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Carson Kvapil Opens 2024 CARS Tour Late Model Stock Season with Southern National Win

Carson Kvapil scored his 10th career zMAX CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car win on Sunday at Southern National Motorsports Park.


hero image for Carson Kvapil Opens 2024 CARS Tour Late Model Stock Season with Southern National Win

The 2024 zMAX CARS Tour Late Model Stock season started on Sunday at Southern National Motorsports Park with a familiar face in victory lane.

The JR Motorsports driver took the lead on lap 91 of the 125-lap race and held off Connor Hall over a series of late restarts to take the checkered flag. With the win, Kvapil now has 10 career CARS Tour Late Model Stock wins, and 15 total wins under the CARS Tour banner.

It may not be a surprise to see Kvapil, a two-time series champion, on the top step of the podium in the CARS Tour, but Sunday's victory was anything but a foregone conclusion. The late cautions gave several opportunities for the likes of Hall, Deac McCaskill and Kaden Honeycutt a chance to challenge for the win.

“I was pretty nervous, honestly," said Kvapil in victory lane. "Connor [Hall]’s a pretty good racer, obviously, and he knows what he’s doing. Having him right on my bumper on the last restart was something I was not looking forward to. I’ve raced with him in the past and he can get a little hairy sometimes.

“Fortunately, we really had just a good Bass Pro Shops Chevrolet. We had a really good piece, and that made my life a little easier there.”

Hall readily admitted he was ready to force the issue to challenge Kvapil for the win on Sunday.

“In this series, passing at the end of the races are so tough. As bad as it sounds, I pretty much had one game plan, and that was to try to get him off the bottom. I gave him a pretty fair shot, I don’t think it was too egregious. Anything more, and it would have put both of us at risk.

“We were a couple of car-lengths behind him at the IceBreaker and a little closer here. Maybe we’ll get him in the next one.”

Deac McCaskill, a four-time track champion at Southern National and a former CARS Tour champion in his own right, is one of just three drivers ahead of Kvapil on the Late Model Stock win list. His 11 wins tie him with Bobby McCarty for second in the Late Model Stock Tour record books, behind Josh Berry (22).

As fate would have it, McCaskill is paired up with McCarty and R&S Race Cars for the 2024 season, and McCaskill started his season with a third-place finish on home turf.

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“This thing needed a little more drive off the corner," said McCaskill. "We were just talking about this tire and what we need to do for Jacksonville. We’re already thinking ahead. It was a good run for us.

“This is so much fun, man. The main reason I joined this team was to be more consistent and more competitive. Hopefully, this is a sign of great things to come.”

There are plenty of drivers who will be in contention for the CARS Tour Late Model Stock championship in 2024, but McCaskill doesn't want anyone counting him out even if he is the "old guy" competing against some of the biggest rising stars in racing.

“I want to be the oldest guy to win a championship. That’s my goal. Everybody’s talking about these young kids, but this old guy’s still got it. I’m hooked up with a great team. I’ve got some awesome teammates.

"Bobby McCarty is teaching me so much. I’ve got more experience than he does, but he’s teaching me so much behind the wheel. It’s so much fun working with him and working with Logan [Clark] as well.”

Kvapil, meanwhile, could be on the outside looking in for that championship battle. That is due in part to knowing he will miss at least one CARS Tour race this season, on April 6 at Hickory Motor Speedway. That day, Kvapil will be making his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut with JR Motorsports at Martinsville Speedway.

Winning a title while missing a race wouldn't be unprecedented. In fact, Kvapil did so during his 2022 championship run. However, he believes the level of competition in the series this year will make that task much more difficult.

“You never know how it could go, right? We won the 2022 championship, we missed one race and were still able to win owners and drivers. Hopes are up, but I see the realism of it.

“Brenden [Queen], Connor, all these guys I’m racing with are A-class drivers and really good teams. It’d be cool to [win the championship], but it’d be tough.”

Chase Burrow finished fourth, with Kaden Honeycutt rounding out the top five.

Brent Crews took the lead on lap eight from pole-sitter Chad McCumbee, and led until a lap 91 restart when Kvapil assumed the top spot. Crews finished sixth in his No. 29 entry. Mini Tyrrell, Clay Jones, Treyten Lapcevich and Bobby McCarty completed the top-10 finishers.

18Carson Kvapil125---
222Connor Hall1250.709
308Deac McCaskill1251.577
400Chase Burrow1252.201
517Kaden Honeycutt1252.829
629Brent Crews1253.149
781Mini Tyrrell1253.996
81JClay Jones1254.185
977TTreyten Lapcevich1254.555
106Bobby McCarty1254.824
1162Layne Riggs1255.258
1211Buddy Isles1255.513
1315CLogan Clark1256.200
1471Katie Hettinger1256.429
1504Ronnie Bassett1256.609
162Brandon Pierce1256.858
1790John Goin1257.796
1895Jacob Heafner1258.117
1903Brenden Queen1258.330
2045Bryce Applegate1258.819
2115Ryan Millington1259.937
2255Gavan Boschele1241 Lap
2367Cameron Bolin1241 Lap
2450Jamey Caudill1241 Lap
2523Kade Brown9926 Laps
2616Chad McCumbee9827 Laps
271Andrew Grady9134 Laps
2877Trevor Ward8639 Laps
2915JRyan Joyner7649 Laps
3014Mason Diaz4580 Laps
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