A last minute decision to head to the race track panned out well for the Tinkle Family Racing team on Saturday, May 4, 2019. The team got the repaired engine back early in the week, allowing the car to be ready in time to go racing. Even though the race was not originally on Zachary Tinkle’s schedule, it was a good opportunity to test the car and shake it down. So, when Zachary’s crew chief, Danny Trent, called to suggest going to the race, Zachary was all in.
It turned out to be a long night with the team not leaving the track until after 1:30AM, but a productive day at the track. Practice went well with Zachary showing at the top of the board in both practices.
When Zachary went out for qualifying, his fan section cheered when he surpassed the time of the #32 of Kent Baledge and went to the top time on the board. In the end, he qualified 2nd overall with a time of 13.018 after all other cars turned their laps. This is the best Zachary has qualified in a late model and his best qualifying time at any Anderson Speedway race.
In the heat race, Zachary was inverted to the last row of the field along with the top qualifier. A couple bad starts shuffled him forward in the field. Soon after a restart, caution came out shuffling him and the #32 to the front row of the field. He hung with the #32 for a clean start for a lap-and-a-half, eventually settling in second position and finishing in the same position in the 10-lap heat race.
It was around midnight when the 35-lap feature race started on a chilly night that felt more like fall than spring. The fans in the stands were bundled up with hats and gloves in anticipation of the racing action. Starting near the rear because of the invert, Zachary maintained position until the car in front of him spun on lap 13, forcing him to jam the brakes and in the grass as the car in front was doing the same. This put him at the back of the field on the restart. Two laps in the #45 car tagged him on the back end and spun, causing another caution. Zachary worked his way through traffic up to 5th position when the #88 of Ronnie Rose and #88 car of Tyler Marsh collided, hit the wall, and caused a fire. While he was going through traffic, he set his best Anderson Speedway lap time of 12.971. After a long red flag stop, he started in 3rd, where he stayed for the remainder of the race and finishing P3.
Thank you to all the fans that came out to the race and braved the chilly weather. Tinkle Family Racing especially says thank you to the Leavitts, Tunneys, and Zachary’s grandmothers: Linda and Vivian for coming out!
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.