Toyota Racing Development’s (TRD) Christian Eckes (No.15 JBL Audio Toyota) takes the show down the road with his Venturini Motorsports team when the ARCA Menards Series returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway for Thursday’s prime time General Tire 150.
From early season points leader to falling out, Eckes has re-emerged back into the mix after back-to-back solid short track performances. Following a well-documented rough patch, the 18-year old driver has catapulted himself back into championship conversations with a win at Nashville and a third place finish last week at Toledo.
Currently sitting fourth in the point standings Eckes is on the hunt just 95-points behind series leader and teammate Michael Self.
Competing in his first full ARCA season Eckes is making the rounds visiting many intermediate tracks for the first time. Eckes, 18, a New York state transplant now residing in Cornelius, NC will make his first ever start at the 1.5-mile Charlotte speedway. “I’m very excited to go racing at Charlotte this week. It’s probably the first time I haven’t packed a suitcase in 2 years, so that’s definitely a plus,” said Eckes with a smile.
“It’s always exciting to come to these new tracks for the first time. I take a lot of pride in getting myself ready – been studying a lot of film and spending time in the simulator prepping. Any my guys have been working their tails off preparing our brand new Rowdy Manufacturing chassis for this race. We came out a couple weeks ago to shake it down and had a really good test. I think we’ve got a great piece. We’re ready to go.”
Eckes with 32 career ARCA starts has earned four wins and three poles since entering the series in 2016. The Middletown, NY driver has notched 14 top-5’s and 22 top-10’s overall.
The ARCA Menards Series returns to Charlotte on Thursday, May 23 as part of a double header which features Pole Night for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Coca-Cola 600. Two hours of practice for the General Tire 150 is scheduled for 11:30 am ET, followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 5 pm ET, and the race is set to go green shortly after 9 pm ET. The race will be televised live on FS1.