Eckes Dominates FORTS USA 150 In Pocono, Reenters Points Race

At one point of this season, Christian Eckes looked like the favorite to win the 2019 ARCA Menards Racing Series championship. Through the first two races, he had two top four finishes and a control of the points lead. Unfortunately, the night before the third race of the season in Salem, Eckes was hospitalized with an illness. He missed the show as a result.

He’d return for the next race in Talladega but finish a disappointing 26th. His championship had slipped from his grasps. But, following a dominating win on Friday evening from the Pocono Raceway, maybe it’s back again.

Eckes, took the lead when Todd Gilliland was hit with a blend line violation and never look en route to his fifth career ARCA win and second of the season in his No. 15 Toyota. The Venturini Motorsports driver led the final 26 laps in what was a dominating day out of him.

Now, heading to the dirt portion of the schedule, Eckes is within 100 points of the lead. He trails Michael Self by 90 points and is now second in the standings.

Gilliland, started on the pole in his No. 18 Toyota and would lead the first 31 laps of the race but due to that penalty, he had to settle for second. He crossed the finish line 13.027-seconds behind Eckes. That blend line violation was something that Gilliland blamed on being different for ARCA than it is for his full time ride in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Trucks Series on the Tricky Triangle. It cost him a win as he had to settle for a runner-up. Ty Gibbs drove this car to a top five finish in each of the last two races on the season too.

Self, had to overcome an early race cut tire to finish third in his No. 25 Toyota while Corey Heim and Raphael Lessard rounded out the top five.

Eckes, lapped all but four cars on Friday as the race went caution free. Next up is Aug. 18 at the Springfield Mile dirt track. A couple weeks later, it’s to another dirt track on Aug. 31 in DuQuoin.

FORTS USA 150 Results

  1. 15 Eckes

  2. 18 Gilliland

  3. 25 Self

  4. 22 Heim

  5. 28 Lessard -1

  6. 32 Self -1

  7. 23 Holmes -1

  8. 20 Smith -1

  9. 27 Braden -1

  10. 77 Graf Jr. -2

  11. 46 Moffitt -3

  12.  5 Gerhart -4

  13.  1 Pompa -5

  14.  3 Mullins -7

  15. 06 Richmond -10

  16. 48 Smith -38

  17. 10 Vigh Jr. OUT

  18. 11 Doheny OUT

  19. 69 Basham OUT

  20.  0 Thompson OUT

#ARCAMenardsSeries #PoconoRaceway #ChristianEckes #NASCAR #FortsUSA150

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