Race Weekend Central

Zachary Tinkle Leads ARCA East Underdogs Top 10s at Nashville

Nashville, Tenn. – In 52 combined starts across the ARCA Menards Series platform, Zachary Tinkle registered nine top 10s but zero top fives.

Until Saturday (May 11) at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway in the ARCA Menards Series East race.

Tinkle, back full time in the East with Fast Track Racing for a second straight season, steadily improved his performance throughout the day, capping it off with a fourth-place finish.

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He was eighth quickest in practice and then qualified fifth, his second-best start and best-ever qualifying result.

Throughout the 150-lap race, Tinkle raced Tyler Scofield and Andrew Patterson for fourth-sixth positions.

In the end, he prevailed, and his jubilation was palpable.

“Just I saw the work in this team,” Tinkle told Frontstretch post-race. “This team was really thrashing on this car after Dover [Motor Speedway] to try and get it right, get our motor fixed, and so for me, just trying to keep on top of my tires. And I learned a lot from here last year. I felt like I didn’t manage my tire’s weight and from Pensacola [Five Flags Speedway] earlier this year and so we did really good. I felt like I kept on top of tires really good in this race.

“But I can’t take all the credit. Andy [Hillenburg, FTR team owner], Todd [Parrott, Tinkle’s crew chief] and John [Szulczewski] on top of the spotter’s stand tonight all did an incredible job. It’s a real team effort and I’m really grateful for Andy Hillenburg and Fast Track Racing for their continued faith in me and, you know, it’s all a combination […] this ain’t easy, you know, we’ve come a long way since 2021 when I first dropped in Wayne’s car. And man, this feels pretty fricking awesome, I won’t lie. I’m very grateful for this.”

Fifth place went to Patterson, who debuted driving a second entry for MAN Motorsports.

“Yeah I had a really good car,” Patterson said. “These MAN Motorsports guys brought me a really fast racecar, made it easier on me. Just survived, got laps underneath me. That was the biggest thing, figuring how the car was going to race on the long runs so that was the biggest learning curve. Learning how to keep the tires on it; I feel like I did a pretty good job. Really should’ve run fourth, I just needed a little something at the end, clean up my driving a little bit and we’ll be right there so that was good.”

Patterson signed an eight-race deal with MAN and he will contest his next race with the organization at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on June 21.

Tinkle’s run kept him fourth in the driver standings, but outside of the top three in the East – Nos. 28, 18 and 20 – the battle for fourth in the owner standings is fierce.

Tinkle’s No. 11 unofficially holds down that spot, three points ahead of Venturini Motorsports No. 55 and six points ahead of fellow Fast Track entry No. 10 and CW Motorsports’ No. 93.

CWM owner/driver Caleb Costner is no longer running full time in the national series, but the No. 93 will continue full time in the East. He backed up his ninth-place showing at Dover with his career-best result, seventh. He wanted more though.

“Our team keeps getting better, right?” Costner said. “That’s exciting. I mean I’m very happy with the outcome and finish tonight, obviously P7 that’s cool. I am frustrated though because I know I could’ve gotten more. I was fighting really hard there towards the end of it. I think it was the No. 07 [Scofield] was backing up so I really feel like we should’ve easily been P5, P6.

“Just I made some mistakes, you know overdriving some things. You’re losing tires. I’ve never raced here before so kind of all that combination together trying to get it. You know you kind of force the issue here and there; just didn’t seem to make it up from there but P7, right, I mean that’s a good finish for us. And tonight P9 for the No. 39 [DL Wilson] so two top 10s, we’re continuing to get better as a team. And we don’t have top million dollar equipment but we’re doing very good for where I feel like we’re at. Our program is getting better, we’re having better finishes, we’re having more consistent finishes and that’s all we can expect as a team as we continue to grow.”

Costner also announced Colton Collins will take the reins of the No. 93 at Flat Rock Speedway next Saturday (May 18) for his second start with the organization. Collins competed in the East season opener at Five Flags Speedway en route to an 11th-place showing. It’ll be his fourth career start in ARCA overall.

See also
CW Motorsports Scaling Back ARCA Effort

While Tinkle notched a career best, his Fast Track teammate, and fellow debutant, Jayson Alexander wheeled the No. 10 to eighth place.

“That was an absolute blast,” he said. “I was having the time of my life out there. Getting to sling it with guys, for the team owner I drove for the past two years [Costner], with the heroes that I’ve dreamed of racing against. This series is awesome and this race was phenomenal. I learned so much which was my number one goal: to come out here and learn as much as I can and I’m super pumped that I get to go out there and do it.”

Similar to Patterson, Alexander signed a multi-race deal with FTR and he’ll be back in the same No. 10 racecar at Flat Rock. He hopes to build on that momentum.

“The goal is to keep on that momentum. I think we should be expecting a little bit more cars that go to Flat Rock, especially with some of those guys up north, but to continue to get another top 10, I’d like to back that up with an eighth place or better again. But again, to go out there and learn. Flat Rock is a night-and-day different track than what we just experienced here in Nashville. So it’s another challenge to go out there and learn as much as I can.”

The 20% increase in car count from the ’23 edition at the historic Nashville Fairgrounds to ’24 paid dividends as several drivers left with career-best days and an eagerness to be even faster in their future races.

About the author

Mark Kristl joined Frontstretch at the beginning of the 2019 NASCAR season. He is the site's ARCA Menards Series editor. Kristl is also an Eagle Scout and a proud University of Dayton alum.

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