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Christian Eckes hospitalized for small tear in trachea, misses ARCA race

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ARCA Menards Series driver Christian Eckes remains in the hospital two days after he was admitted for a small esophageal tear in his trachea, a result of complications due to food poisoning, Venturini Motorsports announced Monday.

Eckes, 18, was forced to withdraw from Sunday’s ARCA race at Salem Speedway in Salem, Indiana, and he continues to receive treatments for a bacterial infection.

Eckes entered the Salem weekend as the series points leader, but he is now eighth, 105 points behind Travis Braden

Eckes was taken to the hospital after he became ill following Saturday’s track activity. He will return to his racing duties once he’s released from doctor’s care.

A native of Middletown, New York, Eckes has five Gander Outdoors Racing Series starts since last year with Kyle Busch Motorsports. He has a best finish of eighth at Iowa.

His only start this year was at Daytona where he won the pole and finished 22nd after a crash.

He’s scheduled to make six more starts in the No. 51 Toyota this season: Gateway (June 22), Pocono (July 27), Michigan (Aug. 10), Las Vegas (Sept. 13), Martinsville (Oct. 26) and Miami (Nov. 15).

iK9 will back Hailie Deegan in six ARCA starts

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Hailie Deegan has landed iK9 as a supporter for her six scheduled starts in the ARCA Menards Series this season.

Deegan will make her series debut at Toledo Speedway on May 19.

The canine security services and training company will be a primary sponsor of Deegan in the May 31 race at Pocono Raceway and an associate sponsor in the remaining five races.

After Toledo and Pocono, Deegan will compete at Madison International Speedway (June 14), Elko Speedway in New Market, Minnesota (July 13), Lucas Oil Raceway in Brownsburg, Indiana (Oct. 5) and Kansas Speedway (Oct. 18).

iK9 will make its debut with Deegan ahead of the ARCA races as her primary sponsor in the April 6 K&N Pro Series East race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“I’m grateful for this opportunity to build my NASCAR career and I’m extremely proud to represent iK9 along with Toyota, TRD, Monster Energy and Craftsman,” Deegan said in a press release. “Partnerships are key to earning these kinds of opportunities, and iK9’s mission appeals to who I want to be as a racer and also as a person.”

Deegan competes full-time in the K&N Pro Series West. She won the season-opener in Las Vegas on a last-lap pass to earn her second career victory.

The next K&N West race is March 30 at Irwindale Speedway in Irwindale, California.

iK9 has been aggressive in its sponsorship in NASCAR so far this season. It serves as a primary sponsor of Joe Gibbs Racing’s No. 18 Toyota in the Xfinity Series and sponsored last weekend’s Xfinity race at ISM Raceway.

 

Menards expands partnership with ARCA

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The ARCA Racing Series will be known as the ARCA Menards Series effective immediately after officials announced Saturday a multi-year extension with Menards that elevated the company to entitlement sponsor.

ARCA is a part of NASCAR after NASCAR announced the acquisition of ARCA in April 2018.

“We would not be sitting at this table and making this announcement had we not been a NASCAR property,” said ARCA President Ron Drager.

The ARCA Menards Series holds its season-opening race Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.