Zachary Tinkle will join Andy Hillenburg’s Fast Track Racing for the full ARCA Menards Series East schedule, the driver announced on Tuesday. The 20-year-old will compete in all eight of the series’ events while piloting the No. 11.
“Racing with Andy Hillenburg and the Fast Track Racing team was a tremendous opportunity in the 2022 season,” Tinkle said in a release. “If it weren’t for Andy, I would not have ended up ninth in the ARCA Menards championship standings. This gave me the chance to get to know him and the team. I have full confidence in them and I think we’ve put together a great program for 2023 and I can’t wait to get back to the race track.”
A native of Speedway, Indiana, the young driver competed in as many ARCA Menards Series events as he possibly could in 200, driving for a number of organizations, which led to him securing a career-best 11th-place result at Kansas for Wayne Peterson Racing.
For 2023, Tinkle will not make the move to Fast Track Racing, an organization that has also had a long tenure in all of the ARCA-sanctioned series. Hillenburg’s program has won a championship – in 1995 – as well as a rookie of the year award in 2019.
“There are a lot of great up-and-coming drivers, but once in a while, one gets a little closer to your heart,” Hillenburg stated. “I’ve watched Zachary since early on in his career and he has done very well while having to do it the hard way – much like myself earlier in my career. I really want to see what Zachary can do with a solid and planned effort. This is going to be a fun year.”
The ARCA Menards East series will consist of eight short track races at various tracks in multiple states. Four of the East races will be standalone while four of the races will be combo races with the ARCA Menards Series.
At the time of the announcement, it isn’t confirmed who will be Tinkle’s competition in the ARCA Menards Series East for 2023, with both Sammy Smith and Taylor Gray both likely to not return. That leaves the door wide open for smaller teams to continue making names for themselves, including Fast Track Racing and Zachary Tinkle.