Kyle Busch Motorsports announced Thursday that Christian Eckes, the most recent winner in the ARCA Racing Series, will make his NASCAR Camping World Truck Series debut June 16 at Iowa Speedway in Newton as part of a four-race schedule driving a fourth entry for the organization.
Mobil 1 will be the primary sponsor when the 17-year-old driver makes his Truck Series debut at Iowa and will also adorn the hood of his No. 46 Tundra at Gateway Motorsports Park in Madison, Ill., June 23 and ISM Raceway in Avondale, Ariz., Nov. 9. Eckes’ sponsor for his race at Martinsville (Va.) Speedway Oct. 27 will be named at a later date.
“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.”
Eckes picked up his first career ARCA Racing Series victory at Salem (Ind.) Speedway Apr. 22 after leading 72 laps of the 200-lap event, including the final 52 circuits. The Salem victory came in his second of 13 ARCA races scheduled with Venturini Motorsports this season. In 2017, Eckes collected four top-five and nine top-10 finishes across 10 ARCA events and four top-five and five top-10 finishes in six CARS Super Late Model Tour starts. In 2016, he recorded one top-10 result in four ARCA starts and two top-10 finishes across three K&N Pro Series East starts.
The Middletown, N.Y., native put his name on the motorsports map when he won the prestigious Snowball Derby Super Late Model race at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Fla., in December of 2016. The then 15-year-old battled side-by-side with John Hunter Nemechek for the final two laps before narrowly edging him to the finish line. The Snowball Derby win was part of a three-race winning streak in Late Models to close out the 2016 season after the teenager was victorious in the Myrtle Beach 400 Late Model Stock event at Myrtle Beach (S.C.) Speedway and the Thanksgiving Classic All-Star Super Late Model race at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C.
Cody Glick, who oversees KBM’s Super Late Model program, will serve as Eckes’ crew chief for his four NCWTS races. Glick picked up his first career Truck Series victory when he called the shots for Kyle Busch’s win from the pole at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway last year. All together in four races atop the pit box in 2017, two with Busch and two with Todd Gilliland, the No. 46 team earned one win, one pole, 109 laps led, two top-five and three top-10 finishes across four starts under the Pennsylvania native’s guidance.