Wednesday, May 10, 2023

ARCA: Tinkle loses oil pressure as Fast Track sweep bottom three

PHOTO: Zachary Tinkle @ZacharyTinkle

by Ben Schneider Staff Writer

Zachary Tinkle finished last for the 2nd time in his ARCA Menards Series career in Saturday’s Dutch Boy 150 at Kansas Speedway when his No. 01 Fast Track Racing Ford fell out with a loss of oil pressure after completing 3 of 100 laps.

The finish came in Tinkle’s 28th career ARCA start.

Tinkle’s first last-place finish in ARCA competition came at Salem in 2021 in his third and final start as a fill-in driver for Richmond Clubb Motorsports. In 2022, Tinkle split time between Wayne Peterson Racing and Andy Hillenburg’s Fast Track Racing, running every race on the schedule except Mid-Ohio. His season-best was an 11th-place run in last year’s spring Kansas race.

Unfortunately for Tinkle, the series’ return to Kansas did not yield a similar result. While Tinkle’s week began by announcing an exciting new “Fan Car” promotion for the upcoming ARCA race at Bristol, it ended in frustration following a string of bad luck. After setting the 23rd-fastest time in practice, Tinkle revealed that his left rear tire had picked up a puncture during the session and would need to be changed prior to qualifying and the race. Tinkle later tweeted that his team would not be setting a lap time in qualifying, ensuring his car would start at the back of the grid.

A total of 28 cars appeared on the entry list; but due to the withdrawal of Andy Jankowiak following a car fire in practice, only 27 took part in the race. Both Tinkle and Brad Smith did not take part in qualifying, leaving them 27th and 26th in the starting lineup respectively. The slowest car to take time was that of A.J. Moyer, who clocked in at 37.446 seconds. Alex Clubb went roughly four and a half tenths faster, nearly breaking the 37-second barrier with a time of 37.004. Rounding out the Bottom Five was Moyer’s Wayne Peterson Racing teammate, Kevin Hinkle, whose lap time of 36.458 was good enough for 23rd on the grid.

Tinkle’s troubles continued shortly after the green flag. His car lost oil pressure on Lap 2, and the team retired the car a lap later to pick up the last-place finish. Following Tinkle up the running order were two of his Fast Track teammates: Tim Monroe, the current LASTCAR ARCA Drivers’ Championship leader, and Gage Rodgers, whose axle and electrical issues sidelined them after 8 and 20 laps respectively. The next retirement came from Brad Smith, who was listed with “radio” as his reason out. (Smith’s crew chief Colby Evans confirmed on Twitter that the team was parked due to communications issues.) The final spot in the Bottom Five was occupied by Jason Kitzmiller, who suffered terminal damage in an accident with Venturini Motorsports’ Amber Balcaen on Lap 65. Balcaen herself would retire after 71 laps, with “suspension” listed as the reason.

The day wasn’t all bad for Venturini, however, as Jesse Love picked up another win from pole position in his No. 20 GEARWRENCH Toyota, leading the team to another 1-2 finish ahead of Dean Thompson’s No. 25 entry. Love’s victory also moves him two points ahead of Frankie Muniz to take over the lead in the championship standings. Muniz finished eighth in his No. 30 Ford for Rette Jones Racing.

27) #01-Zachary Tinkle / 3 laps / oil pressure
26) #10-Tim Monroe / 8 laps / axle
25) #12-Gage Rodgers / 20 laps / electrical
24) #48-Brad Smith / 27 laps / radio
23) #97-Jason Kitzmiller / 64 laps / crash

1st) Ford (2) 
2nd) Chevrolet, Toyota (1)

1st) Fast Track Racing (3)
2nd) Brother-in-Law Motorsports (1)


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