Christian Eckes continues to build momentum in the ARCA Menards Series championship hunt, scoring his second win of the season Friday at Pocono Raceway (PA).
Eckes inherited the lead with 26 laps to go after a round of green-flag pit stops. It has been an up-and-down year for the New York native, but the win gives his Venturini Motorsports team some positive momentum going into the stretch run for the championship.
“It felt really good, especially with the dry spell we’ve been going through lately,” Eckes told Speed51. “All the stuff that’s been going on. It’s been cool to get back to victory lane.”
From mechanical issues to on-track incidents to even missing a race with a medical issue, there has been plenty of adversity during the 2019 season. Still, Eckes sits unofficially just 90 points behind teammate Michael Self in the series standings, moving up to second with his win on Friday.
“We’re finally going in the right direction,” said Eckes. “That’s been the biggest thing the past month or so. We’d have a good race, have some stuff happen. Then have a good race, and have some stuff happen.”
Stringing together back-to-back top-two finishes, that gives us some momentum going into the final five races,” added Eckes. “We had a really fast JBL Camry. It was fun to drive.”
With two wins in his pocket, Eckes quickly had to turn his focus towards his Kyle Busch Motorsports NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series entry. Qualifying for the Truck Series immediately followed the ARCA event, leading to an abbreviated victory lane before a 13th-place qualifying effort.
Eckes is confident in his chances to win Saturday’s Truck Series event, feeling the qualifying effort was reflective of the quick turnaround and not the vehicle’s capabilities.
“It was definitely different,” said Eckes. “The Truck and ARCA car is so different. I didn’t get to qualify how I wanted to in the truck, but I think we had top three speed throughout practice. We have a lot to look forward to, so I think we can compete for the win and go for the sweep.”
The NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series event begins at Pocono Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern. Eckes will be looking to continue a trend of four consecutive wins for Kyle Busch Motorsports during the trucks’ annual visit to Long Pond, Pennsylvania.
For more information about Christian Eckes, visit www.christianeckesracing.com.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: ARCA Menards Series