After rain dampened the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour’s plans for a Late Model Stock Car feature at Ace Speedway back on May 6, the series will return to Altamahaw, North Carolina on Friday evening with both divisions in tow.
The Puryear Tank Lines 225 will be the first time two divisions of the CARS Tour have raced at Ace since the series began travelling to the .400-mile facility back in 2018, which has hosted a plethora of events for other divisions that include the USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series, NASCAR Goody’s Dash Series and the SMART Modified Tour.
Each division enters Friday with a completely different championship outlook. Carson Kvapil still maintains a sizable lead over Connor Hall in the LMSC Tour points while Luke Fenhaus only recently managed to put some distance between himself and Caden Kvapil in the PLM Tour points following the Throwback 276 at Hickory Motor Speedway.
Track: Ace Speedway
Location: Altamahaw, North Carolina
Length: .400 mile
Laps: 125 (LMSC) / 100 (PLM)
CARS LMSC Tour races: 4
Ace LMSC winners: Bobby McCarty (2018), Josh Berry (2019), Ryan Millington (2020), Layne Riggs (2021)
LMSC Entry List (24 cars): #08 Deac McCaskill, #1 Andrew Grady, #2 Brandon Pierce, #2r Braden Rogers, #4 Hayden Swank, #5 Carter Langley, #7 Dylan Ward, #8 Carson Kvapil, #8b Chase Burrow, #10 Janson Marchbanks, #10w Trevor Ward, #12 Kaden Honeycutt, #14 Jared Fryar, #16 Chad McCumbee, #22 Bobby McCarty, #24 Mason Diaz, #32 Zack Miracle, #43 William Sawalich, #44 Conner Jones, #77 Connor Hall, #77s Blake Stallings, #81 Mini Tyrrell, #91 Jonathan Shafer, #95 Jacob Heafner
PLM Entry List (11 cars): #1 Kody King, #5 Gavan Boschele, #6 William Sawalich, #8 Rusty Skewes, #13 Austin MacDonald, #24c Penn Crim, #29 Nick Loden, #35 Caden Kvapil, #55 Charlie Keeven, #77 Logan Jones, #96 Luke Fenhaus
Dylan Ward eager to win in front of hometown crowd
Expectations are high for Dylan Ward as he heads to his home track in Ace Speedway for his fifth CARS LMSC Tour start of the season.
Although Ward has enjoyed plenty of success at Ace during his career, he said that Friday’s Puryear Tank Lines 225 will be far from an easy race to approach, especially after his Late Model Stock sustained significant damage in the early stages of last weekend’s Throwback 276.
“I was feeling a lot better about this weekend before we tore the car up at Hickory,” Ward said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do on this car, but I’m still feeling good about Friday as long as I get everything done and don’t slack on anything.”
Ward had planned to conserve his equipment in the Throwback 276 but ended up getting collected in an accident that also involved Luke Fenhaus, Chase Burrow, and Jonathan Shafer. Although he made repairs to the car, Ward could not keep pace with the leaders and finished in 24th.
Now that Hickory is behind him, Ward is completely focused on putting together an efficient car for his hometown race. He plans to put together a setup that closely mirrors the one he utilized in May, which put him at the top of the board in practice before inclement weather postponed the event.
Ward believes the right setup can enable him to a vastly different line around Ace compared to his competition. He added that a relentless amount of effort has gone into preparing cars for CARS Tour races and the Sportsman features at Bowman Gray Stadium, which is why he is eager to see that hard work pay off in front of the local crowd on Friday night.
“This would definitely be one of the biggest wins of my career,” Ward said. “I just have to get the monkey off my back and have some good luck. My main goal this year was to win a CARS Tour race and I’m running out of time.”
Mini Tyrrell returns to CARS LMSC Tour
A familiar face is set to return to the CARS LMSC Tour at Ace Speedway on Friday evening in Mini Tyrrell.
Financial issues prevented Tyrrell from running the entire 2022 CARS LMSC Tour season, but he is eager to compete in his first race of the year and continue his support for series owner Jack McNelly after primarily competing at Dominion Raceway over the past few months.
“I can’t wait to get back,” Tyrrell said. “I miss [the CARS Tour] so much. We’ve had some tough luck at Dominion and the first two [Virginia] Triple Crown races, but I think we’re ready to step back into the Tour and run a couple more races with it this year.”
Tyrrell spent the last three seasons as a full-time competitor in the CARS LMSC Tour. He finally broke through for his first career victory in 2021 at Tri-County Motor Speedway, where he won from the pole after leading a race-high 66 laps.
Now that he is back with the series, Tyrrell is confident he can pick up his second career win at Ace. Although his best finish in three CARS LMSC Tour events there is eighth, Tyrrell has always considered Ace to be one of his favorite tracks and admires how each set of turns must be approached differently.
Tyrrell is expecting the Puryear Tank Lines 225 to be an event dictated by patience and tire conservation. He believes his car will be fast enough to be among the frontrunners at the end of the night, but knows that starting in front of drivers like Carson Kvapil, Connor Hall and Bobby McCarty will be imperative towards obtaining a strong run.
“We’ll have to qualify pretty well,” Tyrrell said. “Track position at Ace is going to be key, but you’ll have to save the tires. The track doesn’t eat tires as much as other places do, but we’ll definitely have to ride some and keep the nose underneath of it. Hopefully we’ll be there at the end.”
Caden Kvapil determined to make up lost ground in CARS PLM Tour standings
A consistent season for Caden Kvapil in the CARS PLM Tour hit a major setback during the final laps of the Throwback 276.
Kvapil was in position to stay within striking distance of Luke Fenhaus’ lead in the standings with a Top 5 finish, but he now finds himself with a 13-point deficit after a broken right rear shock mount relegated him to ninth.
“It was around Lap 40 or 50 that I first noticed it,” Kvapil said. “We thought it was the right rear tire at first, but my spotter said it still had air under yellow. The car got looser with each lap and I was just trying to hold on for a Top 5, but as soon as we took off on the final restart with 5 to go, it broke all together.
Facing a double-digit deficit for the first time all year, Kvapil now must fight his way back into contention at a track he has never raced on prior to the weekend.
With his older brother Carson only having limited track time at Ace Speedway, Kvapil has not been able to overly rely on him for advice heading into Friday’s Puryear Tank Lines 225 and plans to carefully study the track once practice begins on Thursday afternoon.
Kvapil knows there will be a very small margin for error over the final six races if he wants to challenge Fenhaus and join Carson as a CARS Tour champion. With a victory at Caraway Speedway already on his resume, Kvapil is confident he can find a consistent rhythm again and add another win at Ace.
“The goal is to have a good run,” Kvapil said. “We’ve had some bad luck over these past few races, but hopefully we can qualify up front and ride around the front row instead of charging from the middle of the pack. We’ll need good runs to get some points back on Luke.”
A full night of racing is ahead for the Puryear Tank Lines 225 on Friday evening that also includes Mini Stocks, Champ Karts and Limited Late Models. The drivers from each CARS Tour division will look to build momentum as the series enters a grueling set of tracks to close out the 2022 season.
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.