Consistency, setups key in Eckrich’s run to IMCA Summer Series championship

Andy Eckrich was champion of IMCA’s Deery Brothers Summer Series for IMCA Late Models. At left is Division Director Joe Hayes and at right is IMCA President Brett Root. (Photo by Bruce Badgley, Motorsports Photography)

OXFORD, Iowa – Team Eckrich can finally add a Deery Brothers Summer Series championship to its resume.

2010 series rookie of the year and 2011 runner-up Andy Eckrich raced to the IMCA Late Model tour crown, complementing a feature win at West Liberty Raceway with a trio of second-place outings.

“We have been going for this. We ran consistently, we had good setups and we got it done,” Eckrich said. “My dad (Larry) is 74 and he’s had drivers win a lot of series and a lot of big races but never a Deery championship. He’s my car owner and mentor and has done a lot with drivers since the 1980s but one thing he never conquered was the Deery Series.”

Eckrich, from Oxford, Iowa, gained the tour point lead for good with back-to-back second place fin­ishes at Fayette County Speedway and Lee County Speedway.

The West Liberty checkers flew in what proved to be the next-to-the-last event in the rain plagued 33rd annual series.

That victory was his ninth in 125 career tour starts. Also the national rookie of the year in 2010, he won once following a limited weekly schedule as well this season.

“This (Summer Series) championship was something we’ve wanted to win for a long time,” said Eckrich, who piloted bombers and pro stocks before moving to the Late Model division in 1999. “We always try to have good handling cars. We weren’t the fastest every night but we were the most consistent and con­sistency wins you series championships.”

Starts 9                    Wins 1        Additional Top Five’s 4

HIS CREW: Clint Smith, son Bryson, Kevin Steckly and Kyle Madden, and brothers Dave, Doug and Denny.

HIS SPONSORS: Precision Performance of Oxford; Double D Excavating of Iowa City; Stutsman Agriculture of Hills; Auto-Matic of Solon; Leading Edge Design of Freeport, Ill.; Integra Shocks and Springs of Coopersville, Mich.; Wilwood Engineer­ing of Camarillo, Calif.; and Sunoco Race Fuels.