The Venturini Motorsports team has been a force to be reckoned with in the 2019 ARCA Menards Series season, winning 12 of the scheduled 20 races. At this point, it seems likely it’s their title to lose.
It all started at Daytona where current Truck Series regular and part-time ARCA competitor Harrison Burton kicked off their season with a win at the famous superspeedway. Christian Eckes also qualified on the pole, looking to capture his first-ever ARCA title this year.
Then race fans saw Michael Self and the No. 25 team win back-to-back at Pensacola and Salem. Former driver Todd Gilliland won at Talladega before the Venturini’s went back to victory lane at Nashville with Eckes and rookie sensation Chandler Smith at Toledo.
There was a small dry spell from Charlotte to Pocono when we saw Ty Majeski outsmart them and grab the victory. However, some might say that Self should have won at Charlotte after leading 91 laps before spinning out late and finishing fifth. Despite some frustrating runs at those races, Self and the team found victory once again at Michigan passing Majeski on the last lap in the last turn. With Self winning at Michigan, we saw Smith and the No. 20 team win again at the short-track in Madison.
After Chicago, the Venturini Motorsports team went on a tear, winning five races in a row. Smith won from Elko to Iowa, Eckes at Pocono, Self at Springfield and Eckes recently at DuQuoin this past Saturday night.
It has been a dream season for Venturini Motorsports who do a great job with developmental talent in prepping them for their next step. However, it hasn’t been all that easy. There have been a few bumps in the road but that’s to be expected.
Current championship points leader Self has only recorded two DNF’s (Nashville and Gateway). Eckes has just one DNF which occurred at Talladega after being involved in a wreck. Smith does not have a DNF but finished a disappointing 16th at Gateway many laps down.
Even with the small hiccups, the team has recorded 12 wins, 890 laps led, a combined 1,549 laps led among all drivers, 33 top fives and 40 top-10 finishes combined for the 2019 Venturini Motorsports team.
While there are three races left and another driver could slip in and challenge for the title, it’s the Venturini’s to lose. Self and the No. 25 team lead Eckes and his No. 15 team by 105 points. Bret Holmes is in third, 135 points behind and will likely need a lot of help in order to catch the dominating 25 and 15 teams. However, it’s unlikely at this point in the season with only three races remaining, especially if the Venturini’s keep up their dominating performance.