CARS Late Model Stock Tour
CARS Tour Championship Nears with Race at Ace
Oct 5, 2022
To have any shot at the CARS Late Model Stock Tour championship, Friday night at Ace Speedway is a must win scenario for Kaden Honeycutt and Connor Hall.
Carson Kvapil has a 72-point advantage entering the race in Alamance County, but he won’t be there. That’s because the JR Motorsports development driver is serving a one race suspension for a retaliatory action after the checkered flag last month at Tri-County Motor Speedway.
It’s still going to be an uphill climb for both pursuers though:
Kaden Honeycutt -72
Connor Hall -77
Winning a CARS Tour race pays just 33 points with bonus points for winning the pole (1), leading a lap (1) and leading the most laps (1) in addition to bonus points for winning the most races (1) and winning the most poles (1) once the final race concludes.
There are three races left:
10.7 | Ace Speedway
10.22 | South Boston Speedway
11.5 | Caraway Speedway
Hall is tied with Kvapil in both wins (3) and poles (3) so he could get the lead in that bonus point category this weekend too.
But Honeycutt certainly has the easier path of the day, but he will be the first one to tell you it’s not easy, even if he wins on Friday at Ace.
"We have to have some stuff play out our way and into our favor," Honeycutt told Racing America. "We're honestly not thinking about the championship as much as just finishing the season on a strong note and winning races those last three races."
Much like Nelson Motorsports teammate Bobby McCarty, Honeycutt has struggled to find consistent pace and reliability at times, especially when it comes to tire falloff and optimization. Making matters worse is that he was forced to miss the race at TrI-County when it was moved up from Saturday to Friday due to impending weather -- coming into conflict with his Truck Series start at Texas Motor Speedway.
Had that not happened, he would be at least 25 points closer, especially disheartening considering that Ace looks to be a place he could capitalize after finishing third on August 13.
"We had a chance to win that race but had a tire going flat, but we move on," Honeycutt said. "We’ll take this momentum from Martinsville too and move on to Ace."
It can’t totally be dismissed that Hall has also vowed to make it incredibly difficult for Kvapil to win the championship after an incident between them at Tri-County. It was the third time this year that one has run afoul of the other, but the latest sent Hall into the wall.
"He has a championship to defend," Hall said after climbing out of the car that night. "Hopefully he can figure out how."
Is it over, he was asked?
"It just started."
At the same time, Hall also has NASCAR national touring ambitions and might have just been airing some frustrations.
Nevertheless, none of this matters if one of Honeycutt or Hall don’t come away with a win on Friday night at Ace Speedway. Doing so would get them within the 55ish point range with two races left, which is still an unlikely hill to climb.
Meanwhile, Josh Berry will return to pilot the No. 8 in Kvapil’s absence, one week after the intended race date in which William Byron was scheduled to pilot the entry. It’s worth noting that Berry, Honeycutt and Hall will also contribute to the owners championship battle that pays towards an end of the year fund.
But of course, that championship is all but wrapped up too:
JR Motorsports No. 8
Nelson Motorsports -68
Chad Bryant Racing No. 77 -72