Zach Zimmerly records eighth place finish in exciting Pombo/Sargent Classic

By Gary Thomas, Photo by Steve Cox of

Tulare, CA – May 17, 2010…Just a couple week’s removed from a career best Golden State Challenge Series finish of second, Vancouver, Washington’s Zach Zimmerly made the trip south to the Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway in Tulare this past Saturday night and drove to an eighth place result in an entertaining 30-lap main event.

Earlier in the week Zimmerly celebrated his 16th birthday and looked to rebound following a tough outing the previous Saturday, where a flat tire in the b-main caused him to miss his first feature of the Golden State Challenge 410 Series season.

Going back to the Silver Dollar Speedway this most recent Friday Zimmerly looked for good things on a night sponsored by Moore Insurance Services, which also partnered with “Wings of Eagles”, a Joseph Alvarez Organization for seriously ill children. The youngster proceeded to kick-off the evening on a great note by timing-in second fastest and joining his mentor Jonathan Allard as the only two drivers to break into the 11-second bracket during qualifying.

Zimmerly then started from the outside of the third row in his heat race and charged forward to score a third place effort to transfer the Christian Stover Foundation, Level One Concrete, McMillen Motorsports No. 94 into the main event. Lining-up next to Allard in the fourth row of the feature he would follow the two-time King of California through the pack and had made his way up to third, when a giant rock came through the side panel and hit his leg. Fearing that he had possibly severely hurt his leg Zimmerly then stopped and went to the work area.

After getting things checked out everything was found to be ok however, and the 16-year-old was pushed back onto the track and rejoined the field at the rear. When the green lights came back on Zimmerly blasted through the pack to get back up to seventh, until another driver ran out fuel and moved into his line, which ultimately left him with nowhere to go and put an early end to the main event. “We’ve seemed to have a lot of bad luck in Chico so far this year and it’s been disappointing because we’ve been fast at the place,” said Zimmerly. “If that rock hadn’t come through the car though I definitely think we would have been right up there in the top-three at the finish and maybe challenging for a win.”

On Saturday night Zimmerly and McMillen Motorsports headed for the warm Tulare area to compete in the eighth round of competition with the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series. The event was the annual Pombo/Sargent Classic, which pays honor to California racing icons Al Pombo and Marshall Sargent.

The Vancouver, Washington driver opened the night by qualifying 10th quickest and then brought home a dominating heat race win, beating out three-time USAC Silver Crown champ Bud Kaeding and defending Lucas Oil ASCS National Series titlist Shane Stewart. By main event time the Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway surface had become very slick and offered itself to great racing like it often does. Going from the fifth row in the 30-lapper Zimmerly hung tough in the top-10 and got some more great experience, racing side-by-side with a number of other talented drivers and just before the finish was able to get by 13-time King of California Brent Kaeding to score the eighth spot at the checkered.

After the night of racing Zimmerly has moved up one position to sixth in the Golden State Challenge 410 Series standings and is just nine-points behind Bud Kaeding for the fifth spot going into the next event, which will be held this Friday night at the newly renamed Giant Chevrolet Speedway in Hanford, California. The race on Friday will be the first GSC event at the 3/8 mile clay oval since 2007 and just the second time the series has been in action at the track since ’05.

Then on Saturday the team will drop the 360 power-plant into the Fire-Down Graphics, Butler Built Performance, Douglas Wheel Technologies No. 94 machine to compete with the Ocean Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo at the Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway. Zimmerly’s only prior start with the Ocean Sprints this season netted him an eighth place finish after starting 18th on the grid in the feature at the Santa Maria Speedway on April 30.

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

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Following an eighth place finish at the Pombo/Sargent Classic this past weekend Vancouver, Washington’s Zach Zimmerly will return to the Groppetti Automotive Thunderbowl Raceway on Saturday for an Ocean Sprint Car Series presented by Taco Bravo event. Prior to that the 16-year-old will also be in action on Friday night with the Golden State Challenge 410 Sprint Car Series at the Giant Chevrolet Speedway in Hanford. Photo by Steve Lamothe of