KANSAS CITY, Kan — Christian Eckes laid claim to the title of 2019 ARCA Menards Series Champion Friday night at Kansas Speedway.
Eckes won the Kansas 150 over championship rival Michael Self. Self started the race as the pole-sitter, which cut the points gap from 20 to 15. Self led the race and the most laps until Eckes took the lead on Lap 58 after a restart.
Eckes won the title by 25 points over Self, despite Eckes missing Salem earlier in the season. The two drivers tied for wins, with four, in 2019. This is Eckes’ first ARCA Menards Series championship but it wasn’t an easy ride to the title at some points.
“Elko was a defining race and we had a meeting after that race where we said, “Alright we need to fix some things,” Eckes recalled, “And we haven’t finished worse than second and we had three wins in that span so everyone’s doing a great job. It’s been a dream year.”
In addition to Eckes winning the overall driver title, Tommy Vigh, Jr won ARCA Rookie of the Year driving the no. 10 Andy Hillenberg Ford this season. Vigh finished 19th in Friday’s season finale.
The first portion of the race went caution-free until Drew Dollar hit the wall on Lap 40 to bring out the first caution. Michael Self and Christian Eckes restarted 1-2 on Lap 48 before the second caution flew on Lap 52 for Tim Richmond spinning. On Lap 56, Eckes took the lead from Self and led the rest of the way en route to the championship.
Friday’s race marked the last race for the ARCA Menard’s Series before the 2020 acquisition by NASCAR. The race had just two cautions and was completed in one hour, one minute and 35 seconds.