Salem, IN (October 14, 2019) – 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.
“Wow, I just won a race at Winchester Speedway,” Tinkle remarked in victory lane. “I can’t believe we got the win and the Championship today. What a season we had. I have to thank my crew chief Danny Trent, my team for all their hard work, my parents for all their support and all my sponsors, we couldn’t have done it without their help. We went through a lot to get in the position to be able to race today for the Championship, but we did it! I also want to thank Vore’s Welding and JEGS for their support of this great series!”
Tinkle 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 Chase for the Championship. The team regrouped and put together a good run at Anderson Speedway on September 21st to win the track Late Model Championship. Tinkle was then able to race his way into the final four drivers to compete for the series Championship on September 28th again at Anderson, then finished off the season with his first ever feature win at Winchester Speedway and his first ever CRA Championship.
Tinkle took full advantage of his pole starting position at the drop of the green flag after Allstar Performance Fast Qualifier Terry Fisher Jr. drew a nine for the events inverted start. Fisher Jr. set a new track record in qualifying earning a $100 bonus from Van Hoy Oil. Tinkle and Wes Russell Jr. fought hard to be the leader, but Tinkle got the spot. The first caution flew on lap eight for a spinning Neil McClelland, bunching the field back together.
Tinkle and Russell Jr. again battled for the lead at the drop of the green flag on the restart with Tinkle 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.
Tinkle 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.
Tinkle again grabbed the lead from former series regular Chris Shannon on the last restart of the day. Shannon would not give up and hounded Tinkle all the way to the finish. Tinkle would get the win by .295 of a second.
Tinkle’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. Tinkle picked up the AR Bodies Cool Move of the Race Award for holding off Russell Jr. and Shannon on the two restarts.
Shannon would finish in second. Two-time series Champion KC Spillers finished in third but failed post-race tech and was moved to a last place finish.
2007 series Champion Hutson finished in third and was second in the Chase for the Championship with his finish. Regular Season Points Champion Setser finished in fourth place and finished third in the Chase for the Championship with his finish. Setser was awarded the KRJ Race Products Sweet Move of the Race Award after having to pit with some damage from an earlier caution, then raced his way back through the field to get his fourth-place finish.
Veteran Indiana racer RJ Norton Jr. finished in fifth place after starting 10th. Chris Jennings finished in sixth and picked up the Spillers Towing Hardcharger Award after starting in 16th. Tanner Jack was in seventh, Chase for the Championship competitor Austin Coe finished in eighth after having to make a late pit stop. Brandon Barcus was ninth and Jon Beach rounded out the top 10.
The 2019 CRA Awards Banquet Presented by Shepherd Insurance is next up for the Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman on Friday, January 3rd, 2020 at the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown at Union Station.
Information on all the CRA Series is available at www.cra-racing.com.