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Eckes Fights Back for Top-10 Finish in Indianapolis

July 24, 2017
Eckes Fights Back for Top-10 Finish in Indianapolis

 

Concord, North Carolina (July 24, 2017) – Christian Eckes entered this past race weekend at Indianapolis with high hopes after announcing a contract extension with Venturini Motorsports through the 2018 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards season.

Making his seventh start of the season Eckes turned in a solid qualifying effort starting third on the grid for Friday night’s Sioux Chief PowerPEX 200 at Lucas Oil Raceway.

Under the watchful eye of veteran crew chief Jeff McClure the sixteen year-old rookie driver took to the track displaying an equal balance of speed and finesse as he navigated his No.15 New York Bus Sales Toyota Camry around the tight half-mile Indiana short track.

Positioning himself solidly inside the top eight running spots Eckes rode in line during the first 60 laps of Friday’s event. After the race’s first caution on lap-60, Eckes would look to the restart to improve his position on the track and challenge for the top spot.

Unfortunately when the green flag dropped the front running cars stacked up in front of Eckes causing a chain reaction resulting in the fifteen car of Eckes to plow into the rear of the No.28 of Michael Self. Sustaining front end damage which included a buckled hood and impaired sight out the windshield, Eckes was forced to pit under green flag conditions to allow his crew to make quick repairs.

The unfortunate circumstances immediately put Eckes at a disadvantage as he lost three-laps to the leader while pitting under green conditions.

Down but not out, Eckes pulled tight on his belts and remained focused on the task at hand. Despite the damage to his Toyota Eckes returned to the track clicking off fast lap times equal if not better than the race leader. Laps down and running inside the top-15 positions Eckes used a series of caution flags to better his car and fight to regain his lost laps.

Demonstrating a ton of heart Eckes remained determined - continuing to race hard as he slowly moved up and regained his lost laps as the race continued. Relying on perseverance, Eckes found himself back on the lead lap and inside the top-10 positions during the final stages of the race. Unfortunately time was not on his side and the race concluded with Eckes finishing 10th.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of my guys tonight,” said Eckes. “We had a great race car and a real shot out there tonight before getting caught up in that botched restart. I’m pretty sure someone missed a shift and they all stacked up in front of me – I was focused on the outside of my windshield and going through the gears and just got into to the 28 car when he checked up. It’s really disappointing but there wasn’t much I could do. This is a great team and it showed tonight. We could’ve easily laid down but we all fought hard and salvaged a top-10.”

Eckes with two series events remaining on his ’17 schedule will return to ARCA action on Sunday, August 6 at Winchester Speedway.