Kvapil Begins Defense of CARS Tour Late Model Titles This Weekend at SNMP

Photo Courtesy of Blake Harris/H3 Photography

Ron Lemasters | 3/9/2023


Carson Kvapil and the Bass Pro Shops Late Model team will start their season this weekend.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (March 10, 2023) -- The championship-winning JR Motorsports Late Model team with double champ Carson Kvapil will open the 2023 CARS Racing Tour Late Model Stock Car season this weekend at Southern National Motorsports Park, and there will be a giant target on the back of the No. 8 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats & ATVs Chevrolet.

Team manager Bryan Shaffer returns with the entire title-winning squad for 2023, and Kvapil has a full season under his belt as a top dog in the CARS Tour. The double titles were won with a race in hand, but he didn't officially earn them until the season-ender at South Boston Speedway in Virginia.

For Kvapil, the 19-year-old driver is seeking the same kind of hot start this season that he had in 2022, when he captured the season-opening Old North State Nationals at Caraway (N.C.) Speedway. The win, worth $30,000, was the catalyst for the young second-generation driver to earn the CARS Tour LMSC driver championship along with the owner's title.

It was the first of four victories for Kvapil during his title season, as he added others at Franklin County (Va.) Speedway, North Wilkesboro Speedway and South Boston (Va.) Speedway. What separated Kvapil from the rest of his competitors last season was his remarkable consistency.

In his 20 starts last season, Kvapil averaged a stellar 4.4 per finish, with 17 top-five and 18 top-10 finishes. The other two finishes—15th and 28th—came in Virginia Triple Crown races at Dominion Raceway and South Boston. Those races were designed to dial him in for his first trip to Martinsville Speedway for the annual ValleyStar Credit Union 300, and they did just that. Kvapil finished second in the race and had a chance to win it off Turn 2 in the final lap.

The addition of Bass Pro Shops as his sponsor this season is something that has Kvapil's attention.

"It would be awesome to take Bass Pro Shops and TRACKER Boats & RVs to Victory Lane on Saturday," he said. "We won last year with iRacing and the year before with my dad's Super Late Model, so if we were able to do it again that would be really cool. With Bass Pro Shops riding along with us and supporting us throughout the year, that would be a great way to kick off the season."

Winning the season opener at Caraway last season gave Kvapil an edge, one he fully intends to keep in 2023.

"It was important, to be sure," he said. "I've been thinking about that the last month or so, how important it was. If you can get the jump and be the points leader from the first race, it's just going to give you more confidence. Your competitors will look at you as the leader, and it will help us go through the season with an edge. We'll do our best."

Southern National is a rhythm track, and the low line is king on the bowl-shaped oval. Kvapil is looking for a smooth, solid race on Saturday.

"I want to have a consistent, stay-out-of-trouble kind of race," Kvapil said. "I think it is going to be like the race we ran at SNMP last season. Tire wear is going to be pretty big and holding track position without burning your stuff up is going to be a pretty big deal. Getting the car right is going to be really important. If you're off a little bit, that place exaggerates tire wear a lot. If we have the car right, which I think we will, we'll have a good finish."

With all the changes to the CARS Tour—new ownership group, a new streaming partner and a lot of attention for the coming season—Kvapil is sure that one thing won't be different in 2023.

"I don't expect the racing to be any different in the CARS Tour, but the streaming and things like that, that will be different," he said. "We'll have a few more cars and some more competition this season, so we'll see how that works out."




XFINITY Series Schedule

  • April 20 04:00 PM ET
    Ag-Pro 300Talladega Superspeedway
  • April 27 01:30 PM ET
    A-GAME 200Dover International Speedway
  • May 11 01:30 PM ET
    NXS Spring Race at DarlingtonDarlington Raceway
  • May 25 01:00 PM ET
    NXS Spring Race at CharlotteCharlotte Motor Speedway
  • June 1 04:30 PM ET
    Pacific Office Automation 147Portland International Raceway

XFINITY Series Standings

After Dead On Tools 250

Martinsville Speedway | 10/28/2023
Results are not available.