Back in the 358 Sprint Car This Weekend at BAPS Motor Speedway
Millerstown, PA – August 27, 2020 – By Addicted2Dirt PR & Media Management
You never know when opportunity will knock. Sometimes it doesn’t give you much notice. You just have to be ready anytime. Such was the case for Zach Newlin last week when the phone rang and it was Burke Motorsports on the other end.
The Burke Motorsports 410 sprint car had been sitting idle for a while and the team was ready to get back to the track. Newlin had been on their radar for some time and given his recent 358 experience, they felt the time was right to give it a shot. The pairing prepared in a just a few days and quietly rolled into BAPS Motor Speedway last Sunday night, August 23rd with no advance notice.
The Kriner Racing Engines, DMI, Sander Engineering, Maxim Chassis #54 Zach would be piloting was one of 25 cars entered Sunday night. The field was divided into 3 heats, with 6 cars qualifying for the A-main from each.
Newlin and Burke Motorsports both knew this would be a learning night. The main objective would simply be to work together to get to know each other and figure out what combination would help them make progress and walk away with a productive night. They got started on that right away, making significant changes following hot laps in order to make Zach more comfortable in the car.
Newlin started 3rd in heat two and was unhappy with himself for losing the handle of the #54 on lap one, forcing him to restart at the rear of the field. On the positive side, he was able to use the remainder of the heat race to make laps, get more comfortable and figure out what might help the car and himself work better together in the B-main they would have to run as a result of his 8th place finish in the heat race.
The combination of Shawn and Austin Burke along with Zach and brother Lance Newlin, huddled and decided what changes to make to continue to help Zach get more comfortable and hopefully put the car in the show through consolation event. Through that event, the final six cars would qualify for the night’s feature event. Zach started 5th and was clearly more comfortable, establishing a rhythm and closing in on 4th place, which he claimed coming to the white flag.
In his first ever 410 sprint car A-main, Newlin rolled off 22nd. At various times he experimented with the high side, then the low side, then the middle….searching, learning. Each lap brought more knowledge about handling the 850+ horsepower, 1400 pound beast they call a winged 410 sprint car. He passed some cars and gained a lot of confidence as he kept pace with the leaders after they moved past him late in the race. Ultimately Zach would bring the Burke Motorsports entry home 19th.
Overall the night was positive for all involved. They got better and they had some fun together. There are no firm plans for the future at this point but both parties agreed it wasn’t a one time deal. They will do it again and hopefully the right pieces will come together to be able to do it more often. In this sport, it’s hard to predict or promise anything, but what we do know is Newlin has that first 410 race behind him and by the end of the night it sure looked like there should be more of this in his future. Maybe someone will take notice. That’s all a team and driver can hope in today’s sprint car world.
This Saturday night August 29th, Zach will be back behind the wheel of the #11z Newlin Racing 358 sprint car at BAPS Motor Speedway for the Engler Machine & Tool Night 358/360 URC Challenge Race.
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