By Christian Koelle, Staff Writer
Zachary Tinkle will make his ARCA Menards Series East debut in the Pensacola 200 presented by INSPECTRA Thermal. He will pilot the No. 22 Toyota Camry for Brandon Oakley Racing. Oakley piloted his car at New Smyrna, earning a career-best eighth-place finish, but will hand over the reins to Tinkle in Pensacola.
“I can’t thank Brandon enough for this opportunity,” said Tinkle. “It kind of started out as me joking with him to let me run his car when we were sitting in the trailer at New Smyrna Speedway, but after Speedweeks, Brandon reached out and it became a more serious conversation. He has given me guidance when I’m on iRacing. I’ve stayed focused on my fitness and nutrition and am really looking forward to racing the #22 Toyota at 5 Flags Speedway. This is a dream come true for me.”
Oakley has competed for his family-owned organization in all 12 ARCA Menards Series East events. In those 12 events, Oakley has tallied two top-10 and six top-15 finishes.
“After talking with Zachary and his family, I realized that I could make a greater impact on the sport by developing new young talent in the sport, rather than being behind the wheel myself,” said Oakley. “I’m looking forward to taking on this new challenge at this time in my career and think that Zachary can have success at this level.”
Tinkle won the 2019 Vore’s Welding CRA Late Model Sportsman championship. He also scored the Anderson Speedway McGunnegill Engines Late Model Series championship along with Rookie of the Year honors. He tallied two eighth-place finishes in the World Series of Asphalt Racing at New Smyrna Speedway. Tinkle earned some experience testing with Bill McNally Racing during the BMR Drivers Acadamy.
It is unknown at this time if Tinkle has anymore ARCA Menards Series East races slated for 2021.
Photo: Zachary Tinkle Racing