By Gary Thomas, Steve Lamothe Photo
Hanford, CA – May 24, 2010…Making his way to the Central Valley for the second straight week with the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Cars Vancouver, Washington’s Zach Zimmerly moved to fifth in the series standings with a ninth place effort in the main event during his first ever appearance at the Giant Chevrolet Speedway in Hanford, California.
The evening of competition on Friday marked the first Golden State Challenge 410 Series event at the 3/8 mile clay oval since 2007 and only the second time the tour has been at the facility since 2005.
After a few years of less than hoped for conditions at the Giant Chevrolet Kings Speedway teams and fans were greeted with a clean facility and a well prepared track, which is now under the watch of promoters Don Chambers and Bubby Morse. A 22-car field showed up for the Friday evening event and Zimmerly’s best lap of 13.326 placed the Christian Stover Foundation, Level One Concrete, Butler Built Performance No. 94, ninth fastest overall in qualifying.
It then put Zimmerly in the second row of the third and final heat, where he would bring home a third place finish behind Chico’s Jonathan Allard and Scotts Valley’s Evan Suggs. With all drivers in the top-eight of qualifying making it out of the heats the 16-year-old lined-up ninth on the grid for the 30-lap Golden State Challenge Series main event. When the green came out everyone tried to find traction on the slicked off surface and Zimmerly hung tough over the first number of circuits to position himself in eighth by the time a yellow came out on lap-six.
Once the action got back underway a number of laps were run under green flag conditions and Zimmerly got caught a lap-down with the leaders setting a very fast pace up front, until a caution slowed things down on lap-17. After this the youngster had a tough time being able to move his way forward, as many of the drivers ahead of him in the actual order were near the tail of the field, whereas he was placed up front with the leaders. With the laps winding down he was able to make the move by Placerville’s Andy Gregg to claim ninth, which is where he would finish at the checkered flag.
On Saturday Zimmerly and the McMillen Motorsports team then headed for the nearby Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare for the fifth round of racing with the Ocean Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo. The Vancouver, Washington driver opened the night by timing-in ninth quick for the second consecutive evening, before holding off fellow youngster Kyle Larson to score victory in the third heat race aboard the Douglas Wheel Technologies, Miller&Zimmerly Holdings, Fire-Down Graphics No. 94 sprinter.
Starting eighth in the main event Zimmerly began to immediately fight it out with a number of drivers after the green flag waved in the 30-lapper. The expertly prepared 1/3 mile clay oval had gone slick all the way across the groove and “Super-Z” diced it up around the eighth spot with Larson, Brad Furr and Jason Statler over the first handful of laps. Just after making a nice move to get by Furr however, Zimmerly had nowhere to go when Statler got loose and spun around, which resulted in him coming to a stop. He was able to restart at the rear of the field though and would eventually finish the feature in 15th.
Up next for Zimmerly will be a big triple-header for the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series this coming Memorial Day weekend, beginning with a visit to the Petaluma Speedway on Friday night. During the most recent series event at Petaluma on April 17 the 16-year-old had a great night going, until bicycling in the second corner and getting upside down while running fifth in the main event. Following Friday’s show Zimmerly will join the rest of the GSC teams for two-nights of racing at the famed Calistoga Speedway on Saturday and Sunday, for what will be his first ever weekend of racing at the beautiful and picturesque half-mile dirt oval.
Going into the exciting weekend of action Zimmerly sits fifth in the GSC standings behind Allard, Brent Kaeding, Larson and Suggs and looks forward to getting three-nights of racing under his belt this Friday through Sunday. “Last week didn’t turn out exactly how we wanted, but we’re really excited for this weekend and hopefully we can get back up front,” he said. “We’ve been really fast in Petaluma every time we have been there and I also definitely can’t wait to get to Calistoga Speedway, because I really enjoy the big-fast tracks so it should be a lot of fun to go there this weekend.”
Zimmerly is also looking for additional sponsors to help support his racing endeavors and for anyone that would like to get on board please contact Zach at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more news and info on 16-year-old Zach Zimmerly please visit http://www.zachzimmerly.com and don’t forget to follow us on twitter at http://twitter.com/ZZR9