ZACHARY ROBINSON USING CONSISTENCY TO CLIMB NEAR THE TOP AT THOMPSON
By Kyle Souza, Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park
THOMPSON, Conn. -- Running two full-time schedules is difficult on any driver and team.
But Zachary Robinson seems to be having plenty of success doing it this year.
The Putnam, Connecticut, driver competes at Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Limited Sportsman division and spends his Friday running at Stafford Motor Speedway, just across the state of Connecticut.
Through the first four races at Thompson, Robinson has two finishes inside the top five, with a best of second, and sits third in the championship standings, just 10 points from the top.
“We’re definitely right there every week, the car is really happy getting into the corner and through the middle, but it isn’t happy off the corner, we are lacking some drive-off,” Robinson said. “We are trying multiple different things. My crew chief has been trying everything he possibly can, and we are right there, just need a little bit more.”
Competing in the Limited Sportsman division at Thompson is a tough task for any driver. With 31 different competitors already taking the green flag in 2019, competition is at a high level, and passing on the track is difficult when most of the cars are close on speed.
“These cars definitely have a little bit more weight compared to any other car,” Robinson said. “There is a big difference between Stafford and Thompson. When you go down the straightaway and into the corners at Thompson, you are really hauling. We are running the same setups at both tracks, and I’ve had a little bit of a struggle finding the right one at Thompson. It’s hard to make a pass. You must be right on the ball with your car to do it. A lot of the guys show up every week with the best car and they have put more laps on these cars than most of us have. You have to know where you can make the move.”
Robinson is no stranger to racing. He has a background of competition in his family, which helped him get rolling at a young age. He competed at the Little T Speedway, on Thompson’s property, before making the move to the full-bodied Limited Sportsman.
“It started a long time ago with my grandfather, when he was just 16, he picked up his first car and built it all from scratch, and he had a lot of success at all three of the Connecticut tracks,” Robinson said. “I drove quarter midgets down at Little T before taking a bit of time off, but when I turned 14-years-old, I was over at Stafford Motor Speedway watching a few races, and I was watching their Street Stock division and took I interest in it. My grandfather sold his motorcycle for us to be able to buy my first car.”
After coming close to grabbing his first checkered flag, Robinson has a goal of holding that winner’s trophy before the end of the season. If he continues to run consistently towards the front, he will even be in contention to battle for the championship in the stretch run.
“I’ve definitely looked into the points, and we are definitely looking to try to finish inside the top three this year,” Robinson said. “We are going to try our best. Our goal going into the season was just to have a consistent car, and we’ve had that all year.”
Even though he is having success on the .625-mile oval, Robinson still looks down the hill to the Little T Speedway and it brings back the memories for him.
“It’s definitely cool,” Robinson said. “I never thought I was going to be able to run Thompson. We always went for the World Series because it was the end of the year, but I didn’t think we would be able to run weekly. A few different things happened and when we went over to Thompson and ran the full season last year, and we decided to run both tracks this year. It’s been fun.”
“My grandparents have been behind me since day one, along with everyone else involved,” he continued. “We’ve had someone do all of the setup and the framework, and without the sponsors, it wouldn’t be possible. They are all there when we need them no matter what.”
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park drivers have a bit of time to collect themselves and work on their equipment before returning to the track on July 28 for the fifth race of the season. Up next on the calendar, all five NASCAR Whelen All-American Series divisions will compete on a Sunday afternoon, joined by Lock City Drift for the third round of their Street Series.
The event schedule for the July 28 NASCAR show will be released in the coming weeks. For more information on Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park, fans are encouraged to visit the website, www.thompsonspeedway.com. For the latest news, follow the track on social media via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.