Eckes Leads ARCA Test at Pocono

Inclement weather has shortened today’s open test session for the ARCA Menards Series at Pocono Raceway. The session, originally scheduled from 9 o’clock through 5 pm ET, started an hour late due to fog and was shortened by about two hours due to rain.

 

Venturini Motorsports teammates Christian Eckes (No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota) and Chandler Smith (No. 20 Craftsman/828 Logistics Toyota) led the way, just in front of Chad Bryant Racing teammates Corey Heim (No. 22 Speedway Children’s Charities Ford) and last week’s winner Ty Majeski (No. 22 Chad Bryant Racing Ford). Raphael Lessard (No. 28 KBR Development Chevrolet) rounded out the top five.

 

Eckes turned a fast lap at 53.178 seconds/169.243 miles per hour, just five hundredths of a second faster than Smith who timed in at 53.221 seconds/169.106 miles per hour. Smith, at just 16 years of age, is not eligible to race in the May 31 General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200, but he will be ready to race in the series’ next visit on July 26.

 

Like Smith, Heim is also just 16 and not eligible to race on Friday. He turns 17 on July 15 and he will also be eligible to compete in the series’ next appearance in July. He timed in at 53.226 seconds/168.963 miles per hour, just in front of Majeski whose fast lap was 53.480 seconds/168.287 miles per hour.

 

Lessard led the most laps in his only ARCA Menards Series appearance to date in 2019 at Five Flags Speedway and used Wednesday’s test to gain official approval to compete on intermediate tracks. His fastest lap was 53.953 seconds/166.812 miles per hour.

 

Riley Herbst (No. 18 Monster Energy/ORCA Coolers/Terrible Herbst/Advance Auto Parts Toyota) was sixth, current ARCA Menards Series championship leader Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota) was seventh, defending race winner Harrison Burton (No. 20 DEX Imaging Toyota) was eighth, rookie Cole Glasson (No. 32 Win Tron Racing Chevrolet) was ninth, and Joe Graf, Jr. (No. 77 EAT SLEEP RACE Ford) rounded out the top ten.

 

The only incident of the day involved Burton, who came to a stop on track after cutting a left front tire. He did not make contact and was brought back to the garage area without any damage.

 

The battle for the ARCA Menards Series championship continues in the General Tire #AnywhereIsPossible 200 at Pocono Raceway on Friday, May 31. Practice starts at 9 am ET, followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 12 noon. The race is scheduled to start at 5:45 pm ET and will be televised live on FS2 with a same day replay on FS1 at 8 pm ET. ARCA for Me members can access live timing & scoring, live track updates, and live chat for free at ARCARacing.com. New users may join for free with a valid email address at ARCARacing.com/login. For tickets, log on to PoconoRaceway.com or call 800-RACEWAY.

 

-ARCA Menards Series Press Release and Photo

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Eckes Leads ARCA Test at Pocono