After honoring their history in the USAR Pro Cup Throwback 225 at Hickory Motor Speedway, the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour turns their attention back to the present with a Friday night showdown in the AcceleratedGFX.com 240 at Ace Speedway.
Built in 1956, Ace has become a staple on the CARS Tour schedule since the series ran its first event at the facility back in 2018. Last year saw the CARS Tour strengthen its relationship at Ace by adding a second race to the schedule and having the Pro Late Model Tour race alongside Late Model Stocks.
The Accelerated GFX.com 240 will be a standalone race for the CARS Late Model Stock Car Tour. There has yet to be a repeat LMSC Tour winner at Ace, which leaves an opportunity for drivers like Brenden Queen, Connor Hall and others to pounce and build momentum across the busy month of August.
Track: Ace Speedway
Location: Altamahaw, North Carolina
CARS LMSC Tour races: 7
LMSC Ace winners: Bobby McCarty (1), Josh Berry (1), Ryan Millington (1), Layne Riggs (1), Jonathan Shafer (1), Kaden Honeycutt (1), Carson Kvapil (1)
LMSC Entry List (27 cars): #03 Brenden Queen, #04 Ronnie Bassett Jr., #0 Landon Pembelton, #1 Andrew Grady, #2 Brandon Pierce, #4 Dylon Wilson, #5C Brent Crews, #6 Bobby McCarty, #7 Dylan Ward, #8 Carson Kvapil, #8B Chase Burrow, #10 Kaden Honeycutt, #15 Ryan Millington, #15C Logan Clark, #16 Chad McCumbee, #20 TBA, #22 Landon Huffman, #24 Mason Diaz, #57 Connor Zilisch, #67 Cameron Bolin, #77 Connor Hall, #77S Blake Stallings, #77W Trevor Ward, #81 Mini Tyrrell, #87 Tate Fogleman, #91 Jonathan Shafer, #95 Jacob Heafner
LMSC Point Standings:
- Carson Kvapil
- Brenden Queen -18
- Connor Hall -50
- Chad McCumbee -85
- Mason Diaz -86
- Bobby McCarty -87
- Ryan Millington -94
- Kaden Honeycutt -100
- Jacob Heafner -109
- Brandon Pierce -110
Trevor Ward rides momentum into hometown race
July could not have gone more perfectly for Trevor Ward.
Finishes of third and seventh at South Boston Speedway and Langley Speedway currently have Ward third in the Virginia Late Model Triple Crown standings. A ValleyStar Credit Union 300 victory at Martinsville Speedway is an attainable goal for Ward, who is currently focused on carrying over his July efficiency into Friday’s CARS LMSC Tour event at Ace Speedway.
“We’ve been taking it day by day,” Ward said. “I’ve had a lot of bad luck and good luck this year. We’ve got a motor ready to go, but even though we have a lot of momentum, our biggest thing is to try and run a few more big races before Martinsville so that we have some more confidence.”
Although Ward feels his cars are always strong enough to hang with top-tier Late Model Stock organizations, he said the first two legs of the Virginia Triple Crown was the first time this year in which he could showcase that speed on a national level.
Both of Ward’s appearances in the LMSC Tour for 2023 have resulted in DNFs. In each event, Ward had a car capable of finishing inside the Top 5, but a blown engine at Ace and a brake issue at Caraway Speedway forced him to settle for finishes outside the Top 20.
The two strong performances in the Virginia Triple Crown have bolstered Ward’s optimism for Ace on Friday evening. Ward is keeping his own expectations in check for the event but said if his car can stay in one piece for all 125 laps, he can finally obtain that elusive first victory in the LMSC Tour.
“It’d be awesome to win a CARS Tour race at Ace,” Ward said. “I’ll need to be patient like we always have been. You have to be smart and make all the right moves, but we have to be there at the end. We’ve got a pretty good notebook going into this one, so if we go off what we’ve been doing in these big races, we’ll be solid.”
Carson Kvapil looks to start new winning streak
The start of the 2023 CARS LMSC Tour season saw Carson Kvapil set the tone with three consecutive wins.
Since his triumph in the first event at Ace Speedway, Kvapil has yet to find victory lane again despite being consistent through the summer. With the LMSC Tour returning to Ace on Friday, Kvapil is determined to get a new win streak going and tighten his grip on a potential second championship in the division.
“I feel pretty confident,” Kvapil said. “We’ve been off a little bit these last few races, but we’ve still had some decent finishes. We’re kind of going back to what we’ve been doing, which includes what we had the last time we won at Ace. I’m just ready to get back on track and extend the points lead again.”
Kvapil admitted that he has been surprised by his winless drought after starting 2023 so strong, but added he is not overly concerned about his outlook.
Along with completing every lap in 2023, Kvapil has yet to finish outside the Top 10, with his worst run being eighth at North Wilkesboro Speedway. Kvapil also felt that he should have won at Dominion Raceway earlier this year, where he finished fourth after a hard-fought battle between him, Brenden Queen and race winner Bobby McCarty.
Despite this, Kvapil said he and JR Motorsports are still excelling at consistency, which he stressed is imperative towards winning the LMSC Tour title. Kvapil knows being up at the front on a weekly basis will eventually result in another victory, which he hopes will transpire at Ace on Friday.
“We have to hit the setup right,” Kvapil said. “It’s so hard, because everybody in the CARS Tour is so good, and if you’re barely off, you’re not going to win or even finish second. You’re going to be towards the Top 5 or Top 10. We have to be smart and stay out of trouble so that we can be in a good spot at the end of the race.”
Ryan Millington confident about earning second CARS Tour win
It was just over three years ago when Ryan Millington brought home his one and so far only CARS LMSC Tour win at Ace Speedway, holding off Layne Riggs in a photo finish.
A lot has changed for Millington since that day, as he is currently in the middle of his first full-time LMSC Tour season. The start of the year rewarded Millington with three Top 5 finishes, but he is eager to re-establish that efficiency after accumulating an average finish of 14.8 since June.
“I’m feeling a little skeptical,” Millington said. “We’ve struggled in the past couple of races, but Ace has been one of those tracks we’ve always ran really well at. It’s been a good week off and we’ve been working every day, so hopefully we’ll have a pretty good piece going into Friday.”
Millington still vividly remembers many of the details from his maiden LMSC Tour victory at Ace, which included watching Bobby McCarty get turned by Josh Berry on the frontstretch, giving Millington the lead.
Although Millington has seen plenty of progress in his program over the ensuing years, he said the theme of his season comes down to just learning. There have been many tracks in which Millington has turned minimal or no laps on prior to 2023, with more still to come like Wake County Speedway and New River All-American Speedway.
Going back to a familiar facility like Ace comes as a welcome change of pace for Millington, who wants to improve upon his second place showing there in May. With track position expected to be crucial in the AcceleratedGFX.com 240, Millington said having speed early on will be crucial in determining who gets to contend for the win.
“Ace is one of those places where you’re running as hard as you can at the drop of the green,” Millington said. “You need a fast car, but you have to qualify up front. If there’s a place that I think I can get another win, it’s definitely Ace. I’m looking forward to Friday night and we’ll see how things end up.”
The AcceleratedGFX.com 240 will also include three of Ace Speedway’s support divisions in Mini Stocks, Champ Karts and Limited Late Models. The 125-lap Late Model Stock race will serve as the third feature of the night.
On-track activity at Ace starts at 8 p.m. ET with Mini Stocks. FloRacing is set to provide live coverage of all four events.
For more 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.