First 358 Sprint Win for Newlin Racing Comes in Impressive Fashion
Mechanicsburg, PA – September 5, 2020 – By Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
Zach Newlin has a remarkable racing resume. Friday night, September 4th, 2020 he added yet another impressive entry to his list of accomplishments: a victory at Williams Grove Speedway. Not only did he win at the legendary half mile, he won in a 358 sprint car in his first season in the division.
The HJ Towing and Recovery 358 Sprints were on hand as part of the Bob Stewart Tribute event Friday night. 32 cars signed in for competition and were divided into four 8-lap heats lined up based on a handicapping system, with the top 5 from each to transfer to the feature.
The Smith Concrete & Construction / J.W. Smith Auto Body / T&M Homebuilders, Inc. / Heather Sims, Realtor / Walker Performance Filtration / Newlin Bar Service #11z lined up outside row 2 in the fourth heat race. Using the high side on the start, Zach pulled side by side with Ashley Capetta for the lead. The pair battled side by side for two laps before Newlin used a strong move off turn two on the high side to power past Capetta down the backstretch to take sole command. By lap five, he had put about 8 car lengths between himself and second place and went on to win by that distance over Derek Locke, who moved into second from his 8th starting spot in the closing laps.
After the solid qualifying run, Newlin reflected back on what he learned from his first opportunity to run a 410 sprint car two weeks earlier. “It taught me I need to free my car up.”, he explained. He had factored that into the heat race setup and was thinking it would be part of the solution for the A-main as well.
The feature lineup was heads-up from the heat race finishes, which meant Zach would line up 4th. As the field took the green off turn four, the red flag quickly appeared when Doug Hammaker jumped the right rear of Newlin’s J&J Chassis 11z and collided with the outside fence, flipping back across the speedway and collecting a few other cars.
On the second attempt to start the feature event, Newlin ran the low side, tried to settle in and remained in 4th position at the completion of lap one. As the field began lap 3, Zach drove the 11z into turns 1 and 2 hard on the high side to build up momentum and made the pass for 3rd down the back chute under the famous bridge at “The Grove”.
The red flag appeared once again on lap 4 when the 48 car made contact with the outside wall near the flag stand and flipped down the front stretch. Following the incident cleanup, Newlin restarted 3rd with 4 laps complete. This time Zach took the low line through the first pair of turns and pulled alongside the 2nd place machine but the caution appeared before he could claim the position.
On yet another restart, this time with 5 laps complete, Newlin would restart 3rd and again charge the low side, while the rest of the field took to the top of the speedway. The move would propel the 11z into 2nd coming off turn 2. Over the next few laps Newlin would continue to stick to the low side of the speedway and gain ground on the leader, the 28 of Matt Findley, when yet again the caution would appear.
The feature event, which was struggling to find its rhythm and was turning into a bit of a marathon, would finally restart for the final time with 13 laps remaining. Findley led Newlin, Arnold and Locke back to the green. Once again Zach took the 11z to the low side and when the field emerged from turn 4, he was side by side with Findley for the lead. The pair continued their side by side battle for the lead until Newlin powered into the lead off turn 2 on lap 9. The low side was his friend and he didn’t give up on it the rest of the way. He stretched his lead to 8 car-lengths with 8 to go. Behind Zach, Findley and Locke engaged in a side by side battle for second for a few laps. While that battle raged, Newlin maintained a smooth rhythm on the low side and stretched his lead to 10 car-lengths as he closed on lapped traffic at the white flag. He passed under the checkered flag a straightaway ahead of Locke, who claimed 2nd in the closing laps.
When asked about his choice of the low line while most of the field was running the high line, Newlin explained “I was reading what the cars in front of me did. They went high and I went for the clean air. When my car dug off the corner, my mind was set to run the bottom.”.
Newlin was greeted in victory lane by a very happy family and crew, who were more than ready to celebrate the team’s first 358 sprint and first Williams Grove victory. Newlin, almost in disbelief they had finally accomplished the long time goal of winning at the historic facility, thanked his parents, grandparents, family and crew for everything they have sacrificed to build the race team into what it is. Unfortunately his usual crew chief, brother Lance, and his family and grandparents, were on vacation at the beach and not present for the memorable night. Newlin got a little emotional when mentioning the absent family members. This is a true family team and, win or lose, they want to be in the pits together.
We want to express our sincere appreciation to our sponsors and marketing partners!
Smith Concrete and Construction
J.W. Smith Auto Body
T&M Homebuilders, Inc.
Heather Sims, Realtor
Walker Performance Filtration
Newlin Bar Service
Advanced Septic Services
Hershman Racing Fuels
Kirby Kitner Excavating
BAPS Auto Paints & Supply
Engler Machine & Tool
River Bend Hop Farm & Brewery
BR Motorsports Ignitioneering
American Legion Post 177 Newport
The Podium Awards
Fastner Specialties Motorsports
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