Following NASCAR’s fan favorite throwback weekend at Darlington Raceway, which was highlighted by former Venturini Motorsports (VMS) Toyota driver Erik Jones winning his second career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series victory, the nostalgia will continue on the high banks of historic Salem Speedway when the ARCA Menards Series returns to action for the 106th all-time series event at Salem on Saturday, September 14.
After earning back-to-back team victories on the dirt, VMS looks to continue their winning way with a special throwback tribute of their own.
Celebrating the team’s patriarch and two-time ARCA Series Champion (‘87 & ‘91), the team unveiled a pair of Bill Venturini’s retro paint schemes for the upcoming race at Salem Speedway.
Honoring Venturini’s first of two ARCA Series championship, Christian Eckes’ No.15 JBL Audio Toyota will carry the iconic 1987 white with blue striped paint scheme.
“It’s a great honor to run Bill’s championship colors – especially at Salem,” says current championship contender Christian Eckes. “I’ve known Bill and his family since I broke into the series back in 2016. He’s done so much for me personally and so many others over the years. It’s just a really cool deal. Hopefully we’re able to put this JBL Audio Camry in victory lane for him!”
Going further back in time, six time ARCA series winner Chandler Smith, driver of the No.20 Craftsman Toyota, will pay homage by featuring Venturini’s 1978 United States Auto Club (USAC) colors and wheel a black car featuring eye popping orange and blue stripes with gold numbers.
“It was a so cool to see all the old school paint schemes at Darlington,” said Smith. “But nothing will compare to driving this throwback car under the lights at Salem. Salem has a rich history. The ARCA Series has been racing there almost forever and Bill and the Venturini family has been running there since the 80’s. I can’t think of another track or paint scheme I’d rather run.”
Both Eckes and Smith have each won at Salem. Eckes, won his first of six current ARCA victories in 2018 at Salem and Smith duplicated his winning effort the same year during Salem’s fall race.
The longtime ARCA team has recorded nine wins at Salem Speedway of its 64 all-time series wins and team co-owner, Billy Venturini, scored his sole ARCA win at the southern Indiana track in 2006.
The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers Fall Classic 200 and ARCA throwback race will kick off on Saturday, September 14 with practice at 1 pm ET, followed by General Tire Pole Qualifying at 4 pm ET, and the green flag on the 200-lap main event to follow at 7:15 pm ET. The race will be televised live on MAVTV.