Tinkle finishes race in 17th place and accomplishes team goals through heat and radio issues
Zachary Tinkle arrived at the hot and humid Lucas Oil Raceway with zero experience on that particular track, ready to learn and continue his driver development. With this being a pivotal race for drivers (including his Lorz Motorsports teammate Austin Kunert) vying for the championship final four contention in the chase, the goals were clear: finish the race and keep the car in one piece while steering clear of any interference of drivers competing for points and the championship.
Tinkle went out for practice ready to learn the grooves on the largest track to add to his resume to date. With ‘Uncle Ray’ and Dan on the radio, he was learning the lines and figuring it out even through spotty radio communication. When getting ready for second practice, an issue where the wires cap had come off and wires frayed on his helmet was discovered. So as not to miss the entire practice, he was sent out with ear buds tied directly into the radio and not through the helmet. The same set up was used for qualifying. He went out first since he had a race later an hour away that he had to make to remain in championship contention in that series. Tinkle had to leave in such a hurry to get to Anderson Speedway for his he wasn’t sure where he’d start until the next day and knew the radio issue had to be fixed or else he wouldn’t be able to race.
While at Anderson Speedway, superhero Walt Frueh saved the race day by soldering the wires and getting the helmet wiring to work so that Zachary could both hear his spotter and talk through the microphone. With that fixed, the team was ready for race day. On race day, Tinkle was slated to start in the back of the field, but allowed other racers to go by on the starts and restarts to not be in their way for their points competition for the series. Tinkle survived several cautions including a severe caution where a car crashed into the wall on a restart about half way through the race. He muddled through the smoke and came out clean. He finished the race and kept the car in one piece — meeting the goals Lorz Motorsports set for him for the day. He was also able to congratulate Austin Kunert on making the final four in the chase for the championship.
JEGS/CRA All-Stars Tour Hart’s Auto Center 100 video