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Middletown, New York

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Christian Eckes finally got the monkey off his back, driving to Victory Lane at Salem Speedway in April, 2018. The 17-year-old TRD driver will also be making his ARCA superspeedway debut at Pocono Raceway next.

Christian Eckes, under the Toyota Racing Development (TRD) banner, is running the majority of the 2018 ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards schedule in the No. 15 JBL Audio Toyota for Venturini Motorsports. The 17-year-old driver also drove to Victory Lane at Salem Speedway in April, 2018, holding off a late-race charge from his teammate Chandler Smith. Eckes, who finished 8th in his ARCA debut at Fairgrounds Nashville Speedway in 2016 at the age of 15, also finished 2nd at both Elko Speedway and Winchester Speedway in 2017. Eckes also finished 3rd at Nashville in 2017, 5th at Madison Int'l Speedway (2017) and 6th in his first dirt track start at Springfield (2017). He also earned four 8th-place finishes at Salem Speedway (2017), Toledo Speedway (2017), Iowa Speedway (2017) and Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville (2018) and finished 10th at Lucas Oil Raceway (2017). Other finishes include 11th at Iowa in 2016, 14th at Madison in 2016 and 19th at Salem in 2017. His career-best qualifying is 2nd at Iowa ('16) and 2nd at Nashville ('17). He also qualified 3rd at Lucas Oil ('17). Eckes led 274 laps in 2017 in 6 races. Eckes won the most prestigious late model event in the country in 2016 with a victory in the Snowball Derby at Fives Flag Speedway in Penascola, Fla.