by Ben Schneider
LASTCAR.info Guest Contributor
Zachary Tinkle finished last for the 1st time in his ARCA Menards Series East career in last Tuesday’s Race to Stop Suicide 200 at New Smyrna Speedway when his #0 GreatRailing.com Ford did not start the event due to a transmission issue.
The finish came in Tinkle’s second career “East Series” start; his first was a combination race with the main ARCA Menards Series at Bristol last season.
Like many young drivers, Tinkle began his career in go-karts, working his way up the ladder and eventually winning late model races en route to beginning a career in stock cars. Tinkle made his debut for Wayne Peterson Racing in 2021, finishing thirteenth at Berlin Raceway. His best finish last season came at the DuQuoin State Fairgrounds; despite recording a DNF, a high rate of attrition allowed him to score an eighth-place finish.
Tinkle arrived at New Smyrna and immediately faced adversity when the front shaft of his car’s transmission broke. While the team was able to acquire a new transmission, Tinkle announced shortly before the start of the race that he would not be able to get it in time for the race. He was subsequently credited with a sixteenth-place finish. Despite not starting the event, Tinkle’s official “reason out” was listed as “transmission” rather than “did not start.”
Immediately following Tinkle up the final race results was ARCA veteran Brad Smith, who parked with engine trouble after completing 8 laps. Fast Track Racing’s Tony Cosentino was next to pull off the track, suffering brake issues after Lap 21. Caleb Costner, last year’s last-place finisher at the ARCA Menards Series West race at Portland, completed 47 laps before retiring with overheating issues, while series newcomer Steve Austin (not the wrestler) completed the bottom five after completing 122 laps before he also encountered brake problems. The only other retirement was 11th-place finisher Christian Rose, who crashed out after 145 laps.
At the front of the field, defending series champion Sammy Smith picked up right where he left off, leading 167 of 200 laps on the way to his fourth career East Series win. Smith’s No. 18 Toyota is now under the Kyle Busch Motorsports banner as KBM acquired the assets to Joe Gibbs Racing’s ARCA program over the offseason.
THE BOTTOM FIVE
16) #0-Zachary Tinkle / 0 laps / transmission
15) #48-Brad Smith / 8 laps / engine
14) #12-Tony Cosentino / 21 laps / brakes
13) #95-Caleb Costner / 47 laps / overheating
12) #22-Steve Austin / 122 laps / brakes
2022 LASTCAR ARCA MENARDS SERIES EAST MANUFACTURERS CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Ford (1)
2022 LASTCAR ARCA MENARDS SERIES EAST OWNERS CHAMPIONSHIP
1st) Wayne Peterson Racing (1)
2021 LASTCAR ARCA MENARDS SERIES EAST DRIVERS CHAMPIONSHIP