Racer William Hale

Wilson County racer William Hale

Wilson County racer William Hale thought he had posted one of the best finishes in his career when he sailed across the finish line 3rd in the Oct. 9 Pro Late Model feature at Nashville’s Fairgrounds Speedway.

However, his car flunked post-race inspection and was disqualified, plunging Hale from 3rd to last (27th) in the big field of cars. It also dropped him from 5th to 12th in the championship standings.

The 20-year-old racer, who three years ago won Rookie of the Year, is puzzled about what happened.

“The car passed pre-race inspection,” says Hale, “but in post-race inspection a left-side weight infraction was discovered. I don’t know how it could be just fine the first time, but didn’t pass inspection after the race.”

Did the slight weight infraction give the car an advantage?

“Not really,” Haley says. “It wasn’t anything major.”

Hale is philosophical about the setback: “It wasn’t fun,” he says of the disqualification, “but we crossed the finish line third, even if it didn’t count. It showed we’re making progress. We’ve been able to put together some consistent finishes this season and we’ll win one eventually.”

Hale’s best career finish so far is a second place he posted earlier in the season.

With only one race remaining, Oct. 30, Hale was already resigned to seeing this year’s title hopes fade away.

“Realistically, about the best I could have hoped for (before the DQ) was third in the standings,” he says. “So from that standpoint it really didn’t matter that much. It won’t change anything I do. I’ll still show up and race.”

Hale would like to see the track’s schedule expanded beyond its current nine races, but Speedway officials say they are limited by their contract with the governing Fair Board.

“The trouble with a thin schedule like this is there’s no margin for error,” Hale says. “If you have a couple of bad races and get behind, it’s hard to catch up. But as long as there’s one race left, I’ll try to win it.”

Last chance for Fetcho: Lebanon’s Dylan Fetcho finished 5th in the race and still has a mathematical chance to overtake Michael House for his second straight championship, although the odds are long.

Fetcho is second in the standings. Further back are fellow Wilson County racers Hunter Wright (4th), Chase Johnson (7th) Hale (12th) and Bennie Hamlett (15th).

No race for Zamora: Lebanon’s Brittney Zamora, who on Oct. 9 became the first woman driver to win a premier race in Fairgrounds Speedway’s 63-year history, says she has had “good response” from the historical victory, but it has not led to a sponsor for the final two races.

Zamora, who last month moved to Lebanon from Washington state to pursue a racing career, had hoped to run the Oct. 30 Pro Late Model finale and the Oct. 31 All American 400, but says time is running out.

Willie Allen, co-owner of W.A.R. (Willie Allen Racing)/Rackley Racing, hopes to put Zamora in one of the team’s NASCAR Camping World trucks next season.

All American 400: Kid Rock will serve as Grand Marshall of the Oct. 31 All American 400 at Fairgrounds Speedway.