Zachary Tinkle came into Saturday night’s Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Powered by JEGS Season Championship event as an underdog but came away with the sweep by leading all 40 laps to get his second series win of the season and was the highest finisher of the four Chase for the Championship drivers to claim his series 2019 Championship.
Zachary grabbed his first series win of the season at Mt. Lawn Speedway on June 30th, then claimed the series Triple Crown Championship before a string of bad luck hit with DNF’s in the first two races of the Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Chase for the Championship. The team regrouped and put together a good run at Anderson Speedway on September 21st to win the Anderson Speedway MEP Late Model Series Championship. Zachary was then able to race his way into the final four drivers to compete for the Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Championship on September 28th with a hard earned second place finish in the series third Chase race at Anderson.
Zachary took full advantage of his pole starting position at the drop of the green flag on Saturday after Terry Fisher Jr. drew a nine for the events inverted start, placing Zachary on the pole for the event. Zachary and Wes Russell Jr. fought hard to be the leader, but Zachary got the spot. The first caution flew on lap eight for a spinning car, bunching the field back together.
Zachary and Russell Jr. again battled for the lead at the drop of the green flag on the restart with Zachary getting the advantage while a tough battle for positions between the rest of the top ten took place behind him including the three other Chase for the Championship drivers Billy Hutson, Cory Setser and Austin Coe.
Zachary looked to be on his way to the win when the caution flew when Russell Jr. and J.P. Crabtree got together racing hard for position in turn four on lap 28, both drivers were okay but both cars were done for the day.
Zachary was up to the test again on the last restart of the event, grabbing the lead from former series regular Chris Shannon. Shannon would not give up and hounded Tinkle all the way to the finish, but Zachary was able to pull away and get the win and claim his third Championship of the 2019 season and his first ever Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Championship.
Zachary’s win was a popular one as several drivers and crew members from other race teams at Winchester greeted the very happy driver in victory lane after the race. Zachary picked up the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race Award for holding off Russell Jr. and Shannon on the two restarts.
“This has been the best year of my racing career,” remarked Zachary. “Thank you to my crew chief Danny Trent and my team Kenna, Kenneth, and Dallas. They’ve always given me a great race car. Winning this race and championship was hard work, but we did it! Thank you to Vore’s Welding and Steel Inc. and JEGS Performance for sponsoring CRA: Champion Racing Association. Thank you to my sponsors Left Paw Press, BTT Consulting, and Pet Fashion Guild. Also, thank you to Bell Helmets and Performance Friction Brakes. Most of all, thank you to all the fans that came out to Winchester Speedway. You are the best!”
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. Tinkle was crowned the Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman series 2019 Triple Crown Champion on August 17th. Tinkle was crowned the 2019 MEP Late Model Series Season Champion and Rookie of the Year on September 21st. Tinkle was crowned the 2019 Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Powered by JEGS Champion on October 12th.
About the Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Powered by JEGS:
2019 will be the 13th season of competition for the Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman Powered by JEGS that crowned its first Champion in 2006. Past Champions include Keith Sterkowitz in 2016 and 2011, Billy Hutson in 2007, Tony Dager in 2008, Charlie Hanna in 2009 and 2010, K.C. Spillers in 2012 and was the 2017 Drivers Champion, Mark Lambert in 2013, Greg Van Alst in 2014, Jason Atkinson in 2015, Eddie Van Meter in 2016, Jason Neal was the 2017 Owners Champion, Tony Brutti was the 2018 series Champion.