatever reason. We’re looking to turn that around at Vegas. I can’t say enough about the speed we’ve brought. I’ve qualified on the front row three out of five times this season.”
For more on Christian Eckes, visit https://www.christianeckesracing.com.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo