Millerstown, PA – March 8, 2022
by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
Feature Photo: Brian Rhoad/WRT SpeedWerx
Thus far, in his brief career in the top division of winged sprint car competition, Zach Newlin has shown one thing is for sure.
He belongs in the seat of a 410 sprint car.
Sure, there will be moments his inexperience shows. That’s how one learns. Newlin has already had his moments though. With a full-time season slated this year, 2022 will likely be full of learning moments, but there will certainly be more notable achievements too.
March 6th: 2022 Season Opener / Port Royal Speedway / Port Royal, PA
(42 cars, Heat 2nd, A-main 14th)
The 2022 season kicked off for Zach Newlin and the Pryde Motorsports team at Port Royal Speedway’s 80th season opener. They were one of 42 highly capable entries signed in for action on the early March day in Central PA that greeted racers and fans with temperatures in the low 70’s. It didn’t just look like race season, it felt like race season.
As is common for early season shows, the heat lineups were set by a random pill draw. The five heats would each be eight laps in distance with the top four finishers transferring to the A-main, but only the top two being awarded with a spot in the redraw.
Newlin’s day started with a bit of luck when he drew a low pill, which put him on the pole of the third heat. The initial start was called back after Zach’s front row mate got a little anxious with his right foot. The second attempt was much better, but Newlin had to fall into second and go after the leader, Michael Walter II. His laps times improved steadily throughout the first half of the race, which allowed him to close the gap on Walter. Newlin came home 2nd, just 0.77 seconds behind. Cannon, Wolfe, Flick and Rahmer finished 3rd-6th.
It was an encouraging first 8 laps of the season. The Grove Financial & Associates / Dillman Hauling / Del Grosso Foods / Ron’s RV Sales / Kirby Kitner Excavating / FIT Transportation / Christine Booher, Realtor / Gio’s BBQ / T&M Homebuilders / Robert Lee Jr. Trucking / R&B Auto Proz / Strange Oval / Walker Performance Filtration / RAM Acoustics / Newlin Bar Service, Pryde Motorsports No.29 was competitive and had the speed necessary to run up front.
Once again, the pill draw was Newlin’s friend. During the redraw, he pulled the #4, which put him outside row two for the first 25-lap A-main of the season. Newlin hung tough in the top five over the course of the first half-dozen laps, but then slipped back a few spots over the next few laps. The Millerstown, PA native settled into the back half of the top 10 and held his ground there.
The red flag flew for a flip in turn one with 12 laps complete and brought the field to a stop. On the ensuing restart, Newlin lost one spot. By the time 15 laps were in the books, it was apparent the car wasn’t quite as good as it was before the stoppage. Newlin lost a couple more spots and was nipped at the finish line, ending his day 14th.
It may not have been the finish the Pryde Motorsports team and crew chief Lance Newlin thought they were capable of, but 42 top-notch teams had shown up on this day, and while many went home without making the show, the No.29 team with Newlin at the wheel was able to run up front most of the day.
“We were fine until that red. We had some cleaner air to run in before that, but then in traffic on the restart the car just wasn’t as good. Dirty air affects these things a lot. We were just too tight in traffic. I think we were a top-10 car if the race had stayed green, but that’s part of racing. Nothing to do but keep working on it and get better. I can’t complain. Overall, we had a really good day. We made the show, and we were competitive, so I’ll take it for sure“, Newlin shared after the race.
Zach had the right perspective. It was a great showing for the entire team. The top 10’s and top 5’s are not far away.
Zach and the team will return to Port Royal Speedway on Saturday, March 12th. Racing starts at 4pm.
ZACH NEWLIN RACING
Learn more about Zach Newlin at: A2DPR.com/ZachNewlin
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