ARCA Menards Series Title Possible for Rookie Christian Eckes with Venturini Motorsports

Christian Eckes driver of the No. 15 for Venturini Motorsports
Photo – AMS

Last year, Sheldon Creed won the ARCA Menards Series championship in his first year driving full-time in the series but wasn’t eligible as a rookie due to his previous number of starts.  In 2019, Venturini Motorsports is looking to make a Rookie of the Year contender the series champion as well, having tabbed young 18-year old Christian Eckes to drive their No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota full-time.

Eckes has been growing his relationship with Venturini since 2016 when he picked up one top-ten finish in just four starts.  In 2017, he made nine starts with the team then announcing mid-season that he had already been signed to 15 races the following year.  During that campaign, he picked up his first win at Salem Speedway, along with two more later in the year at Illinois State Fairgrounds and Indianapolis Raceway Park.  That gave him the green light for a championship run in 2019.

Eckes started out the year on a very strong note, winning the pole and finishing fourth in the season-opener at Daytona International Speedway. He is now second in the ARCA Menards Series point standings behind Harrison Burton who is not racing this weekend.

With Eckes background of starting in Legends Cars in Middleton, NY and coming through the late models with JR Motorsports, super late models as a development driver with LFR Chassis, and some K&N Pro Series starts, there is a lot of confidence on the short tracks.

“I’ve had a lot of luck and a lot of experience on the short tracks.  It’s going be a little bit of a challenge coming up on this year with the mile and a halves, but I really feel confident in our chances with my No. 15 JBL Audio Camry every time we show up to the race track so with my preparation it should be a good year no matter what.”

Christian Eckes, Venturini Motorsports driver

The No. 15 of driver Christian Eckes with Venturini Motorsports at Five Flags Speedway Photo – Jay ‘MJ’ Husmann/Fan4Racing Blog and Radio

That confidence is amplified this weekend at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida.  The half-mile oval is home to the prestigious late model race known as the Snowball Derby, which Eckes won in 2016 driving for JR Motorsports. That puts his name on a list with the likes of Kyle Busch, Chase Elliott, Erik Jones, and John Hunter Nemechek.  And we all know where they ended up. 

“It’s fortunate to be with such great teams and have the opportunity to run with the best teams in every series I’ve been in.  That’s provided me a lot of great opportunities and hopefully ready to take advantage of our opportunities this year.”

Christian Eckes on his racing experience with a positive outlook for this season

Check out the the ARCA Menards Series second race of the season, the ARCA Pensacola 200 at Five Flags Speedway on Saturday night, March 9th starting at 8 pm ET on MAVTV. Registered fans can also check out the new live timing and scoring at to follow the live action.