Like most young racers, Zachary Tinkle loves the challenges of racing on fast race tracks, this past weekend, Zachary fulfilled one of his dreams in racing, by competing at the famed Bristol Motor Speedway with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance.
The event was the third race in the series Chase for the Championship, Zachary was trying to get into the final four drivers who will race for the series Championship at Winchester Speedway on October 9th of Winchester 400 Weekend. Zachary came in behind on points because of bad luck at the series Chase opener at Lebanon I-44 Speedway and again in the series second event of the Chase at Lucas Oil Raceway. Zachary knew he had a tough uphill battle to make the final four, but he and the team were prepared to give it their best shot at Bristol!
Zachary’s crew and Crew Chief Gary Estes had his race car prepared and ready to attend the open practice on Friday afternoon , but Mother Nature had other plans with the remains of a tropical depression in the area with off and on rain. The track hung in there, determined to get teams some track time, finally the system moved out and the track worked to get it dry. Finally, at about 6pm, the first cars hit the track to practice, with each series getting a 30-minute session. Zachary worked on getting comfortable with the speed at Bristol as the team continued to get the car dialed in.
On Saturday, the teams had another 30-minute practice to work on their cars and get ready qualifying. In group qualifying Zachary timed in 12th, the team then decided to pull the car out of impound to make some changes to make it better for the 100-lap race.
The race was a grueling 100 lapper around the fast half mile with the leaders setting a torrid pace. Zachary was doing a great job of staying out of trouble and making laps when the leader caught him. Zachary was holding his line and giving the leader plenty of room on the outside when the leader made contact with Zachary’s rear bumper sending Zachary spinning on the front stretch. Zachary looked like Danny Sullivan at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, catching the car after making a 360 degree turn and getting right back into the gas and not hitting anything. It was a spectacular save!
Zachary would go on to finish a season high sixth at a track he had dreamed of racing on since he was a kid. Unfortunately, Zachary did not make up enough points to be in the final four racers who will compete at Winchester for the series Championship.
“What an experience,” remarked Zachary. “I’ve wanted to race at Bristol Motor Speedway since I was a little kid. This was one of the craziest races I have ever been in. We survived the race to finish 6th after pulling the car for adjustments when we qualified 12th in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour 100 lap race. I can’t thank everyone on the team enough for all of their hard work this weekend and never giving up.”
Next Event: Winchester 100 with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour on Friday, October 9th.