Kvapil Races to Second Straight CARS Tour Title in Season Finale at Caraway

Ron Lemasters | 11/6/2023

News

For the second year in a row, Kvapil and the JRM Late Model team brought home the driver and owner championsips.

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (Nov. 6, 2023) -- On Saturday afternoon at Caraway Speedway, Carson Kvapil clinched his second consecutive driver's/owner's championship in the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car Series with an 11th-place finish in the season finale.

The 20-year-old second-generation driver needed a patient, steady drive to claim the postseason prizes after a mistake in qualifying put him 15th on the grid for the 125-lap John Blewett III North-South Shootout.

With 19 points in hand over chief title rival – and polesitter – Brenden Queen, Kvapil and team manager Bryan Shaffer faced a strategy call that would decide the championship. Needing to finish 16th or better to claim the championships, no matter what Queen did, the decision was to be consistent and stay in the window to win the title.

With the help of spotter Brett Edwards and his father, Travis, the younger Kvapil did just that, never falling lower than 15th and running as high as seventh while saving tires for the end should he need to use them. The strategy worked very well for the first half of the 125-lap event, as Kvapil stayed well within the boundaries and clicked off laps.

On a restart following a caution flag at lap 50, Kvapil started to move forward, jumping from 12th at the green to seventh thanks to a nifty move to the inside. He stayed inside the top 10 until lap 97, when the tires began to fade on the No. 8 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats & ATVs Chevrolet. Over the remaining laps, Kvapil slid down the order to 11th and finished there.

"It was an up-and-down day for sure," Kvapil said after the race. "Obviously we are excited to go back-to-back and win the two championships, it's really awesome. Our season up to this point was really good. We won five races, more than we did last year, and the competition is even tougher than it was last year. I think we did a really good job today to make sure we took that trophy home."

The mistake in qualifying--a pretty big slide in Turns 3 and 4--set the tone for the day, and despite winning at Caraway last year in the $30,000-to-win Old North State Nationals, it epitomized the struggle the tight .400-mile oval represents.

"It was a bit of a struggle for me today, a lot on my part," he said. "This place is pretty tough for me. We've won here, but just firing off in a straight 125-lap race was a struggle. I put us in a hole in qualifying by messing up in Turns 3 and 4 on my good lap, and it was hard to dig out of that hole. We were able to claw our way back up to 11th, but I just can't thank all these guys enough on the Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats & ATVs Chevrolet team here at JR Motorsports."

The 11th-place result was the first outside the top 10 for Kvapil all season.

Queen did what he had to do, earning the pole and leading the majority of the way to claim the victory. Despite Queen's performance, Kvapil and the JR Motorsports team were able to work the strategy to perfection and claim the double titles.

"Bryan (Shaffer, team manager and crew chief) puts in a bunch of work and we're constantly trying new things, new ideas just like everybody else is. Bryan, Slim (mechanic Josh Tarratt-Hill), Ernie Mayo and Justin Keeley, David West of John West Racing Engines, my spotter Brett Edwards, I can't thank them enough for all they do. Johnny Morris and all the people at Bass Pro Shops do a great job for us, along with Dale, Kelley and L.W. There are a lot of people who make this whole thing work."

Along with the owner's championship, the double title makes him the leader in JRM Late Model history with two driver championships, surpassing Josh Berry's 2017 title. The owner's championship was the team's fourth (2016, 2017, 2022, 2023).

Kvapil also joined Bobby McCarty as the only drivers to win multiple CARS Tour LMSC championships. McCarty has three to Kvapil's two.

The day was special for the Kvapil family as well. Carson's brother Caden Kvapil clinched the CARS Tour Pro Late Model title in the opening race of the day.

"It's pretty cool to have the same last name win the CARS Tour championships in the same year," Carson said. "It just goes to show what my dad has done to bring us up as racers, teach us race-craft and how to be consistent and win races."

Kvapil will return to the track later this month for the annual Florence 400 at Florence (S.C.) Motor Speedway, the final event of the JRM season.

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