After a tough beginning of the 2021 season with wrecked race cars at both the Salem Speedway and Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway events, Zachary Tinkle was looking forward to returning to a very familiar track for Saturday’s Sport Clips 100 Presented by the U.S. Army at Anderson Speedway, the third event of the season for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance. Zachary was the 2019 Anderson Speedway Late Model Champion and hoped to use his experience there to turn around his 2021 season.
Crew Chief Gary Estes and the team worked hard to get Zachary Tinkle’s car back together and ready for Saturday’s event after the incident at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway on May 8th. Zachary and the team finished dialing in the car in Friday’s open practice, on an extremely hot and humid Friday evening.
The team used Saturday’s one hour practice session to make final adjustments on the car, once again working with the heat and humidity. Zachary and the team were incredibly happy with their practice results finishing in the top ten in practice.
The team then got ready for qualifying where Zachary would time in eight fastest of the 19 cars that took times, with the top 15 qualifiers separated by less than a half second.
The team readied for the feature, making sure Zachary would be comfortable in the car, while others kept a close eye on the radar as storms approached the track from the North. The beginning stages of the race were eventful, with a couple of early yellows for wrecks, that Zachary managed to avoid while trying to make his way to the front of the field.
After a long stretch green flag run, the event was red flagged because of lighting in the area on lap 59. The cars were brought to the pit area and the stands were evacuated. The team decided to use the red flag situation to work on the car and try to make it better when the racing would resume. With severe weather sirens wailing, the track got hit with a heavy storm with a lot of lightning, wind and rain.
The track made the decision to dry the track and resume the races, which took about an hour and a half to accomplish.
The field went back racing on lap 59 with 41 laps left to the finish. Zachary would restart in eight place. The race went from green to checkers over those last 41 laps. Zachary raced hard for several laps with Steve Dorer and Tony Brutti, finishing in sixth place with a car in one piece!
“I guess the third race was a charm,” remarked Zachary. “We got through the hottest weekend of the year, waited through a red flag stop because of weather, got soaked, and then went back racing at Anderson Speedway to finish the race with a Top 10 and the car in one piece. We needed that after the first two races coming in on the hook. Thank you to my team for braving the heat, lightning, and rain to get to this finish. We needed it!”
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.