No rest for the weary right? Well, for one race car driver, he’s set for a busy weekend without a lot of sleeper. Christian Eckes will race in Friday night’s NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The 18 year old will practice that morning, qualify later on in the afternoon and race at night. Then, once the race is over, he will hop on a jet in Nevada and land in Indiana. The reason for the rush?
He will race in Saturday’s ARCA race at the Salem Speedway.
It will be another busy day for Eckes who will practice, qualify and race on the high banked short track too. This will be his second trip to Salem this season as he hopes it goes better than the first.
See, when the ARCA Series visited the Indiana track back in April, Eckes entered as the points leader. He finished fourth in the season opener in Daytona and third in the second race at Five Flags. Unfortunately for him, the night before the race, Eckes got food poisoning. It was so bad, he was hospitalized and forced to miss the race.
While he’s had a solid year after in finishing in the top seven in 12 of the next 14 races, he heads to the return trip 70 points arrears to his Venturini Motorsports teammate Michael Self in the standings.
Eckes, has four straight top two finishes on the season including a win in the last race at DuQuoin. He’s scored eight top three finishes since May. But, Self has eight top four finishes in his last nine starts and won that race in Salem back on April 14 which is the difference in the championship race right now.
Eckes scored zero points and Self scored max.
“I try not to think too much about what happened at Salem early on in the season,” says Eckes who takes a mature approach to the situation. “Sure, it happened and set us back in the standings, it sucks. But there’s nothing I can do to change the past. It’s all about now and what we do moving forward. We’ve had plenty of opportunities after that race that we could have closed the gap further and didn’t. Those are the races that i think about the most in this championship battle, not so much that one.”
Backing up his words Eckes has posted a flurry of top finishes throughout the summer and winning two of the last three series events, the 18-year old driver has returned to competition as a formidable series’ championship contender.
“A big part of getting back into this has to do with this team never giving up. Kevin Reed (crew chief) never let me get down. Our work ethic plays a crucial role in our success. We’re both really motivated and want to be as good as we can be, and both understand it takes a lot. We’ve been at the top of our game lately and are doing what I knew this team could accomplish early in the year. Just need to continue our progress and continue to get better for these next 3 races.”
Eckes, a six-time series winner earned his first career win at Salem in 2018. This weekend’s start will mark his seventh overall appearance at the half-mile track. Competing in 16 of the 17 events on the season Eckes has posted three wins, 10 top-five and 14 top-10 finishes.
“I’m really looking forward to battling with Michael to end this year out, Eckes added. “Self and his entire twenty-five team have been on their game the entire year and definitely made it interesting. I’m just really looking forward to continuing the momentum we’ve built over the last few races.”