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Jonathan Shafer Breaks Through for CARS Tour Win at Ace

It's the first victory for the 17-year-old R&S Race Cars driver.


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It felt like a long time coming as Jonathan Shafer finally broke through in CARS Tour competition on Friday night at Ace Speedway.

The win came in his 31st start across two seasons with Nelson Motorsports and now R&S Race Cars.

Victory Lane was a party with a large crowd gathered to see him climb out and jump into team owner and crew chief Marcus Richmond's waiting arms. The scene included visits by Bobby McCarty, Kaden Honeycutt, Chad McCumbee and several other fellow drivers.

Everyone likes Shafer and even more respect Richmond. Combined, there was much to celebrate.

"It was a big deal," Shafer said. "It felt good to close out on one. It was a good confidence booster for the rest of the season too."

Shafer led wire-to-wire from the pole, the only threat coming on restarts before he could create space between his No. 91 and the rest of the field. As a result, track position and restarts were the keys to victory.

"I wanted to lead early, set the pace and save my right rear tire," Shafer said. "Once we got to the 40 to go mark, I was told I could go all out and was able to hold on for the win."

McCumbee provided the most consistent threat from behind over the course of 125 laps but lost his brakes over the final 30 laps. He wasn’t sure if he just used them up or if there was a failure that cause him to lose ground over the closing laps.

"I thought about brakes, the entire race and had no rotors so not sure what happened," McCumbee said. "Bummed about that but proud of the run. The car was what we needed tonight and will give us momentum the rest of the season."

McCumbee has only made two prior starts at Ace and they didn't go well.

"Sam (Yabrough) and I both so I was happy to come here and be really competitive," McCumbee said. "I think there are several of similar tracks, another race here, and maybe we can pick up some more wins this year."

CARS Tour points leader Carson Kvapil ran the first half behind Shafer but developed a loose race car on short runs but rallied to fourth place with a pass over Bobby McCarty in the closing laps.

"It was a little bit but I thought we were pretty decent anytime we got going," Kvapil said. "Under pressure or trying to pick someone off, got loose, but I just can't thank Dale Jr and JR Motorsports enough for their work. Best car here and I dialed us out tonight, but I'll be better next time we come out here."

Even though Kvapil finished fourth with the best car, it was still a successful points night with Connor Hall finishing ninth. Kvapil provisionally has a 32-point lead over Kaden Honeycutt, whom finished third.

It was the kind of night that wins championships -- which is something Kvapil aims to accomplish.

"We're here to win races, and winning the championship would be huge," Kvapil said. "We didn't have the best night but neither did Hall or the 16. We want to win the championship here and nights like this go a long way towards that."

The CARS Tour season resumes on August 19-20 at Motor Mile Speedway on August 27 and then North Wilkesboro Speedway.

CARS Tour Puryear Tank Lines 125
Ace Speedway
August 12 2022

  1. Jonathan Shafer
  2. Chad McCumbee
  3. Kaden Honeycutt
  4. Carson Kvapil
  5. Bobby McCarty
  6. Jared Fryar
  7. Chase Burrow
  8. Carter Langley
  9. Connor Hall
  10. Conner Jones
  11. Blake Stallings
  12. Braden Rogers
  13. Jacob Heafner
  14. Zack Miracle
  15. Brandon Pierce
  16. Trevor Ward
  17. Janson Machbanks
  18. Mason Diaz
  19. Hayden Swank
  20. Andrew Grady
  21. William Sawalich
  22. Deac McCaskill
  23. Dylan Ward
  24. Mini Tyrrell

-Liz Porter, CARS Tour Photo