The ARCA Menards Series returns to action this weekend at Salem Speedway in Salem, Ind., the second trip to the track in 2019.
The points battle between Michael Self and Christian Eckes is heating up as the duo is now separated by just 70 points with three races remaining on the schedule. The battle comes to a track where both drivers have a victory, most recently this year with Self winning in April.
Many could say that Salem is also why the points lead isn’t as small as it could be. Eckes had a small tear in his trachea which forced him to sit out the race there earlier in the year while Self took the victory. Now, the two drivers return with unfinished business, and it will set up what the points race will look like heading to Lucas Oil Raceway.
The lineup of drivers for this one looks a lot like most of the season’s races. Ed Pompa returns to ARCA for the first time since Pocono Raceway, running a special throwback paint scheme honoring Darrell Waltrip and the first chrome paint scheme in NASCAR. Along with Pompa, both Eckes and Self will be running throwback paint schemes this weekend, with the Venturini Motorsports duo throwing it back to the Venturini history.
After finishing second at Salem in April, Sam Mayer will look to earn his first career victory in ARCA. Third-place finisher from the spring race Carson Hocevar will look to better his career-best finish with either a runner-up finish or his first career victory in the series. Fourth-place and fifth-place April finishers Chandler Smith and Corey Heim are both also chasing their first Salem victory, while Heim is seeking his first ARCA win.
Colby Howard makes his return with Win-Tron Racing this weekend, where he will make his fourth career start in the series. His debut came at Salem in 2018 with Mason Mitchell Motorsports, where he finished eighth, his current career-best finish. Speaking of returns, Gavin Harlien is back with Venturini Motorsports. Harlien has two starts under his belt this season at World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway and Iowa Speedway with a best finish of eighth at Gateway.
The Kentuckiana Ford Dealers Fall Classic 200 goes live on MavTV on Saturday, Sept. 14, at 7 p.m. ET.