MOORESVILLE, N.C. -– Christian Eckes, a 15-year-old native of Middletown, N.Y., will join the JR Motorsports (JRM) Late Model program in 2016, the team announced today. Eckes will wheel the No. 1 Chevrolet in 20 Late Model events, including the full CARS Tour and special events at tracks in the Southeast.
Eckes is coming off his first full season of Late Model competition in which he earned a win, eight top-five and 14 top-10 finishes. Four of his top-10 efforts came at the wheel of a JRM Chevrolet. Prior to racing Late Models, Eckes ran 67 races on the U.S. Legend Cars circuit, stockpiling 25 wins and 52 top-five finishes in the process. He finished runner-up in the INEX Legend Car Young Lions national championship point standings in 2014.
“We take pride in our late model program and its ability to give guys an opportunity to advance their careers,” said team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. “Christian is very young and we feel like he has a lot of raw talent. I think he’ll fit in well with our team and learn a lot at the different tracks they plan to run this season.”
Eckes joins veteran Josh Berry, who will pilot the No. 88 Chevrolet, to complete JRM’s two-car Late Model lineup for 2016. Now in its 15th year of competition, the JRM Late Model program has scored 24 wins in the last two years of competition, and a pair of track championships since 2012.
“This is the type of opportunity you dream about,” said Eckes, who began racing Bandoleros in 2010. “I can’t wait to get the season going and I’m really grateful to everyone at JR Motorsports. They’ve had a lot of success with their Late Model program over the years and it’s a thrill to be a part of it. I think I can learn a lot by being part of the team this year.”
An honor student who attends George Washington University Online High School, Eckes will also race at Motor Mile, South Boston and Hickory in 2016, along with races at Myrtle Beach Speedway and Martinsville.
-JR Motorsports Press Release. Photo credit: Bruce Nuttleman/Speed51.com