ELKO, Minn. – Christian Eckes won the General Tire Pole Award for Saturday’s ARCA Menards Series Menards 250 at Elko Speedway, nipping by Ty Gibbs by just .024 seconds.
Eckes’ fast lap was 14.403 seconds/93.730 mph, giving him his first pole award since the season opener at Daytona and the fourth in his ARCA Menards Series career.
Eckes also led practice earlier in the afternoon, also narrowly edging Gibbs in that session as well.
“We almost won here in 2017,” he said. “We had the pole here last year and almost won again so I hope we can close the deal tonight with our JBL Audio Camry. Kevin Reed and the Venturini Motorsports guys have given me a great car. We’ll try to keep the fenders on it and end up in victory lane.”
Gibbs’ fast lap was 14.427 seconds at 93.575 mph around the tight .375-mile oval, giving him his second front row start of the season and his first since he also started second at Nashville.
Corey Heim will start third after turning a lap of 14.516 seconds at 93.001 mph. Heim is driving for the team that won the last ARCA Menards Series event at Chicagoland Speedway with Ty Majeski driving. Michael Self, who won General Tire Pole Awards earlier this season at Toledo, Charlotte, Michigan, and Chicagoland, qualified fourth with a lap of 14.521 seconds at 92.969 mph. Self’s lap was matched to the thousandth of a second by Carson Hocevar, the General Tire Pole Award winner earlier in the season at Salem Speedway. Self will start fourth with Hocevar fifth.
Joe Graf Jr., Chandler Smith, Sam Mayer, Travis Braden and Bret Holmes rounded out the top-10 qualifiers.
The only incident in General Tire Pole Qualifying involved Tommy Vigh Jr., who spun while crossing the line to take the checkered flag and made slight contact with the inside wall. His team will make repairs and he will drop to the tail of the field for the start of the Menards 250.