Zachary Tinkle’s 2020 race season had been delayed for over a month because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but all that changed this past weekend when CRA started it’s 2020 season at Lebanon I-44 Speedway in Lebanon, Missouri. Originally the event was scheduled to take place at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway, but Tennessee officials have not cleared that track to be able to host any racing events yet. Nashville promoter Bob Sargent with Track Enterprises decided to move most of that event to Missouri, were state officials were allowing racetracks to open with restrictions and following strict guidelines.
Thanks to promoter Bob Sargent and CRA, Zachary got to start his rookie season with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance, after moving up from the Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Powered by JEGS, were he was the 2019 series Champion and a two time event winner.
Crew Chief Danny Trent had Zachary’s VanDoorn Chassis race car prepared and ready after making the long trip from Indiana to Lebanon, Missouri. The team participated in Friday’s open practice along with 26 of the best late model drivers from all over the country. It was a good practice as Zachary became acquainted with the track and his car with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour package on it.
Saturday brought more gorgeous early summer weather, a welcome sight at any racetrack, especially when you have not been able to race for over a month. The series had two 30-minute practice sessions to help Zachary get the car dialed in for Jerico Performance Parts qualifying.
Zachary qualified a very impressive 11th out of the 26 cars on hand and would start 11th in the 100-lap feature, which was the first event of the night. The race went only one lap before the first caution flag flew. The green flag dropped for a restart on lap 2, the race would then amazingly go the rest of the 99 laps without another caution, giving Zachary no chance to catch his breath with tough racing through out the field during the 99 lap run to the checkers.
Zachary would finish in 14th place, second among the Senneker Performance Rookie of the Year drivers.
“We finally got to start the race season,” remarked Zachary. “It may not have been our best result, but we still had an awesome experience. The track people were some of the nicest you would ever meet, and the crowd was packed all around Lebanon I-44 Speedway from the stands to the wild side tiered parking. This was the biggest crowd and one of the neatest tracks I have raced. Driving up the hill and looking over the track is amazing. I cannot describe it. Thank you to everyone for a great start to the 2020 race season. Please make sure you get out and support your local tracks when they open.”
Next Event: Anderson Speedway with the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour on Saturday, June 13th.
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.
About the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance:
2020 will be the 10th season of competition for the JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Presented by Chevrolet Performance that crowned its first Champion in 2011. Past Champions include NASCAR competitors Erik Jones and Daniel Hemric. The tour is the top crate engine asphalt template late model touring series in the country.