Tinkle Family Racing, with driver Zachary Tinkle, had a very busy three days this past weekend and Monday, and for Danny Trent and his crew, a lot more work than expected. Zachary competed Saturday night in the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Model series at Anderson Speedway, where he was looking to continue his hot streak of finishes at Anderson including a win and back-to-back second place finishes and build on his Championship points lead.
Zachary was the Fast Qualifier with the McGunegill Engine Performance Late Model series on Saturday, showing that Crew Chief Danny Trent had given him a fast car. The invert was a six for the 35 lap feature, making it a tough race for Zachary with Jeff Marcum and Billy Van Meter starting in front of him. Marcum grabbed the early lead with Van Meter in second while Zachary started to work his way to the front. Van Meter passed Marcum for the lead on a restart after a caution while Zachary was still trying to work his way to the front. After battling several laps to make a pass on a competitor, Zachary made an inside move to get by. That competitor came down on Zachary cutting him off and causing the two cars to make contact resulting in a lot of front end damage, ending Zachary’s night on lap 34 of the 35 lap feature.
Tinkle still got a fifth place finish to keep his steak of top five finishes going, but did lose some Championship points to Marcum who finished second to Van Meter. The crew had a monumental task ahead of them because Zachary had entered the prestigious Redbud 400 on Monday to make his ARCA/CRA Super Series debut.
The team missed Sunday’s scheduled Redbud 400 open practice so Danny could get the car ready for Monday’s race. Danny and his crew did a great job getting the car back into racing condition so Zachary would be able to race on Monday.
Zachary did well in the Redbud 400 practice session, especially considering he was racing with the an under powered Crate Engine versus most of the competitors who were using Super Late Model engines. Zachary qualified in for the Redbud 400 in fifteenth out of the 21 cars that took times.
Zachary did a great job in the Redbud 400 opening stages, racing hard against much more experienced racers and holding his own on the track on the tight ¼ mile track. Unfortunately, Zachary’s night ended early because of overheating issues. Danny and the crew tried to get it fixed but, in the end, it was better to park the car after 111 laps to make sure no damage was done to the engine.
“After Saturday, the guys worked on the car ALL DAY Sunday to put the front end of the car together so we could still make the Redbud,” remarked Zachary. “It was a great surprise because I was sure we weren’t going to make it. The car started to overheat at just over a hundred laps so we opted to pull out of the race and take care of the car. We learned and accomplished a lot and are even more ready for the next one! We had a lot of family and friends in the stands this weekend. Thank you to all of them for coming out. It means more than we could ever say.”
About Zachary Tinkle:
In his 2018 rookie season in the Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman series, Zachary Tinkle was named PGG Sportsman of the Year and voted Most Popular Driver; finishing 5th in the championship. He was the 2017 Central States Region (CSR) Super Cups and 2016 Rockford Speedway Wild Wednesday Super Cup Champion. In 2015, Tinkle was the Illinois Super Cup State Champion for the Short Track Auto Racing Series (STARS), Rockford Speedway National Short Track Champion for Super Cups, awarded the Rockford Speedway “Lead, Follow, or Get Out Of My Way” award and Most Improved Driver for CSR Super Cups. For 2014, he was Rookie of the Year for CSR. Tinkle currently races a pro late model in the Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Series competing for the series championship and in the McGunegill Engines Late Model series at Anderson Speedway.