Big money and big thrills are in store for both divisions of the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour as they head to Tri-County Motor Speedway for the Grand Atlantic Resort Old North State Nationals.
After Mother Nature spoiled plans for an extravagant Memorial Day weekend at Tri-County, the CARS Tour is going all-in to make the fifth edition of the Old North State Nationals a memorable one. Along with the $30,000 race-winning paycheck for Late Model Stocks, $5,000 will be awarded to the winner of the supporting PLM Tour feature.
Tri-County is the fourth track to host the Old North State Nationals following Orange County Speedway, Greenville-Pickens Speedway and Caraway Speedway. Carson Kvapil, who won the most recent CARS LMSC Tour event at Ace Speedway, enters the weekend as the defending Old North State Nationals winner.
Many of the best Late Model Stock drivers in the southeast will look to join Kvapil, Lee Pulliam and Josh Berry as an Old North State Nationals winner when the green flag flies at Tri-County on Saturday evening.
Track: Tri-County Motor Speedway
Location: Hudson, North Carolina
Length: .400 mile
Laps: 200 (LMSC) / 75 (PLM)
CARS LMSC Tour races: 6
CARS PLM Tour races: 3
Tri-County LMSC winners: Josh Berry (2), Brayton Haws (1), Bobby McCarty (1), Mini Tyrrell (1), Conner Jones (1)
Tri-County PLM winners: William Sawalich (1), Jake Garcia (1), Carson Kvapil (1)
LMSC Entry List (37 cars): #03 Brenden Queen, #04 Ronnie Bassett Jr., #08 Deac McCaskill, #09 Riley Gentry, #0 Landon Pembelton, #1 Andrew Grady, #2 Brandon Pierce, #4 Dylon Wilson, #5 Dexter Canipe Jr., #5B Bryant Barnhill, #6 Bobby McCarty, #7 Dylan Ward, #8 Carson Kvapil, #8B Chase Burrow, #9 Charlie Watson, #10 Kaden Honeycutt, #12M Austin McDaniel, #14 Jared Fryar, #15 Ryan Millington, #15C Logan Clark, #16 Chad McCumbee, #19 Jeremy Mayfield, #20 TBA, #22 Landon Huffman, #23 Kade Brown, #24 Mason Diaz, #29 D.J. Canipe, #42 TBA, #44 Conner Jones, #45 Jonathan Findley, #57 Daniel Webster, #62 Layne Riggs, #67 Cameron Bolin, #77 Connor Hall, #81 Mini Tyrrell, #87 Tate Fogleman, #95 Jacob Heafner
PLM Entry List (17 cars): #03 Kyle Campbell, #6 Clint King, #7 Tristan McKee, #7T Tyler Church, #8 Rusty Skewes, #9 Ashton Higgins, #13 Austin MacDonald, #25 Gavan Boschele, #26 Dawson Sutton, #28 Cole Butcher, #43 Nick Loden, #43H Joshua Horniman, #49 Jeff Batten, #77 Logan Jones, #81 Katie Hettinger, #92 Levie Jones, #96 Caden Kvapil
LMSC Point Standings:
- Carson Kvapil
- Brenden Queen -24
- Connor Hall -78
- Mason Diaz -91
- Ryan Millington -100
- Chad McCumbee -100
- Kaden Honeycutt -107
- Bobby McCarty -114
- Jacob Heafner -119
- Brandon Pierce -136
PLM Point Standings:
- Katie Hettinger
- Caden Kvapil -9
- Ashton Higgins -63
- Austin MacDonald -78
- Logan Jones -80
- Tristan McKee -83
- George Phillips -94
- Kyle Campbell -97
- Brett Suggs -105
- Connor Zilisch -105
Jared Fryar searching for a more traditional win at Tri-County
The most recent CARS LMSC Tour race for Jared Fryar saw him triumph in unorthodox fashion.
A post-race technical infraction for Layne Riggs at Caraway Speedway enabled Fryar to inherit a victory by disqualification for the second time in his LMSC Tour career. Fryar was more than happy to claim the win under the circumstances but is hoping to cross the start-finish line first in Saturday’s Old North State Nationals.
“The win was definitely a confidence booster,” Fryar said. “Being able to go out and compete for wins with the CARS Tour is tough as it is, but to have good runs like [the one at Caraway] feels good and definitely motivates me.”
Despite now being part-time with the CARS Tour, Fryar has maintained his brand of consistency that followed him through championship campaigns in both the LMSC and Super Late Model Tour. With more laps at his disposal, Fryar believed he could have overtaken Riggs on just raw speed at Caraway.
Fryar credits his performances to the hard work put in by everyone associated with Jimmy Mooring Racing. He said another great car will be needed for the Old North State Nationals, which Fryar believes is going to be a track position race due to Tri-County Motor Speedway recently being repaved.
Big money Late Model Stock races have been kind to Fryar in the past, as he won the Hampton Heat at Langley Speedway in 2022. He has high expectations for the Old North State Nationals and hopes another stellar performance will help build some momentum ahead of upcoming prestigious events.
“It’d be awesome to [win the Old North State Nationals],” Fryar said. “That’d be a huge shot in the arm for us going into the fall with some of these big races we have coming up like Martinsville that pay good money and are hard to win.”
Mini Tyrrell returns to site of lone CARS Tour victory
Nearly two years have passed since Mini Tyrrell earned an emotional first win in the CARS LMSC Tour at Tri-County Motor Speedway.
Tyrrell still remembers that night fondly along with the dedication it took to accomplish that milestone in his third full-time LMSC Tour season up to that point. With more experience now under his belt, Tyrrell is looking to earn his second victory at Tri-County on Saturday and bag $30,000 in the process.
“It was pretty cool to win my first race [at Tri-County],” Tyrrell said. “The cool part was we did that on [the 20th anniversary] of 9/11. Tri-County obviously has a special place in my heart since that’s where we got our first win in the CARS Tour. Hopefully we can turn in our second one there on Saturday.”
A lot has changed for Tyrrell since his first LMSC Tour win. Most of his 2022 season was plagued by bad luck, but Tyrrell has been proud of the speed his small operation is showing against big-budget Late Model Stock teams like JR Motorsports, Chad Bryant Racing and Lee Pulliam Performance.
The increased competitive depth in the LMSC Tour over the past two years have made victories harder to come by for Tyrrell. He added the 2023 season has also required him to rethink his approach in many regards, particularly with less races emphasizing tire conservation compared to previous years.
Tyrrell expects diverse approaches in the Old North State Nationals with some drivers being conservative with tires and others aggressive. Regardless of the strategy he ends up utilizing, Tyrrell hopes he can race his way to the front and bring home what he would consider the most prestigious triumph of his career to date.
“Any CARS Tour win at this point would be huge for anyone because of the strength of competition,” Tyrrell said. “Getting it done [on Saturday] would be pretty awesome. That $30,000 purse would be huge for us since we’re a small team surviving on my family getting to the race track. That money would definitely take some pressure off.”
Old North State Nationals a homecoming for Ashton Higgins
When Ashton Higgins signed up for the 2023 CARS PLM Tour season, he immediately circled Tri-County Motor Speedway on the calendar.
Although he hails from Weaverville, North Carolina, Higgins has always considered Tri-County to be his home track. With the postponement of the Old North State Nationals creating a second PLM Tour date at the facility, Higgins is eager for another opportunity to shine in front of the local crowd.
“I think we’ll be pretty good,” Higgins said. “We had a right rear tire issue at Hickory [Motor Speedway] and I thought for sure we’d run a little bit better there than we did. I’m pretty excited about coming to Tri-County. It’s one of my favorites and I know it pretty well.”
Higgins’ first PLM Tour season has featured both positives and negatives. He currently sits third in the point standings behind Katie Hettinger and Caden Kvapil, but only has one Top 5 so far, which came at Dillon Motor Speedway.
The issue Higgins believes has hindered him is a lack of long-run speed. He has been working diligently with his team to resolve that issue over the summer and is optimistic the setup for the Old North State Nationals will enable him to improve upon his 17th place showing at Tri-County in May.
If he can find sustainable, consistent speed on Saturday evening, Higgins believes that elusive first PLM Tour victory can be an attainable goal. Higgins does not expect such an accomplishment to come easy, but would love to reach that milestone at his favorite track on Saturday.
“We just need everything to line up,” Higgins said. “The right stuff needs to happen at the right time, but I need to do a little bit of a better job saving my stuff and getting my car where it needs to be for the long run. It’d be huge to win in front of my family and friends.”
An electric night of racing for the rescheduled Old North State Nationals at Tri-County Motor Speedway kicks off at 7 p.m. ET for the 75-lap, $5,000-to-win Pro Late Model feature. Once that event ends, the best Late Model Stock drivers in the southeast will battle it out for 200 laps for an opportunity to win $30,000.
FloRacing is set to provide live flag-to-flag coverage of all the on-track activity.
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.