CER PRESS RELEASE — Christian Eckes appeared to be one of the cars to beat Sunday at the 41st annual Rattler 250. The 16 year-old driver put his Fury Race Cars No. 15 near the top of the charts throughout the weekend, however brake issues prohibited him for contending for the win during the 250-lap race. Despite the issue, the New York driver held on for a sixth-place finish.
“The weekend started off well, but definitely did not end how we intended it to,” Eckes said. “We were so fast in the beginning but unfortunately we had zero brakes in the race. We believe it was an issue with the master cylinder but we had such a great race car.”
Eckes qualified his No. 15 machine in the fourth position and quickly made his way into the second spot just a handful of laps into The Rattler 250. He slid back to fifth position at the lap 100 break and from there worked hard to stay in the top 10 for the final 150 laps. A late charge from ninth to sixth over the final 45 laps gave Eckes a solid finish.
“The brakes and an ill-handling car because of that issue made it hard to get to the front. It would just make the car so tight and free entering, but we will put this behind us and move on,” Eckes commented. “We took away the fact that we had a car to beat. If not for the handling and brake issues, I believe that we would have been one of the ones to beat, no doubt.”
The 2016 Snowball Derby champion doesn’t have a whole lot of time to think about his Rattler performance. Eckes will be back in his Fury Toyota this weekend for the CARS Racing Tour River City QDMA Duels at Dominion Raceway in Virginia.
Eckes posted a second-place finish in his first CARS Tour race of the season, but this weekend throws a curveball to drivers with two 75-lap races on deck. Adding even more flavor to the event, the highest average finisher earns an automatic spot in the U.S. Short Track Nationals this May at Bristol Motor Speedway (TN).
“I think the double races definitely adds some strategy,” Eckes commented. “It’ll be interesting for the fans to see four races instead of two as well. My strategy will be to try to conserve the best I can to have some tire left for the second race. I’m just really excited to get my Fury Race Cars Toyota Camry back on the track.”
Eckes has only a limited amount of experience at the newly reopened Dominion Raceway, but finished seventh in his only NASCAR K&N Pro Series East race at the track last year. He also recently tested his Super Late Model on the 4/10-mile oval a few weeks ago.
“I really like Dominion,” said Eckes. I’m really excited to go back, it’s a really nice facility. In the test we had the other week our biggest struggle was a loose condition. I believe that we will be able to control that once we get some rubber on the surface however.”
Eckes and the rest of the Super Late Models will practice on Friday afternoon at Dominion Raceway before qualifying and racing on Saturday afternoon.
Race fans can follow Eckes on Speed51.com’s Trackside Now coverage or watch the race live on CARS Tour.TV.
For more on Christian Eckes, visit www.christianeckesracing.com, and be sure to follow him on Twitter, @ChristianEckes.