The ARCA Menards Series is back in action this weekend for the annual stop to the Illinois State Fairgrounds. It will mark the 34th time that the series has competed there as the first race came back in 1983. What makes this weekend unique is this is the first dirt race of the season.
Yes, ARCA also races on dirt too.
The next two races in fact will be on dirt with the drivers taking on DuQuoin in a couple weeks too. The next four races will be on dirt (2x), a short track (Lucas Oil Raceway) and a 1.5-mile track (Kansas Speedway).
The dirt portion can make or break who we crown as a our season champion in October.
See, Michael Self is the current points leader and while it appeared that he was going to be a shoo-in to be the season champion, Christian Eckes is saying no so far. Eckes, has stormed back and has cut Self’s lead to below 100. He trails by just 80 with four races-to-go.
Eckes, has done so by consistency. He’s finished in the top seven in 10 of his last 11 starts on the season including three top two finishes in his last five starts overall in his No. 15 Toyota. The Venturini Motorsports driver started off with the points lead after scoring finishes of fourth and third respectively in the top two races. But, he got sick and completely missed the race at Salem after and was 26th in the fourth event at Talladega. From then on, he’s been a top seven machine.
Meanwhile, Self has been consistent too. He has six top four finishes in his last seven starts of the year in his No. 25 Toyota. The two teammates may be separated by 10 years (28-18) but they are going to be sure that this battle comes down to who’s the most mature on dirt.
Self, has never raced on these two tracks before while Eckes won this very race last year and was fourth in DuQuoin as well. In the Truck race at Eldora, he finished sixth.
As you can see, Eckes has a really good chance to close this gap even more over the next two races.