(GREENVILLE, NY) – After finishing the 2016 season as the hottest short track racer in the country, Christian Eckes kicked off his 2017 season with another successful run Sunday afternoon at Crisp Motorsports Park in Cordele, Georgia. The 16-year-old driver from Greenville, New York recorded a sixth-place finish in the 200-lap ARCA/CRA Super Series race at SpeedFest 2017.
Although anything short of a win is disappointing for the rising star, Eckes felt good about his solid start to the new year.
“I thought the weekend could have gone better,” said Eckes, the 2016 Snowball Derby champion. “But overall it was a great weekend. We struggled really until race time.”
Eckes qualified 11th for the 200-lap event and over the course of the first 100 laps worked his way into the top five. He made his way down pit road when the caution flew on lap 106 in order to make adjustments to his No. 15 Fury Race Cars machine and put on four fresh tires.
“We made a few adjustments during the stop to help tighten the car up, but ended up making it worse,” Eckes explained. “Our biggest problem after the stop was we just got shuffled back and lost a ton of track position.”
Eckes restarted ninth and raced around the top 10 for the next 75 laps. With just over 40 laps to go, he made a move into seventh position and gained one more spot before the checkered flag flew.
“I think if we wouldn’t have gotten shuffled back so much we would have surely finished better,” he commented. “I’m not sure if we had anything for my teammate Harrison (Burton), but we definitely had a top-three car.”
Eckes will get right back in the driver’s seat by traveling to Dillon Motor Speedway (SC) for the PASS Winter Meltdown this Saturday, February 4. It’s a track the young driver feels confident at, and one that he hopes to get back to his winning ways at.
“I went to Dillon last year for this race and felt like we had the car to beat there, however we had some mechanical issues which stopped that,” Eckes said. “I’m just really excited to get our Quality Bus Sales Super Late Model back out on the track again.”
For more on Christian Eckes, visit www.christianeckesracing.com, and be sure to follow him on Twitter, @ChristianEckes.
Sources: 51 Sports