Crew Chief Gary Estes and the Stagger Pro Motorsports team worked hard to get Zachary Tinkle’s car back together and ready for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance second race of the season this past weekend at the famed Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. Zachary was looking forward to racing again on the historic track, with hopes of improving over last year’s series race there.
The team was welcomed with beautiful weather for Friday’s open practice in preparation for Saturday’s event. The event included the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour, the ARCA Menards East Series as well as the North/South Super Late Model Challenge sanctioned by the ARCA/CRA Super Series, CARS Super Late Model Tour and the Southern Super Series. The pit area was packed with cars on Friday getting laps and preparing for Saturday’s feature events. Zachary and the team were very happy with their practice results, timing in at eighth fastest overall of the 38 cars that took the track in Friday’s three open practice sessions.
Saturday came with a little cooler and cloudy weather, with the team hoping the afternoon rain would stay away. There was one 45-minute practice session on Saturday for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour, Zachary timed in 14th quick of the 37 cars that participated in the practice session, with the weather change creating the need for some set up adjustments.
Qualifying was up next for the event. Zachary would time in 15th fastest, against a strong group of Pro Late Model drivers, that included many Nashville regulars. The team would then have to wait for the other series to qualify before the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour feature that would be up first at 5pm. The sky’s cleared in the late afternoon, giving way to a beautiful evening for racing!
Zachary took the green flag and was holding his own, trying to make laps to get to the second half of the race. Zachary started to progress to the front when a series of cautions started on lap 72. On the second restart on lap 74, Zachary had made some great moves to gain some positions to move into the top ten when disaster struck after racing hard with another competitor for position. The contact put Zachary hard into the front stretch wall, and he took another hard hit in turn one from some cars behind him trying to slow down.
Zachary was shook up after the incident, but was okay, unfortunately his racecar suffered a lot of damage ending his day with a 19th place finish.
“Even though I love Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, it just doesn’t seem to love me,” remarked Zachary. “My team gave me a great race car. I started 15th. We had raced into the top 10 and were ready to keep coming up through the field. They deserved way better than coming home to fixing another wrecked race car.”
About Zachary Tinkle:
Zachary Tinkle was the 2019 Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Champion and 2019 Anderson Speedway McGunegill Engines Late Model Series Champion and Rookie of the Year. He also won the 2019 Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Triple Crown Championship. In his 2018 rookie season in the same series, Tinkle was named PGG Sportsman of the Year and voted Most Popular Driver; finishing 5th in the championship. In 2020, Tinkle competed full-time in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance, finishing seventh in the series Chase for the Championship.