A busy and ambitious season for the CARS Tour will see the series’ relationship with R&S Race Cars grow stronger ahead of the first green flag.
Two annual programs in the Crown Jewel Challenge and Championship Cup have been launched by the CARS Tour in a partnership with R&S Race Cars for the 2022 season, both of which will award bonus money to Late Model Stock competitors at the end of the season.
Series owner Jack McNelly said that these two programs were the perfect way to expand upon the CARS Tour’s partnership with R&S Race Cars and reward Late Model Stock drivers for their hard work throughout the grueling schedule.
“R&S sponsored the Rookie of the Year award last year and Marcus [Richmond] wanted to get a little bit more bang for his buck with the brand,” McNelly said. “We were able to get these programs worked out and I think they’ll work well for the competitors.”
The R&S Race Cars Crown Jewel Challenge will encompass the three most prestigious events on the CARS Late Model Stock calendar in the season-opening Old North State Nationals at Caraway Speedway, the Throwback 276 at Hickory Motor Speedway and the penultimate event of the 2022 season at South Boston Speedway.
A total of $500 will be awarded to the Late Model Stock competitor who accumulates the most points across these three races, along with a free drum of VP Racing Fuel at the championship banquet.
Outside of the R&S Race Cars Crown Jewel Challenge, the Championship Cup will reward consistency for Late Model Stock drivers throughout the 2022 season but will be limited to a more specific set of criteria.
Only drivers piloting a car from R&S Race Cars are eligible to receive the bonus payout from the R&S Race Cars Championship Cup; a $1,000 award to whoever earns the most points in one of their chassis along with a custom-made trophy.
Anyone who wishes to participate in either the R&S Race Cars Crown Jewel Challenge and Championship Cup must display an R&S contingency decal through all 15 CARS Late Model Stock events.
These two programs sponsored by R&S Race Cars are another chapter in the company’s growing influence inside the CARS Tour.
Founded in 2020 after Richmond and Steve Stallings purchased A&E Race Cars, R&S now provides chassis for Nelson Motorsports, Justin Johnson, Jimmy Mooring and other clients while simultaneously fielding their own car, which will be driven by Touring 12 member and Toyota development driver Jonathan Shafer for the full 2022 CARS Late Model Stock campaign.
Richmond has always been a supporter of the CARS Tour since McNelly launch it back in 2015 and said that the two programs embody all the characteristics that have made the series so attractive to veterans and young drivers alike.
“We ended up having our biggest customer base in the CARS Tour,” Richmond said. “That’s driven us to keep supporting the series. They’ve got a good program that pays good money and as a racer, that’s exactly what you’re looking for.”
Along with providing more incentives to competitors, Richmond said that the two programs, particularly the R&S Race Cars Championship Cup, are a proper way for him and Stallings to give back to the loyal customers in the CARS Tour that continue to use cars out of their shop.
Richmond anticipates that the two programs sponsored by R&S Race Cars will not only boost car counts at the crown jewel dates but will also encourage drivers to purchase an R&S chassis so they can chase the $1,000 bonus for the Championship Cup.
“Solid Rock Carriers and Puryear Tank Lines have already stepped up big in the CARS Tour,” Richmond said. “These three races we’re doing [for the R&S Race Cars Crown Jewel Challenge] might convince some more guys to run so they can get some more money. I don’t know how many R&S cars are going to run full-time but these programs combined with the purse are just going to give these guys more reasons to run the CARS Tour with an R&S car.
McNelly has been very thankful for all the help Richmond and Stallings have provided for the CARS Tour since R&S Race Cars first entered the series and is confident that the two new annual programs will only serve to build upon the foundation established by both sides.
“It means a lot that we can continue this relationship and have Marcus become a little bit more involved,” McNelly said. “R&S has a very big presence in our series with several customer cars and a couple of house cars, so we’re super excited to have them on board and keep them on board.”
Both R&S Race Cars programs will formally get going on March 13 when the green flag drops at Caraway for the Old North State Nationals.
For additional information on the CARS Late Model Stock Tour and the CARS Pro Late Model Tour visit www.carsracingtour.com. Be sure to stay active and social with the tour by liking “CARS Tour” on Facebook, following @CARSTour on Twitter, and scrolling through photos on Instagram cars_tour.
Additional series information can be obtained by calling the CARS Tour series office, located in Mooresville, NC, at 704.662.9212.