16-year-old Eckes top SCOTT Rookie at NashvilleApril 13, 2017
TOLEDO, Ohio (April 13, 2017) - It had been about eight months since rookie Christian Eckes had been in an ARCA car. If the 16-year-old Middletown, New York driver was rusty, it didn't show at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville.
Eckes, in the Venturini Motorsports No. 15 New York Bus Sales Toyota, overcame a good bit of adversity to finish a career-best third, earning the SCOTT Rookie of the Race.
"It means a lot to win the SCOTT Rookie award," said Eckes.
"There are a lot of really good young drivers in ARCA right now...a lot of great talent. It means a lot to be the best of the best. I'd like to thank SCOTT for sponsoring the award. I know all of us young guys really appreciate it."
Eckes, after qualifying second, overcame a miscue from his crew on pit road that shuffled him way back in the running order. From there, Eckes raced his way back to third before the checkered flag fell on the 26th Music City 200 presented by Azure Foundation.
"I learned a lot...it had been a while since I've been in an ARCA car so I had to refresh myself with the car. It was a fun time. I'm not really sure if we could have got the 51 (race winner Chad Finley)...he was on better tires, but I think we were as fast as Weatherman. We had a really good car...I was happy with everything."
Eckes had just finished a photo shoot with Venturini Motorsports for Speedway Illustrated when the subject of Salem Speedway came up...the site of the next ARCA race on April 30. Eckes will be testing at Salem with his Venturini Motorsports teammates next Wednesday.
"Really looking forward to Salem. I've never raced there, but what I've heard from Billy Venturini...it's an exciting place to race. Salem's one of those tracks you hear a lot about growing up. I'm excited to race on it. We're testing next Wednesday. I've been watching a lot of video...looks like a really fun place."
ARCA SCOTT Rookies of the Year include Benny Parsons, Davey Allison, Frank Kimmel, Chris Buescher and Alex Bowman. Dalton Sargeant is the most recent SCOTT Rookie of the Year.
- Don Radebaugh / ARCA