Christian Eckes (No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota) led the way in an incident-free practice session for tonight’s ARCA Menards Series Shore Lunch 200 at Madison International Speedway. Eckes, driving for the team that won this event last season with Chandler Smith behind the wheel, turned a fast lap of 17.963 seconds/100.206 miles per hour to unofficially eclipse Alex Bowman’s track record. Bowman set the previous mark, 99.486 miles per hour, set in 2012. Eckes is the first driver in ARCA Menards Series history to eclipse the 18-second barrier and break into the 17-second bracket.
Smith (No. 20 Craftsman/828 Logistics Toyota), the defending winner, was second at 18.093 seconds/99.486 miles per hour. Another Venturini Motorsports driver, Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota) was third-fastest at 18.131 seconds/99.277 miles per hour. Self, the current ARCA Menards Series championship points leader, won last Friday at Michigan International Speedway and is going for his fourth victory of the season.
Ty Gibbs (No. 18 Monster Energy/ORCA Coolers/Terrible Herbst/Advance Auto Parts Toyota) was fourth at 18.177 seconds/99.277 miles per hour, and Corey Heim (No. 22 Speedway Children’s Charities Ford) was fifth at 18.238 seconds/98.695 miles per hour. Heim is driving the Chad Bryant Racing entry that has won two of the last three series races with Ty Majeski at the wheel.
Carson Hocevar (No. 28 Scott’s/GMPartsNow.com/KBM Development Chevrolet), Franklin, Wisconsin native Sam Mayer (No. 21 Chevy Accessories Chevrolet), series championship runner-up Bret Holmes (No. 23 Holmes II Excavation Chevrolet), Travis Braden (No. 27 MatrixCare/Consonus Health Care/Liberty Village Ford), and Hailie Deegan (No. 55 TRD 40th Anniversary Toyota) rounded out the top ten.
The next on-track action for the ARCA Menards Series is General Tire Pole Qualifying set for 6 pm ET/5 pm CT, and the Shore Lunch 200 is set for 9 pm ET/8 pm CT. ARCARacing.com will have live timing & scoring, live track updates, and live chat throughout the rest of the day’s on-track action, while the race will be televised live on MAVTV.