General Tire is the proud Official Racing Tire and Exclusive Tire Supplier of the NASCAR K&N Pro Series, NASCAR Pinty’s Series, NASCAR Whelen Euro Series, and NASCAR PEAK Mexico Series, as well as the longtime supplier of tires for the ARCA Menards Series. Throughout the 2019 racing season, we’ll check in on the stock car series that feature General Tire worldwide, with race notes, previews, and driver profiles:
Rain impacted motorsports events across America this weekend, but that didn’t stop the ARCA Menards Series or NASCAR K&N Pro Series East from getting their events in. ARCA made its return to Fairgrounds Speedway in Nashville, where the championship lead changed hands once again; when Ty Gibbs spun the lapped car of Tommy Vigh Jr., the resulting incident took out points leader Michael Self and allowed Travis Braden to regain the advantage. But it was Christian Eckes of Venturini Motorsports who came out of Tennessee with the victory to pull closer to the top spot in points.
As for KNPSE, the WhosYourDriver.org Twin 100s ended up split between Saturday and Sunday, with 2018 NHRA Pro Stock champion Tanner Gray earning his first career NASCAR win in overtime in the first race and Bill McAnally Racing’s Derek Kraus scoring the victory in the rain-delayed second race. Meanwhile, Santiago Tovar took the NASCAR Peak Mexico Series victory at Super Ovalo Chiapas.
The NASCAR K&N Pro Series West will follow in the footsteps of its Eastern cousin this weekend, staging a pair of 100-lap races at Tucson Speedway on Saturday. It’ll be the second year in a row that Tucson, which returned to the schedule in 2015 after a 14-year hiatus, will host a doubleheader event. Last year’s races were swept by Kody Vanderwal, who opened the season with a fourth-place finish in Las Vegas and currently sits 10th in KNPSW points.
Meanwhile, the NASCAR Whelen Euro Series returns to action in Italy with a pair of races for both the Elite 1 and Elite 2 classes at Autodromo di Franciacorta. A record 33 entries with drivers representing 20 countries will be in action in the Elite 1 class, and American fans will recognize names like Jacques Villeneuve and Myatt Snider on this weekend’s entry list. Ander Vilarino swept the Elite 1 season opener in Spain in his return to the series.
Driver Profile: Christian Eckes
One of stock car racing’s most promising young talents, Christian Eckes will finally pursue his first career ARCA Menards Series title in 2019 with Venturini Motorsports after a number of strong performances over the past three years. The 18-year-old has only been behind the wheel for five years, starting with Legends cars in his native New York, but he’s proven to be a quick study, moving into late models for JR Motorsports in 2015 and later super late models, and even winning the Snowball Derby in 2016.
Eckes scored his first ARCA victory at Salem Speedway last spring, and added two more wins in a 13-race program last year, to earn himself four starts with Kyle Busch Motorsports in the NASCAR Truck Series; he finished three of those races, including his debut, in the top 10. This year, Eckes opened the ARCA season with fourth and third-place finishes before missing Salem due to illness; he sits fifth in the standings through five races so far in 2019.