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zMAX CARS Tour Event Preview: Tuff Shed 250 atHickory Motor Speedway

The first double-division event weekend of the zMAX CARS Tour kicks off this weekend at historic Hickory Motor Speedway (HMS), featuring both the Late Model Stock Car and Pro Late Model divisions. The Tuff Shed 250 weekend will see the Pro Late Models contest a 100-lap feature, followed by the 150-lap Late Model Stock Car main, both on Saturday, April 6.

The event will be the 20 th for the zMAX CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car Series on the tough .363-mile layout and the fifth for the PRO Late Model division. The last LMSC event, the annual Throwback 276 in July 2023, was won by Mason Diaz in a thriller, and Carson Kvapil dominated this event in the spring, leading 111 of the 150 laps.

Event Notes:
Track: Hickory Motor Speedway
Location: Hickory, North Carolina
Length: .363-mile
Laps: 150 (LMSC), 100 (PRO)
CARS LMSC Tour races: 19
CARS Pro LM races: 4

LMSC Hickory Winners: Mason Diaz, Carson Kvapil, Connor Hall, Chad McCumbee, Josh Berry (4), Bobby McCarty (3), Deac McCaskill, Corey Heim, Ryan Repko, Taylor Gray, Justin Carroll, Anthony Alfredo (2), Brayton Haws.

LMSC Entry List: #03 Brenden Queen, #04 Ronnie Bassett Jr.,#08 Deac McCaskill, 1Andrew Grady, #2 Brandon Pierce, #6 Bobby McCarty, #8 Mason Diaz, #11 Buddy Isles Jr., #14 Sam Butler, #15 Ryan Millington, #15c Logan Clark, #16 Chad McCumbee, #22 Connor Hall, #23 Kade Brown, #24 Cody Dempster, #28 Connor Zilisch, #29 Brent Crews, #37 Landon Huffman, #45 Bryce Applegate, #51 Stephen Nasse, #55 Gio Ruggiero, #57 Josh Kossek, #62 Landen Lewis, #67 Cameron Bolin, 71 Katie Hettinger, #77 Treyton Lapcevich, #81 Mini Tyrrell, #81J Connor Jones, #95 Jacob Heafner

PRO Late Model Entry List: #03 Kyle Campbell, #00 Jimmy Renfrew Jr., #6 Tristan McKee, #6b Brandon Lopez, #7 Justin Crider, #7c Tyler Church, #9 Ashton Higgins, #15 Aiden King, #17 Hudson Bulger, #20 Kris Wright, #22 Kyle Steckly, #24 Jake Bollman, 35 Caden Kvapil, #39 Max Cookson, #43 Nick Loden, #43H Joshua Horniman, #44 Connor Jones, #47 Dustin Bryson, #49 Jeff Batten, #51 Kaden Honeycutt, #62 William Hale, #65 Tyler Tanner, #71 Katie Hettinger, #77 Logan Jones, #88 Max Reeves, #96 TJ DeCaire, #97 Dylan Garner

Mason Diaz Steps Up for Carson Kvapil
Two-time and defending zMAX CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car champion Carson Kvapil will miss this weekend’s event to make his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut for JR Motorsports at Martinsville Speedway. Filling in for Kvapil in the familiar No. 8 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats & ATVs Chevrolet will be Diaz, who has quite a record of success on Hickory’s .363-mile oval. Diaz won last season’s Throwback 225 at HMS and in 2022 won the extra-distance Fall Brawl at the historic oval. Kvapil, who won the season opener at Southern National Motorsports Park last month, will return to the series for the April 13 event at New River All American Speedway.

Kade Brown Comes Home to Hickory
Kade Brown has made a name for himself in the Late Model Stock Car ranks of late, winning the annual South Carolina 400 at Florence Motor Speedway and challenging for race wins on a regular basis in the zMAX CARS Tour. The reigning HMS track champion posted a major victory late in the season last year, taking the Fall Brawl. Brown’s main sponsor, ValAsta, has a huge presence at Hickory Motor Speedway.
ValAsta makes and markets its signature superfood product in the area and also is a partner with the zMAX CARS Tour. The young driver raced at the front of the field in the LMSC opener at Southern National before being slowed by overheating issues.

Cookson Looks to Catch Fire at Hickory
Max Cookson is a newcomer to the zMAX CARS Tour for 2024 after earning a pair of Super Late Model championships in 2023 as well as the Alan Kulwicki Driver Development Program championship. Making the switch to the zMAX CARS Tour Pro Late Model circuit is the young driver’s next step up the ladder. In the opening PLM race of the season at Southern National, Cookson was in contention before a mechanical problem dropped him to 12 th at the finish. Last weekend, Cookson challenged for the
race win at Hickory in the Easter Bunny 150, falling just short of race winner Derek Griffith to finish second. Those laps around the quirky HMS oval will be crucial as he looks to earn his first Pro Late Model victory in the zMAX CARS Tour this weekend.

The Tuff Shed 250 zMAX CARS Tour weekend at Hickory Motor Speedway will begin with practice for both the Pro Late Model and Late Model Stock Car Tour fields on Friday. On Saturday, the 100-lap Pro Late Model feature race is set to take the green flag at 7:30 p.m. EDT with the 150-lap Late Model Stock Car main to begin following its conclusion. FloRacing will provide coverage of LMSC qualifying beginning at 4:30 p.m. For more information on the zMAX CARS Late Model Stock Tour and the zMAX 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 X (formerly known as Twitter) and scrolling through photos on Instagram cars_tour. Additional series information can be obtained by calling the CARS Tour series office at (704) 662-9212.