Zachary Tinkle Has Great Run End Early at Lebanon I-44 Speedway
Zachary Tinkle’s 2020 race season continued this past Sunday in a return visit to Lebanon I-44 Speedway with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance after an extended layoff because of series events being cancelled or rescheduled because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The team had not raced since the Masters of the Pro’s event at Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville on July 18th.
The team underwent some drastic revamping during the break, including bringing on Ohio veteran racer and Crew Chief Gary Estes to be the new Crew Chief for Zachary. Stagger Pros, based out of Muncie, Indiana, was now in charge of preparing the car for racing for each event. Sunday was the first opportunity for the group to work together at a series event.
The Lebanon I-44 Speedway event was the first race in the series Chase for the Championship as Zachary looks to win his second CRA Championship in a row. Zachary is one of eight drivers racing over the next three Chase events to be in the final four drivers to race for the series Championship on October 9th at Winchester Speedway, as part of the Winchester 400 Weekend. Zachary came in tied for first place in the Senneker Performance Rookie of the Year standings heading into the series Championship playoffs.
Zachary’s crew had his race car prepared and ready to attend the open practice on Saturday afternoon under sunny skies and hot temperatures after a morning rainstorm soaked the area. Zachary got more comfortable with his new Crew Chief and crew and that showed with good speed in both Saturday practice sessions. The series was sharing track time with the ARCA Menards Series and the ARCA/CRA Super Series on Saturday.
Zachary had three additional practice sessions on Sunday afternoon, again showing his car had speed and would be extremely competitive against a stout group of competitors entered to race in the event. Tinkle would back that up with a great fifth place qualifying effort, putting him in the fifth starting position for the 100-lap event.
Zachary was doing a great job battling towards the front of the field at the drop of the green flag, unfortunately on a lap six restart contact from another competitor caused Zachary to hit the front stretch wall, causing significant damage to the car, ending Zachary’s night.
“Our weekend at Lebanon I-44 Speedway with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour started out great, being fast in practice and qualifying 5th – behind three super late model champions and a former local track champion,” remarked Zachary. “I was trying to pass on the outside lane on lap six when contact from another driver inside of my car put me into the wall, ruining our night and hopes for a great finish. Even though we are technically still in the Chase for the Championship, the odds are against us. Despite all that, I am still optimistic and looking forward to another race weekend with my new crew chief, Gary Estes, the crew, and the Stagger Pros guys. If it were not for them and VanDoorn Racing Development stepping in to get me back to a race track the last few weeks, I would not have even had this opportunity. These guys were hands down the best I have ever worked with. Their level of knowledge and professionalism is top notch while keeping it fun.”
Next Event: Fall Brawl 100 at Lucas Oil Raceway with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour on Sunday, September 20th.
About Zachary Tinkle:
Zachary Tinkle is 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 is competing full-time in the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance.