Weekend Also Included Successful Return to Mansberger Motorsports’ 358 Team
Port Royal, PA – May 25, 2022
by Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
Feature Photo Credit: Chris Hockley / WRT Speedwerx
It was a long wait. 60 days to be exact since Zach Newlin’s well-documented 410 sprint car crash at Port Royal Speedway that sidelined him, but let’s not dwell on the past.
Zach Daddy has returned, and all is well.
“I felt great. It was good to get behind the wheel again.“, Newlin said after climbing out of his 358 sprint car after his 20-lap feature Friday night at Williams Grove Speedway. “I’ve been feeling good doing day-to-day stuff, but I was ready to get back in the car and make sure I was race-ready.“
May 20: Williams Grove Speedway / Mechanicsburg, PA
(Mansberger Motorsports 358: 27 cars, Heat 5th, A-main 7th)
After a few cancellations over the prior months due to weather, Friday finally brought the first race of the season for the 358 sprint cars at Williams Grove and 27 teams signed in to compete.
Lineups for the 8-lap heats were set by pill draw. Six cars would transfer from each, with the top four finishers going to a redraw. Zach Newlin lined up outside row two for the first heat. He held 4th through the first half of the race but lost the spot and finished 5th, just outside of the redraw.
Newlin started 13th in the 20-lap A-main and immediately showed the team had made the correct adjustments after the qualifying race. He steadily moved forward, working his way into the top ten.
Long runs seemed to be Newlin’s friend. During one lengthy green flag period, Newlin made significant moves forward, rolling the bottom of turns one and two very effectively to make up ground. A caution seemed to kill his momentum.
When the race returned to green, it took it a few laps for Newlin to challenge the cars in front of him. In the end, he crossed the line in 7th and closed out a nice return performance.
The team later discovered a very slow leak in the left rear tire, which explained the improvement on the long runs. The tire was losing pressure under caution but during long green flag runs, heat would cause the pressure to build up again, bringing the handling of the car back to where it was best.
“I think we had a top-5 car if we hadn’t had the leak in the left rear. That’s racing. It was still a good first night back.“, Newlin commented.
May 21: Port Royal Speedway / Port Royal, PA
(BK Motorsports 410: 34 cars, Qualifying 6th Group B, Heat 6th, B-main 3rd)
On May 21st, Zach Newlin not only returned to 410 sprint car racing, he debuted his new ride, the Grove Financial & Associates / Dillman Hauling / Centre Roofing & Contracting / Mattas Motorsports / Victory Auto / Ron’s RV Sales / The Roast Post / Kirby Kitner Excavating / Christine Booher, Realtor / T&M Homebuilders / Strange Oval / Walker Performance Filtration / Newlin Bar Service, BK Motorsports No.77.
BK Motorsports is a new entry in Central PA sprint car racing. The team’s owner, Brett Knable, has been involved in the sport for many years in several different capacities, but team ownership is a new frontier.
Newlin’s sharp looking black, white and orange X1 race car was among 34 cars that entered competition at ‘The Speed Palace’ Saturday night. With only 24 spots open for the night’s main event, the new combination would have to earn their way in against a quality field.
The event format divided the field into four groups for timed hot laps and heat races. The groups were established by pill draw, then teams would remain within their own groups for the duration of qualifying events. The four fastest cars in each group would be inverted to set the first two rows of each heat race lineup. Each of the 8-lap heat races would transfer the top five finishers directly to the A-main, with the top two finishers entering the handicap procedure.
Newlin timed 6th quick in Group B, placing him 6th in the lineup for heat race number two. Newlin was unable to advance into a transfer position, which relegated him to the B-main to try to make the field for the night’s finale.
Newlin started on the front row of the 12-lap B-main and held the 2nd position firmly for most of the event. On one restart, he pulled alongside leader Kassidy Kreitz, but was unable to take over the lead. On the final restart with one lap remaining, Ryan Smith found some extra speed and stole 2nd away from Newlin. The Millerstown, PA native rode home in 3rd, putting himself and his new team in the show in their inaugural race.
Zach took the green for the 25-lap A-main from the 23rd position. In the early laps in that situation, patience is important. That’s especially true for a new team who needs laps to learn what they have. Newlin took what came to him, picking up a few spots in the early going.
Two red flags for incidents paused the action over the course of the first half-dozen laps. The race briefly went back to green, but rain arrived and interrupted the action. The weather moved in to stay, causing the race to be suspended with 8 laps complete and 17 remaining. Newlin was running 17th at the time and that is where he will restart when the race is resumed and completed.
“I have to thank Brett for the opportunity to run his car. He has good stuff and I think we can build something really good here. It was a decent night for our first time out. The first night out you’re kind of working blind. You have no notes to go on for that particular car, so you use what you know and hopefully get it close. I feel like we did that, so now we know what we have, and we can adjust from here.”, Newlin shared.
Zach and the BK Motorsports team will race the two-day Bob Weikert Memorial at Port Royal Speedway, competing with the All Star Circuit of Champions. The lucrative weekend in honor of the legendary car owner and his famous No.29 pays $10,000 to the winner on Saturday and a whopping $29,000 to the victor in Sunday’s finale.
Following Sunday’s Weikert Memorial main event, Port Royal Speedway will resume the suspended 410 sprint car feature to complete the remaining 17 laps of the May 21st event.
4 races, 0 wins, 0 top 5’s, 1 top 10’s, 2 top 15’s, 3 top 20’s
As always, thank you to all our sponsors and partners, including our silent partners who do everything they can to help but ask for nothing in return! Below are the businesses…the people…the families…that make what these teams do possible. PLEASE take the time to browse this information and help the teams by giving your business to these partners.
Most importantly, tell them WHY you patronized them and thank them for being involved in racing!
Grove Financial & Associates
Ron’s RV Sales
Tuscarora Roofing Co.
Kirby Kitner Excavating, Blasting, Paving
Christine Booher, Realtor
Walker Performance Filtration
Newlin Bar Service
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