By Seth Eggert, Staff Writer
Kyle Busch Motorsports has added another up-and-coming driver to their line-up, Christian Eckes. The 17-year-old has been competing part-time in the ARCA Racing Series, where he won for the first time in dramatic fashion at Salem Speedway.
Eckes will drive the No. 46 Mobil 1 Toyota Tundra in his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut at Iowa Speedway on June 16. He will return to the truck at Gateway Motorsports Park on June 23, and ISM Raceway on November 9. Eckes will also compete at Martinsville Speedway on October 27 with a sponsor yet to be determined.
“The opportunity to compete for Kyle Busch Motorsports in my NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut is a dream come true — my first chance to get behind the wheel of the No. 46 Tundra can’t get here soon enough,” Eckes said. “I can’t thank everybody at Toyota Racing, Mobil 1 and all of my supporters enough for making this possible.”
Cody Glick, who heads KBM’s Super Late Model program will serve as his crew chief. Glick led Kyle Busch to victory at Bristol Motor Speedway last year, marking the first in a triple-header weekend sweep for Busch.
The four NCWTS races compliment Eckes’ 13-race ARCA schedule with Venturini Motorsports. So far, he has competed in 16 ARCA races with one victory, five top-five, and 12 top-10 finishes. Eckes also has three NASCAR K&N Pro Series East starts to his credit with two top-10 finishes.
In Late Model Stock Car and Super Late Model competition, Eckes finished fourth in the 2016 CARS Tour (LMSC) points standings while driving for JR Motorsports. That same year, the Middletown, NY native won the prestigious Super Late Model race, the Snowball Derby, at Five Flags Speedway, edging John Hunter Nemechek in a photo finish. Eckes led only one lap in the event. He also won two other major races, the Myrtle Beach 400 at Myrtle Beach Speedway and the Thanksgiving Classic All-Star Super Late Model race at Southern National Motorsports Park.
Now Eckes will look to use that short track experience as he moves another rung up the NASCAR ladder.