Christian Eckes can now call himself a winner at the Late Model Stock Car level. He can also call himself a winner in one of Late Model Stock racing’s most prestigious races: the Myrtle Beach 400.
Eckes started Saturday night’s 225-lap race at Myrtle Beach Speedway (NC) from the fifth position. After being fast all weekend, the Greenville, New York teenager knew his JR Motorsports car was strong, but he didn’t know just how strong it truly was until the competition caution with 125 laps complete.
“I knew we had a pretty good car, but I didn’t know we had that good of a car. We were running second to Tommy Lemons and I could have passed him, so I definitely knew we had a good car and would have been up there. But pretty much after the break I knew we’d have a good shot.”
With about five laps to go, Eckes began to chase down his teammate Josh Berry for the race lead. Eckes caught Berry going into turn one on the white flag lap. Eckes got to Berry’s inside going into turn three and the two made contact with each other and the outside wall as they battled off turn four. Eckes beat his teammate to the line by a nose in one of the most exciting finishes in the history of the race.
“Once we got alongside of him in three and four I got a little bit loose under him in four just trying to get everything I could and got into Josh a little bit and slowed his momentum down and we were able to shoot forward,” Eckes said. “We worked hard all year just to win a local race. To win the Myrtle Beach 400 is just something truly amazing.”
Eckes has been trying all year to score his first LMSC win, coming close on multiple occasions only to have it slip away in the waning laps due to some stroke of bad luck like a mechanical failure. That makes this win even more special for Eckes.
“It was definitely just a cool moment to spend it with my team. We had a lot of bad luck this year, so it relieves a lot of pressure. We were all really happy.”
For more on Christian Eckes, visit www.christianeckesracing.com, and be sure to follow him on Twitter, @ChristianEckes.
-51 Sports Press Release. Photo Credit: Hunter Thomas/TheFourthTurn.com