Ryan Newman Enters Little 500 at Anderson
May 4, 2022
A busy but competitive 2022 season for the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Late Model Stock Car Tour schedule will officially be a third of the way completed once the checkered flag falls on Friday evening at Ace Speedway.
The .4-mile short track in Altamahaw, North Carolina has produced close-quarters racing and plenty of storylines since the CARS Tour’s first visit in 2018, with the most notable event taking place in 2020 when track regular Ryan Millington took advantage of two on-track skirmishes between former champions Josh Berry and Bobby McCarty for his first career victory.
With four different winners to open the year, another eventful evening of racing is in store for the CARS Tour competitors and Ace’s loyal fanbase. Plenty of talented drivers are still looking to break their own winless droughts in Friday’s Puryear Tank Lines 125 that include McCarty and last year’s winner in Layne Riggs.
Track: Ace Speedway
Location: Altamahaw, North Carolina
Track Length: .4 mile
CARS Tour races: 4 (LMSC)
Ace LMSC winners: Bobby McCarty (2018), Josh Berry (2019), Ryan Millington (2020), Layne Riggs (2021)
LMSC Entry List (23 cars): #1 Andrew Grady, #2 Brandon Pierce, #2r Braden Rogers, #4 Justin Johnson, #4s Hayden Swank, #5 Carter Langley, #7 Dylan Ward, #8 Carson Kvapil, #8b Chase Burrow, #10 Janson Marchbanks, #12 Kaden Honeycutt, #16 Chad McCumbee, #18 Jason York, #22 Bobby McCarty, #24 Parker Eatmon, #32 Zack Miracle, #43 William Sawalich, #44 Conner Jones, #77 Connor Hall, #77s Blake Stallings, #77w Trevor Ward, #91 Jonathan Shafer, #95 Jacob Heafner
CARSON KVAPIL RETAINS POINTS LEAD
Carson Kvapil nearly saw his sizable points lead evaporate in the New River 125 at Goodyear All American Speedway.
After getting swept up in a multi-car accident with 43 laps remaining, Kvapil found himself buried at the back of the pack but managed to maintain a 17-point advantage over Chad McCumbee by fighting his way up to fourth when the checkered flag fell.
“I thought we had a car we could win with,” Kvapil said. “We had some clutch issues and got caught up in someone else’s mess. I was hoping we’d at least finish the race after that wreck, but we got the clutch problem solved, cut the body away on the right front and drove my way back through the field. We only ended up losing one point.”
Fresh off a championship in the CARS Super Late Model Tour, Kvapil said the full-time transition to Late Model Stock competition has been smooth with JR Motorsports and has quickly adjusted to conserving tires in the heavier cars.
Kvapil has yet to finish outside the Top 5 after bagging a $30,000 paycheck in the Old North State Nationals at Caraway. Despite this, Kvapil does not consider his championship lead safe and is still trying to gain more knowledge about Late Model Stocks as he heads to Ace Speedway on Friday.
The first laps Kvapil made at Ace were in a test session during the previous week. Kvapil feels confident the information obtained from that test will help him increase his points lead but he is also hoping to have a much less eventful night compared to his late charge through the field at Goodyear.
“I have to get the car right,” Kvapil said. “I’ve learned a lot over these last few races on what the car needs by talking to Josh [Berry] and just running races. If we don’t get caught up in anything on Friday, we should have a Top 3 car again.”
TREVOR WARD MAKES ONE-OFF AT ACE
Ace Speedway fans will get to see a familiar face mix it up with the CARS Tour regulars on Friday evening in the form of Trevor Ward.
A former full-time CARS Tour competitor, Ward has only made a handful of appearances in the series over the past two years, yet the Winston-Salem, North Carolina native feels confident that he can finally break through for his first career victory driving his family-owned No. 77.
“It’s always a good time going to Ace,” Ward said. “We’ve been struggling a bit trying to get the funds to run but we’re going to put this car together as good as we can. We’ve got a decent balance at Ace, so I think everything will go pretty smooth.”
Ward has visited victory lane on plenty of occasions between Ace’s Late Model Stock and Limited Late Model divisions. The track has been close to a second home for Ward since he started racing there at 15 years old and hopes the familiarity with Ace gives him an advantage over the rest of his CARS Tour competitors.
Of Ward’s two Top 5s in the CARS Tour, one of them occurred at Ace back during the 2018 season. Ward used patience to get through several incidents that evening and knows that quality will be imperative on Friday, especially with many races at the track coming down to track position.
For the Puryear Tank Lines 125, Ward is bringing a car that challenged for the win in Ace’s season-opener up until a cut tire ended his night. Replicating that speed on Friday is something that Ward fully intends to accomplish by staying patient and managing his equipment through evolving track conditions.
“We’re going a little different this year,” Ward said. “Instead of bringing a new car, we’re using one that we’ve been working on all year and made some changes to. I think this will put us further ahead compared to working on a new car. We just have to make this race count where we need to for us.”
BIG NAMES STILL SEEKING FIRST WIN
Although there have been four different winners to open the 2022 CARS Late Model Stock Car Tour season, plenty of notable drivers have still not found their way to victory lane.
The most notable of the winless competitors is three-time champion Bobby McCarty. An uncharacteristic inconsistent start has relegated McCarty to ninth in the series standings, with his best finish only being an eighth at Hickory Motor Speedway and Goodyear All American Speedway.
McCarty’s Nelson Motorsports teammate Kaden Honeycutt also finds himself without a win through four races. Honeycutt has not finished inside the Top 5 since his second place run in the Old North State Nationals at Caraway Speedway, but he still finds himself third in the standings as he looks to improve upon his two-win rookie season last year.
Through the parity, several drivers have emerged as potential first-time winners. Rookie Chase Burrow is currently fourth in the standings with three Top 10s and a Top 5 at Hickory, while fellow rookie Andrew Grady is coming off a strong but disappointing outcome at Goodyear that saw him finish 18th after leading 55 laps.
Friday’s Puryear Tank Lines 125 at Ace Speedway will present a great opportunity for drivers still winless on the CARS Late Model Stock Car Tour this year to bring home a victory and build momentum as the series heads into a busy summer.
The 125-lap Late Model Stock feature will be the fourth race in a busy evening for Ace that also includes Modified, Mini Stock, Limited Late Model and Champ Kart features. On-track activity is set to begin at 8 p.m..
Chad McCumbee -17
Kaden Honeycutt -30
Chase Burrow -36
Conner Jones -39
Carter Langley -39
Brandon Pierce -39
Connor Hall -41
Bobby McCarty -44
Braden Rogers -48
Jacob Heafner -55
Mason Diaz -58
Janson Marchbanks -59
Andrew Grady -61
Justin Johnson -62