Christian Eckes (No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota) waited until the very end of the 90-minute practice session for tonight’s Menards 250 at Elko Speedway to set the fastest lap of the session, knocking Ty Gibbs (No. 18 Monster Energy/ORCA Coolers/Terrible Herbst/Advance Auto Parts Toyota) off of the top of the leaderboard in the final seconds of the session.
Gibbs moved to the top within the first 15 minutes with a lap 14.686 seconds, but Eckes made a charge late in the session with a lap at 14.524 seconds/92.950 miles per hour around the tight 0.375-mile oval located about 30 minutes outside of Minneapolis. His fast lap was the 49th of 51 laps he turned in practice.
Gibbs, grandson of legendary NFL Hall of Fame coach and NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Joe Gibbs, stayed second at 14.532 seconds/92.898 miles per hour. His fastest lap was the 41st of 47 that he turned on the session.
Corey Heim (No. 22 Speedway Children’s Charities Ford) was third with a lap at 14.628 seconds/92.289 miles per hour. Sam Mayer (No. 21 Chevy Accessories Chevrolet) was fourth at 14.632 seconds/92.264 miles per hour and Bret Holmes (No. 23 Holmes II Excavation Chevrolet), who is currently second in the ARCA Menards Series championship standings, rounded out the top five at 14.639 seconds/92.219 miles per hour.
Chandler Smith (No. 20 Craftsman/828 Logistics Toyota), Carson Hocevar (No. 28 GMPartsNow.com/Scott’s/KBR Development Chevrolet), Michael Self (No. 25 Sinclair Lubricants Toyota), Hailie Deegan (No. 55 TRD 40th Anniversary Toyota), and Travis Braden (No. 27 MatrixCare/Consonus Health Care/Liberty Village Ford) rounded out the top ten.
There were only two incidents in practice, though only one brought on the caution flag. Eric Caudell spun in turn two the first time he was on the track but did not make contact and did not stop, not drawing a caution flag. Late in the session, Caudell spun in turn two again stopping in the grass at the bottom of the track and drawing a caution. He ended the session 14th of the 20 cars that took time.
General Tire Pole Qualifying is up next at Elko Speedway with the first car slated to roll at 5:15 pm ET/4:15 pm CT. The Menards 250 is scheduled to go green shortly after 10 pm ET/9 pm CT and will be televised live on MAVTV. ARCA for Me members can follow along with live timing & scoring, live track updates, and live chat at ARCARacing.com. New users can register for free with a valid email address at ARCARacing.com/login.