Tag Archives: Christian Eckes

2016 Snap Shots and Year End Review

year-end-review-photoWow, yet another year as come and gone and boy what a season it provided. 2016 proved to be a year of ups and downs for both the race teams and us here at The Weekly Racer. However, just like most race teams, with some hard work, long nights, and a lot of faith, we were able to pull off some pretty cool things this year. We set out on a mission to grow our audience again and reach more folks that love short track racing and boy let me tell you what, we meet that goal and surpassed it!

TWR hit the road in 2016 with the hopes of visiting some new race tracks and the staff did just that. Dominion Raceway & Virginia Motor Speedway* in Virginia along with Carteret County Speedway, Boman Gray Stadium, and Dixieland Speedway in North Carolina were all new short track shows we brought you to this year. Granted we put a little asterisk next to Virginia Motor Speedway as every time we attempted the trip we got rained out, there is always 2017 though.

2016 saw the rise of Facebook LIVE streaming which TWR took full advantage of bringing our readers as close to the action as wifi and cell service would allow it. The following and request we got for races from those who were most of the time from a different state were truly amazing. Not to mention seeing some of the highest numbers in viewer traffic means we are doing our job to bring you to some of the best short-track racing in the country!

We look forward to 2017 being yet another record year as Eric Church would say. We are excited to bring you monthly podcasts with guests from all over the circuits. New tracks, new series and hopefully new writers with fresh opinions and stories from the sport we love. Bellow are just a few ‘Snap Shots’ from 2016 that we here at The Weekly Racer would like to highlight in no particular order. Every year around this time we have spotlighted paint schemes or races, this year we want to highlight moments that stuck out to us. What are you 2016 Snap Shots, feel free to leave a comment!

 

Louis White Wins the Battle – Brenden Queen Wins the War

Photo: Casey Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

Photo: Casey Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

Chevy -vs- Ford, Pearson -vs- Petty, Earnhardt -vs- Gordon are just some of the rivalries we have seen over the years in this crazy sport we love. Some forged from nothing while others were forged from the unspoken respect towards each other. Sometimes you just have a difference of opinion or a different viewpoint on a certain incident. Other times it’s just good ole’ Old School -vs- New School.

2016 witness a birth of a new rivalry on the high banks of East Carolina Motorspeedway, amongst those that have continued for years, between two racers, who in our very humble opinion, are not much different other than the year they were born. Louis White of Plymouth, North Carolina has been racing longer than Brenden Queen of Chesapeake, Virginia has been on this earth but when the two came together, it was a battle like no other.

Yes, these two had plenty of run-ins, both literally and figuratively, on the racing surface throughout 2016 but I’m pretty sure they both had the same mentality; Let’s get this championship and don’t let my guys down. Fans and drivers alike witnessed plenty of vinyl exchange on the weekends and words exchange throughout the week. Particularly when the two, along with several others, were involved in one of the wildest wrecks I have seen in my ten plus years going racing.

Our snapshot that we want to take away from these two this year is exactly what’s pictured above. Two men, putting everything on the line for the sport they love for their friends, family, and sponsors, to come together and show each other respect during the last race of the year. Louis White ended up winning the final race of the season – which was actually his second Ronnie Barnett Memorial win – with Queen finishing second the points spread that was enough for Queen to secure the track championship. Though Louis White won the “battle,” Queen was able to win the “war,” Louis White asked Queen to take a victory lap with him. White sporting the checkers and Queen sporting the American flag just like his favorite NASCAR driver Brad Keselowski – which ironically enough is the boyfriend of Louis Whites daughter and father of his grandchild.

 

 

Thrilling K&N East Finish at Dominion Speedway Debut

If there were awards to give out here at The Weekly Racer for best finishes, the NASCAR K&N Pro Series East finish at Dominion Raceway on Memorial Day weekend would certainly be among the top contenders. Making their debut at the newly opened 4/10-mile, high banked oval, Spencer Davis and eventual champion Justin Haley put on one hell of a show for the fans in attendance on Memorial Day weekend.

Our snapshot was the last half of the last lap where Justin Haley made every attempt possible to steal the victory away from Davis. In one of the closest finish in K&N East history, Davis edged out Haley by just .005 seconds. Just about everyone in the complex were on their feet as the two entered turn three knowing the shot was coming. The two made contact coming down the front stretch and it was a drag race to the finish line. Easily one of the top finishes we witnessed in 2016.

The sight around the track mirrored much like the Xfinity race at Talladega where two drivers were waiting on the front stretch for NASCAR to review the finish and declare a winner. I cannot imagine what it was like for either of the drivers sitting there, facing each other still strapped in their cars waiting. This race will certainly go down as one of the closest races The Weekly Racer was involved in.

 

Bradley McCaskill’s Road to Recovery Leads to Victory Lane

llm3

If you have been following short track racing in the Mid-Atlantic then you know Bradley McCaskill’s journey through 2016 wasn’t the easiest, to say the least. McCaskill was involved in a pretty bad wreck earlier in the summer at East Carolina Motor Speedway that left him with burns all over his body. Spending the rest of summer on the road to recovery it was great news just to hear the McCaskill was able to get back home to his business and more importantly his family. Things didn’t stop there for McCaskill though. With the help from his family, doctors, and some support from the racing community, McCaskill was able to return to what he loved, racing.

Our snapshot is from the Saturday night portion of the Thanksgiving Classic. McCaskill all but dominated the Limited Late Model feature in a car prepared by Louis White and found his way back to victory lane. McCaskill made a very strong statement in his return to Late Model racing, his win came on the heels of not only making it into the prestigious Martinsville race but earning a top twenty finish. To be able to watch McCaskill dominate the way he did and celebrate in victory lane with his family and Louis White should be a reminder to never give up and always keep fighting.

 

Christian Eckes Edges Teammate Josh Berry in Thrilling Last Lap Pass

For the second year in a row, we were able to make the trip down to Myrtle Beach Speedway for the annual Myrtle Beach 400. A “post season” Late Model feature, much like Martinsville and SNMP, bringing some of the best in the business to one track for 200-laps of door-to-door action. We almost picked the entire race as our snapshot with the amount of true racing that was going on throughout the entire field. We figured it would be a good idea to pick just one moment from that weekend for the interest of time.

The last lap battle between JRM teammates Josh Bery and Christian Eckes was one for the record books. If you weren’t there or didn’t see our Tweet after the race we have included the link above for your viewing pleasure. Much like the finish in the K&N series at Dominion, 200-laps of racing came down to just inches as Eckes edged out Berry at the line after the two bounced off of each other. Was truly one of the most thrilling finishes that we have witnessed since being on this side of business.

 

Mike Looney Holds of Late Model Greats to Win Martinsville

Casey Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

Casey Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

If you are a Late Model fan and Martinsville as a whole is not one your annual snapshots then you are doing something wrong. Year after year over eighty cars make their way to the famous paper clip half mile speedway located in Ridgeway, Virginia all with different goals in mind; making the feature, finishing top 20, or winning that famous grandfather clock. It is a race like no other in the Mid-Atlantic and anyone in the racing community understands this. To win here in a Late Model is putting your name down in history.

It was a fairy tale story for Mike Looney this past October when he took the Late Model community by storm. Showing impressive speed during the test session a couple weeks prior to running towards the front all day long. Looney locked himself into the 200-lap feature by winning the pole award the day before. Not something out of the ordinary right? A small team doing everything in their power to make sure they make the show, there is no way they will be competitive come race time. Wrong!

Of course in a 200-lap race, you will have your different leaders as some drivers will push harder at different segments. Mike Looney, however, was like that mosquito bite that will just never go away. Keeping his car in one piece, for the most part, all day long and being a factor there at the end. This is like a three-part snapshot if you will for us here at The Weekly Racer. The first coming from the somewhat shock of Looney winning the pole, followed by the run he gave previous race winner Lee Pulliam there at the end when the two made contact, followed by the knee he took next to his car in victory lane

 

 

Nick Smith’s Twelve Win Season Earns Him Dominion Speedways Very First Title

smith-championship-celebration

Photo: Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com

To win a race in a Late Model Stock Car here in the Mid-Atlantic is one thing, to win twelve of them en route to your first Late Model championship is something else. Nick Smith did just that this year at newly opened Dominion Raceway located in Thornburg, Virginia. Averaging more than eighteen cars on a given weekend it wasn’t always cake and ice cream so to speak for the Hampton, Virginia driver. Racing with the likes of Jeff Oakley, Trent & Doug Barnes, along with a few visits from 2016 NWAAS National Champ Matt Bowling.

Some wins were pure domination, others probably had a lot to do with luck, and a few ended in the tech shed. However, the moment for us that made this a memorable snapshot was the moment pictured above, the moment you figure out you are the champion. See, the final race of the season was an interesting one at Dominion Raceway. It was a total of 150-laps broken down into three segments along with two different inverts – something we haven’t really seen done in Late Model racing before. Even though Nick Smith was unable to win that particular battle that evening and bring his win total to thirteen, he was able to score enough points to secure the very first Dominion Raceway championship.

The moment the announcement was made the champagne went flying and Smith was able to celebrate with his family, friends, and crew.

Christian Eckes Wins From the Pole at Southern National; Carries Momentum Into Snowball Derby

img_0271

Lucama, NC – Two weekends and two victories for the Middletown, New York native Christian Eckes. After a thrilling victory over JRM teammate Josh Berry in the Late Model Stock portion of the Myrtle Beach 400, Eckes entered the 2016 Thanksgiving Classic with his Super Late Model

Eckes was the only car in the twelve-car field to lay down a sub 14-second lap to claim the pole Saturday afternoon. That speed clearly transferred into Sunday’s race as Christian set the pace early in the 125-lap feature. Colt James, the red number fifteen in the field was the only car able to really give him a run for his money and keep him honest. Some decent racing took place behind the two but it was clear Eckes and James were the class of the field.

The race was only slowed by two cautions. First, we had an issue with a car on the backstretch. This gave Colt James the shot he needed to get around Eckes and set the pace he wanted to run. The second caution, however, was the #15 of Colt James who lost power and coasted on the racing surface. James was able to get his car down pit road and had to nose his machine into his pit stall.

This gave the control of the race back to Christian Eckes, which was the final nail in the coffin. Have to tip our hat to Jake Crum who gave it all he had on the final restart but just didn’t have enough under him, Eckes was able to drive away from the field to earn his first Super Late Model victory.

“We had a really good car this weekend,”Eckes when we caught up with him in victory lane. “We unloaded really strong and stayed that way. I got a little worried there when Colt passed me, really just sucks for him to have a mechanical issue he had a really good car. I am just really happy for all my guys, we worked really hard for this race and it paid off, I am just really thankful to be here.”

Coming off the victory at Myrtle Beach and now Southern National, Eckes is heading into the Snowball Derby next weekend with two consecutive victories and momentum on his side. “We built a brand new car for the derby so we should have a good shot,” Eckes explained. “The momentum is going to be big for me. This is my first victory in the super, we have just had so much bad luck this year it’s not even funny. To win last week and this week it’s a big sigh of relief you know. Both wins are huge for me and it will pay off heading into the derby.”

 

UNOFFICIAL Accent Imaging SLM Results

1) #15 Christian Eckes; 125
2) #57 Austin Theriault; 125
3) #8 Tate Folgeman; 125
4) #01 Jake Crum; 125
5) #67 Clay Jones; 125
6) #55 Kevin Floars; 125
7) #25 Michael Faulk; 125
8) #25 Anthony Alfredo; 125
9) #98 Jody Meesmer; 117
10) #15 Colt James; 94 – Engine
11) #7 Tyler Church; 84 – Mechanical
12) #17 Darren Shaw; DNS

Deac McCaskill & Christian Eckes Win Pole Awards for Late Model and Super Late Model Feature

lmsc-slm-pole-sitters

Dead McCaskill (Left) & Christian Eckes (Right) are your pole winners from Saturday afternoons qualifying session. They will lead the field to green on Sunday afternoon for their 200 lap and 125 lap features respectfully. (Photo: Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Lucama, NC – Qualifying in the books here at Southern National Motorsports Park for the Sunday portion of the 2016 Thanksgiving Classic. 28 Late Model Stocks and just 11 Super Late Models (two did not take time) took time as the sun set over turns one and two this afternoon.

Southern National veteran Deac McCaskill grabbed the pole award with a 15.492 (92.951 mph). He will be followed into turn one by 2016 Dominion Raceway champion Nick Smith, 2016 Motor Mile champion Lee Pulliam, Tommy Lemons Jr., and Johnsathan Findley to round out the top five starters. McCaskill, who is no stranger to the high banks of Southern National, will have plenty of competition to fend off tomorrow after.

“We had a really good car in the CARS event,” McCaskill said. “I don’t know what happened. Car kind of went away from me there at the end. We worked it some. My NASCAR package is different from my CARS package. We did a lot of testing on Thursday. We’ll see what we’ve got.”

Christian Eckes, who is coming off of a thrilling Myrtle Beach 400 victory of JRM teammate Josh Berry, will lead the field of about thirteen cars to the green flag at high noon Sunday afternoon. Eckes was the only car to hit sub 15-second lap and won the Fury Racecars Pole Award posting a time of 14.903 (96.625 mph). Edging out Camping World Truck series driver Austin Theriault by only about one hundredth of a second. Tate Folgeman, Tyler Church and Colt James will round out the starting five.

Gates open tomorrow morning at 9:45 AM with a chapel service. The on-track autograph session is scheduled from 10:15 to 11:30 am. Green flag for the 125-lap Super Late Model feature is set to roll off approx. 12:01 PM with the Late Model Stock Car feature to follow.

 

UNOFFICIAL TWR Late Model Starting Line Up

_lmsc-qualifying

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UNOFFICIAL TWR Super Late Model Starting Line Up

_slm-qualifying

 

 

 

Christian Eckes Edges Out JRM Teammate Josh Berry for Myrtle Beach Victory

16 year old Christian Eckes celebrates in victory lane after a thrilling pass on the final lap. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

16 year old Christian Eckes celebrates in victory lane after a thrilling pass on the final lap. (Justin Kern/TheWeeklyRacer.com)

Myrtle Beach, SC – It was truly a race for the record books as 43 cars took the green flag Saturday night in the 2016 edition of the Myrtle Beach 400. The finale race of the Myrtle Beach Speedway season bring some of the best late model drivers from the east coast together to go to war not only for the check and the trophy but for the bragging rights.

Christian Eckes, 16 of Middletown, New York, was impressive early in the afternoon when he qualified in the third position, locking himself into the feature and saving twenty-five laps on his tires, a major key to success at Myrtle Beach. Eckes proved to be impressive from the drop of the green flag never falling outside of the top ten.

The 225 lap race was split into two segments the first being a 125-lap stent followed by a ten minute break where teams could make typical pit stop adjustments, add fuel and change up to four tires. Eckes did a great job saving his equipment and tires all while competing for spots within the top ten all night long.

After the intermission per se, Eckes started to turn the whick up and mounted a couple charges for the race lead. Using the top side to his advantage Christian was able to lead a few laps early but would be over taken by the likes of Lemons – before his motor expired going into three – Pulliam, Snider, and teammate Josh Berry.

Business really started picking up in the top ten as the laps counted down. Nose to tail and door-to-door, sometimes even up to three wide. Eckes really started to put the moves on the field with just under about ten laps to go. Working to get around Lee Pulliam to take the second position away, Eckes had to make things happen in a hurry to catch teammate Josh Berry who had opened up about a five to six car lead.

The five-car advantage that Berry had built was quickly lost in just under five laps. Eckes was clearly better on corner entry. The pass for the lead was on has the two went into turn three coming to two laps to go. Eckes was able to get under the #88 of Berry. Eckes tried to clear Berry out of two but couldn’t make it happen. The two would come off turn four even and take the white flag locked door to door. Berry making the outside line work to his advantage was giving it everything the car could handle. Eckes sailed the car off into three some how made it stick and came off turn four even up with Berry. The two would touch, Berry would be pinched up in the outside wall, just enough to stall his momentum and Christian Eckes would grab the checkered flag by maybe a foot or two.

“This is absolutely crazy,” Eckes said in victory lane. “We have finished second to him [Josh] so many times. Its good to finally be able to beat him its unbelievable it really is. To pass Lee Pulliam and get to Josh its just a huge confidence booster.”

“The last couple of laps were just insane,” Eckes explained. “We got to Lee and he raced us real clean, I really applaud him for that. We had a pretty good car there and we got to Josh fairly quick. I had a really good run coming out of four and I kind of got clear of him coming off two but I messed up a little bit and he got back up to me.”

“He [Josh] gave me plenty of room in three and four,” Christian told The Weekly Racer. “I knew I had to get everything I could coming to the line. I ran him into the wall a little bit there, which I kind of feel bad about but it’s the Myrtle Beach 400, its defiantly worth it I guess you could say. I am just really happy for this whole team.”

 

UNOFFICIAL MB400 Results

1.#1 Christian Eckes
2. #88 Josh Berry
3. #5 Lee Pullaim
4. #02 Justin Milliken
5. #2 Myatt Snider
6. #41 Trey Gibson
7. #03 Brenden Queen
8. #95 Chad McCumbee
9. #51 Kason Plott
10. #8 Tyler Hughes
11. #36 Anthony Anders
12. #60 Neil Meredith
13. #36 Neil Meredith
14. #12 Auston McDaniel
15. #32 Jerry Miracle
16. #87 Mike Looney
17. #97 Greg Edwards
18. #18 Jason York
19. #15 Dexter Canipe Jr.
20. #18 David Roberts
21. #26 Danny Edwards Jr.
22. #20 Sam Yarbrough
23. #51 Devin O’Connell
24. #17 Ryan Millington
25. #1 Blair Addis
26. #51 Matt Cox
27. #44 Justin Johnson
28. #4 Dylan Hall
29. #7 Michael Hardin
30. #94 Jamie Weatherford
31. #3 Willie Grainger
32. #00 Shane Lee
33. #27 Tommy Lemons Jr
34. #4 Annabeth Barnes-Crum
35. #30 Brian Vause
36. #5 Tyler English
37. #2 Kevin Leight
38. #11 Lucas Williams
39. #33 Macey Causey
40. #16 RD Smith
41. #34 Dylan Smith
42. #83 Matt Bowling
43. #5 Anthony Alfredo