After a two week break in the schedule the ARCA Menards Series returns to action this weekend at the Illinois State Fairgrounds for Sunday’s running of the Allen Crowe 100. Looking forward to the series’ return to the mile-dirt track is last year’s race winner Christian Eckes (No.15 JBL Audio Toyota).
Eckes, 18, will attempt his third ARCA dirt race of his career. Last season he shocked onlookers in his first ever dirt race by holding off eventual series champion Sheldon Creed at Springfield. He then followed up his debut dirt track performance with a solid fourth place finish at DuQuoin.
Feeling confident the Middletown, NY native admits dirt racing is un-natural.
“We had a good showing last year,” said Eckes. “Running both dirt tracks prepared me a good amount for this season. It’s still unnatural for me but we’ve shown that we have the speed each time out. I’m just looking forward to the weekend and to having some fun out on the dirt.”
Catapulting himself back in the championship mix on the strength of his mid-summer success Eckes enters Springfield 80-points behind teammate Michael Self for top spot in the driver standings. Eckes, who encountered early season trouble after missing the spring Salem race due to illness has quietly moved up the standings over the last month of the season.
“At this point we need to win. We need points and the best way to do so is to go get the maximum. I feel like we have the team to do it and we’re all ready to go do it.”
Over his last 11-races Eckes has made up ground with wins at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville and Pocono Raceway. During this time, he’s scored six top-5 and 10 top-10’s.
During his fourth year of development in the ARCA Series Sunday’s matinee will mark the teenagers 42 career start in the series. With nearly 1,000 laps led Eckes has gone to victory five times with 18 top-5 and 30 top-10 finishes.
The ARCA Menards Series returns to action with the first of two dirt track races with the Allen Crowe 100 presented by Lucas Oil on Sunday August 18 at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. Practice on the one-mile dirt oval will begin at 10 am ET/9 am CT, General Tire Pole Qualifying is set for 12 n ET/11 am CT, and the 100-mile feature event will go green at 2:30 pm ET/1:30 pm CT. The race will be televised live flag-to-flag on MAVTV.
Venturini Motorsports PR