Coming off a dominating performance in his last outing driver Christian Eckes (No.15 JBL Audio Toyota) looks to keep the momentum rolling this weekend as the ARCA Menards Series returns home for the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 at Toledo Speedway.
Eckes, 18, picked up his fourth career series victory and first of the season two weeks ago at Nashville to get back on track after back-to-back heartbreak weekends pushed the title contender from first in the point standings down to seventh after five races.
Paired with veteran crew chief Kevin Reed, the combo remains un-rattled after weathering an early season storm which saw Eckes drop from first in the point standings to seventh. Keeping their focus on the big picture the dominant duo returns to Toledo Speedway eager to capitalize on the strength of their convictions.
“We never allowed ourselves to get down after everything that happened early on,” said Eckes. “We know what this team is capable of achieving and we showed it last time out. Kevin (Reed) brings a ton of knowledge to the table and his determination to win leads this team. We all have the same desire to succeed and nothing is going to sidetrack us from achieving our goals. It’s great to have someone in your corner like Kevin, we push each other and continue to get stronger on and off the track.”
Eckes led the ARCA Menards Series standings entering the third event of the season at Salem Speedway but was forced to the sidelines with food poisoning on race day. After missing that race, Eckes returned to action at Talladega Superspeedway but was swept into a crash at the race's midway point and he finished last in the 26-car field.
Eckes with 31 ARCA starts has earned four wins and three poles since entering the series in 2016. The Middletown, NY driver has notched 13 top-5’s and 21 top-10’s overall. With two career starts at Toledo Speedway, Eckes and team tested his JBL Audio Camry Monday afternoon.
“We had a really good test this week, I think we’re really close,” said Eckes. Our JBL Audio Camry showed some really great speed all throughout the day. We were able to test some things that we’ve been wanting to and I feel like a few things paid off. Really looking forward to coming back this weekend with my guys and put on a strong show.”
Practice for the Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 at Toledo Speedway is scheduled for 12:30 pm ET on Saturday, May 18, followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 4 pm ET. The Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 will go green shortly after 2 pm ET on Sunday, May 19. The race will be televised live on MAVTV. ARCA for Me members can access live timing & scoring, live track updates, and live user chat throughout all on-track sessions at ARCARacing.com.