A thrilling Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour season is set to conclude on Saturday afternoon when both divisions head to Caraway Speedway for the North-South Shootout.
The prestigious event began back in 2003 at Concord Speedway before being moved to Caraway in 2020 following the former’s closure. Modifieds serve as the North-South Shootout’s headliner, but the weekend’s festivities will include the CARS Tour for the first time in its history.
Saturday will also mark the first time the CARS Tour has ended its season at Caraway after previously holding its finale at South Boston Speedway in four of the last five years, which will bookend a busy year that began back at Caraway for the Old North State Nationals.
With both the CARS Late Model Stock and Pro Late Model Tour championships effectively wrapped up, drivers from each division will battle for bragging rights in the North-South Shootout as they look to end the 2022 season on a high note.
Track: Caraway Speedway
Location: Asheboro, North Carolina
Length: .455 mile
Laps: 125 (LMSC) / 100 (PLM)
CARS LMSC Tour races: 2
CARS PLM Tour races: 1
LMSC Caraway winners: Justin Johnson (2021), Carson Kvapil (2022)
PLM Caraway winners: Caden Kvapil (2022)
CARS LMSC Tour point standings:
- Carson Kvapil – 401 points
- Connor Hall -47
- Kaden Honeycutt -76
- Jacob Heafner -77
- Chad McCumbee -92
CARS PLM Tour point standings:
- Luke Fenhaus – 339 points
- Caden Kvapil -19
- William Sawalich -41
- Austin MacDonald -49
- Kody King -105
LMSC Entry List (25 cars): #1 Andrew Grady, #2 Brandon Pierce, #2R Braden Rogers, #4 Hayden Swank, #4D Kyle Dudley, #5 Carter Langley, #7 Dylan Ward, #8 Carson Kvapil, #8B Chase Burrow, #12 Kaden Honeycutt, #14 Jared Fryar, #16 Chad McCumbee, #16B Kade Brown, #18 Jason York, #19 Jessica Cann, #22 Bobby McCarty, #24 Mason Diaz, #32 Zack Miracle, #44 Trey Crews, #55 Isabella Robusto, #77 Connor Hall, #77G Tyler Gregory, #77W Trevor Ward, #91 Jonathan Shafer, #95 Jacob Heafner
PLM Entry List (15 cars): #03 Kyle Campbell, #1 Kody King, #5 Gavan Boschele, #6 William Sawalich, #8 Rusty Skewes, #13 Austin MacDonald, #24 Penn Crim, #27 Lee Tissot, #28 Nate Gregg, #29C Matt Caprara, #35 Caden Kvapil, #49M Luke Morey, #64 Joe Mancuso, #77 Logan Jones, #96 Luke Fenhaus
Carson Kvapil returns to site of $30,000 payday
Nearly eight months ago, Carson Kvapil caught the attention of many in the stock car racing industry by securing a $30,000 paycheck in the Old North State Nationals at Caraway while driving JR Motorsports’ iconic No. 8 Late Model Stock.
What followed was one of the most efficient seasons in the history of the CARS LMSC Tour that saw Kvapil tally three more victories before wrapping up the championship at South Boston, joining Jared Fryar as the only other driver to win titles in two CARS Tour divisions.
With so much success under his belt in 2022, Kvapil has every reason to believe one more victory is in store now that he is heading back to the track where he earned his massive payday.
“I’m relieved the championship hunt is over,” Kvapil said. “Now we get to go [into Caraway] and race for a win without having to worry about points. I know we have the speed, and the car is capable of winning there, so we have a big boost of confidence heading into the weekend.”
Kvapil’s goal entering 2022 was to simply get acclimated to Late Model Stocks and gain respect from those who had been racing in the discipline for years.
Everything has gone according to plan for JR Motorsports and Kvapil, who has enjoyed one highlight after another while leaning on Josh Berry, L.W. Miller, Kelley Earnhardt and more for advice. For Kvapil, his favorite moment on the year was the victory he obtained at North Wilkesboro Speedway with his boss Dale Earnhardt Jr. finishing behind him in third.
Kvapil considers himself grateful to be surrounded with the support system provided by JR Motorsports and wants nothing more than to cap off his stellar campaign by adding another victory to his impressive 2022 resume.
“The goal is to go out there, run good and avoid trouble,” Kvapil said. “We want our fifth win and doing so would just be icing on the cake. Securing the championship at [South Boston] by winning the race was such a cool moment, so it’d be awesome to close out a great year with a win.”
Chase Burrow, Zack Miracle set to battle it out for Rookie of the Year honors
With one race remaining, Chase Burrow and Zack Miracle find themselves tied atop the Bilstein CARS LMSC Tour Rookie of the Year standings with 273 points apiece.
Miracle entered the year as a member of the LMSC Tour’s Touring 12 loyalty program, while a full season ended up being put together for Burrow after he replaced Rusty Skewes for the season-opening Old North State Nationals at Caraway.
The fact that Burrow is even contending for Rookie of the Year is something he considers to be a bonus in a year dominated by growth.
“This has been a great year,” Burrow said. “There have been a lot of ups and downs for sure, but that’s just racing. We’ve only got one more race to try and seal the deal, so hopefully we can run well and build some momentum for next year.”
Although Burrow has dealt with inconsistency stemming from mechanical issues, he managed to score seven Top 10s in his rookie campaign to date, which includes his lone Top 5 at Franklin County Speedway on May 21.
Growing pains is a theme that Burrow shares with his closest competition in Miracle. After failing to finish three of his first four races, Miracle found his rhythm during the second half of the year and ended up tallying two Top 5s at Tri County Motor Speedway and the LMSC Tour’s most recent outing at South Boston Speedway.
Miracle believes momentum is favoring his small team right as the year is ending. He hopes the speed that has prevalent over the past few months carries over into Caraway and results in earning Rookie of the Year honors.
“Things got off to a really difficult start,” Miracle said. “I’d compare it to a rollercoaster, but since the summer break ended, we’ve really started to get those good runs that we knew we were capable of. I’m feeling really good heading into the finale.”
While Miracle would like to have some races back, he’s been proud of the progress made over the 2022 season, particularly when it comes to being patient, taking care of his equipment and finding his way up to the front when it matters.
Miracle sees the North-South Shootout as a way for him and his team to redeem themselves from a 28th place finish in the Old North State Nationals and continue to build upon the chemistry that has made them one of the more consistent smaller programs in the LMSC Tour.
“We learned a lot from the last time we were [at Caraway],” Miracle said. “We were not that good [during the Old North State Nationals], but we’ve watched a lot of videos and looked over all of our notes, so I think we’ll have a pretty good car this weekend.”
Burrow does not anticipate Miracle or anyone else in the field pulling any punches in Saturday’s North-South Shootout. Despite this, Burrow plans to keep his focus on the race by putting down a great qualifying lap that will keep him up front for the 125-lap feature.
“Straight-line braking, roll speed and track position are the three things you need [at Caraway],” Burrow said. “The track is very narrow, which makes it hard to pass. We’re going to need a good car all day and hopefully we can take home this Rookie of the Year award when it’s all said and done.”
Luke Fenhaus looking to end season with first CARS PLM Tour win
With a 19-point lead over Caden Kvapil, Luke Fenhaus has all but wrapped up the CARS PLM Tour championship in his rookie campaign.
The one drawback of Fenhaus’ solid year has been the lack of a victory. Fenhaus has experienced a handful of close calls in his quest for that breakthrough win, with one of them being the season-opener at Caraway that saw him get passed by Kvapil in the closing laps.
Fenhaus knows that win is within his team’s grasp and is determined to reward everyone’s dedication in Saturday’s North-South Shootout.
“We’re going into the weekend trying to do business as usual,” Fenhaus said. “We’ve struggled lately, but we’ve been getting better as a team by learning and experiencing our differences. We’re trying to find that right balance, but if we keep doing what we’re doing, everything will play right into our hands.”
Fenhaus brought plenty of experience to the young PLM Tour roster in the series’ inaugural season, with his accomplishments in 2021 including a Slinger Nationals victory and an appearance with the Superstar Racing Experience at Slinger Speedway.
Being on the PLM Tour with Highlands Motorsports is something Fenhaus believes has been beneficial towards his racing career. He added that plenty of curveballs have been thrown his way but believes the chemistry he developed with crew chief Josh Reeves has been crucial towards their overall consistency.
Despite not finishing outside the Top 5 once this year, Fenhaus is not satisfied with going winless and has been working diligently with Reeves leading up to the North-South Shootout. He added the only thing on his mind right now is parking his No. 96 Soda Sense Chevrolet in victory lane.
“We’re focused on going to win,” Fenhaus said. “I’m trying not to think about the championship, as I just want to have a good, balanced car. We’ve had a great season and have been up at the front every week, so now we have to carry the momentum into this last race and get ourselves a championship.”
With a large schedule on the docket for the North-South Shootout, qualifying for both CARS Tour divisions will take place on Friday evening at 5 p.m. ET. The PLM Tour will have the first race on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. ET, with the LMSC Tour feature being the third event on the schedule.
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.