Christian Eckes faced adversity all season, that’s why despite being quick in practice on Friday afternoon, they weren’t over their heads in having to change engines after qualifying to set the field for the 2019 ARCA season finale at Kansas.
Eckes, missed the third race of the season in Salem for food poisoning. He went from finishes of fourth (Daytona) and third (Five Flags) respectively out of the gates to hold onto the points lead going into Salem this past spring. But, missing that race and a 26th place finish in the next race at Talladega put him in a big hole in the standings.
His main rival in the championship this year in Michael Self had two wins and a fifth place finish in that four race timeframe and took a commanding lead.
But, over the next 15 races, Eckes went on a terror. He won three times and had five runner-ups in that gap to go along with 14 top seven finishes in 15 tries to put him back in the championship hunt despite missing a race.
Eckes, came to the Sunflower State this weekend with six straight top two finishes in his No. 15 Toyota. He took over the points lead following the last race at Lucas Oil Raceway.
Self, had just one top five finish over his last three starts and three finishes better than fourth over the last 15 races in his No. 25 Toyota. That opened the door for Eckes to come storming back.
But, at the start of Friday’s Kansas 150, there Self was out front and there Eckes was in the back. Just like how the middle portion of this season had gone in the points. But, just as we’ve seen all year, Eckes overcame it.
On Lap 58, Eckes took over the lead and never looked back en route to his fourth win of the season and seventh of his career. That victory gave him the championship as well.
Self, led the first 57 laps but would finish second.