Still recovering from a rough day on the track at Lucas Oil Raceway two weeks earlier, Tinkle Family Racing, with driver Zachary Tinkle came back to Anderson Speedway on Saturday to race with the Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman with hopes of somehow getting in the final four drivers who would race for the series 2019 Season Championship.
Zachary faced a tough uphill battle to get into the final four Chase drivers. Two of the four drivers were already locked in before Saturday’s race, including Regular Season Points Champion Corey Setser and Billy Hutson who won the Chase opener at Winchester Speedway on Labor Day Weekend. Austin Coe had enough points that he too was a lock for the third position by just showing up on Saturday. That left three drivers, and Zachary was behind both at the beginning of the day in the points needed to get that fourth and final position.
Crew Chief Danny Trent and the entire Tinkle Family Racing team had come together to make last Saturday’s Season Championship race for the Anderson Speedway MEP Late Model Series Championship and ended the night as the Champion and Rookie of the Year. The team and Zachary still had one more goal to reach for their 2019 season, and that was the 2019 Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Championship.
The team was pretty good in both practice sessions on Saturday afternoon, but they needed more speed. Qualifying did not go as planned, Zachary qualified 8th out of the 13 cars on hand, and was outside the invert, so he would have to start eighth for the 75-lap feature. Zachary knew what he needed to do, that was to gain as many positions as possible so he could pass both Kent Carson and Brian Demland in points or win the race and be automatically locked in.
Jeff Marcum, Zachary’s biggest competition all year at Anderson, jumped out to the early lead while Zachary started to patiently work his way to the front. Zachary raced hard to gain every position but needed just a little more when he got some luck. A caution flag flew on lap 68 which bunched the field back together, giving Zachary a shot at gaining more positions. The caution flag came out again on lap 69 when Zachary and Brandon Varney were battling hard for position for debris on the track.
That left six laps in the event and another opportunity for Zachary to gain at least one more position and possibly race Marcum for the lead. Zachary had a great restart, slipping past Varney for third and positioning himself underneath Cassten Everidge to race for second. Zachary completed the pass for second and looked to try and track down Marcum but ran out of laps as the checkers flew on Marcum with Zachary getting second.
The second-place finish gave Zachary what he needed, enough points to pass both Carson and Demland to be the fourth driver to qualify to race for the for the Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Season Championship by 3 points, the difference between second and third place finishing positions.
“We knew we’d have an uphill battle going into this race at Anderson Speedway to make the final four to race for the CRA Late Model Sportsman Championship, especially after qualifying 8th and a couple weeks of getting the car back together,” remarked Zachary. “We made it in and will compete for the championship at Winchester Speedway on Winchester 400 Weekend. I can’t thank the team enough. They gave it everything they had. After a couple late restart battles, we finished P2!”
Next Event: Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Season Championship race at Winchester Speedway on Saturday, October 12th.