Byron Second, Kvapil Fifth in Wild CARS Tour Clash at Caraway

Ron Lemasters | 7/4/2024

Bass Pro Shops Caraway Speedway CARS Tour Carson Kvapil HendrickCars.com News William Byron

JR Motorsports teammates William Byron and Carson Kvapil were in the thick of a thrilling battle for the victory in Wednesday night’s zMAX CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car event at Caraway Speedway, finishing second and fifth, respectively.

Race: Firecracker 265 at Caraway (N.C.) Speedway
Track Specs: .400-mile oval / 125 laps
Race Winner: Brent Crews
Byron’s finish: 2nd
Kvapil’s finish: 5th   

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (July 4, 2024) -- JR Motorsports teammates William Byron and Carson Kvapil were in the thick of a thrilling battle for the victory in Wednesday night’s zMAX CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car event at Caraway Speedway, finishing second and fifth, respectively.

The result could have been much better had it not been for a rough-and-tumble five-car battle that encompassed the final 40 laps.

Kvapil, the two-time and defending LMSC champion, led better than half the 125-lap race and seemed in control as the laps clicked off, but a trio of caution flags late in the going bunched the field. The final caution waved with just seven laps remaining, and that set the stage for a thrilling finish.

A fierce battle for the top spot among Kvapil, points leader Connor Hall, Byron, Brent Crews and Jared Fryar resulted in three lead changes over the final laps, with Crews claiming the win with a bump-and- run move on Hall in Turn 3 coming to the checkered.

Byron, in his first CARS Tour start since 2015, sneaked underneath to claim second, with Hall, Fryar and Kvapil completing the top five. The top five in the order were separated by just .790 seconds.

Several intense conversations among some of the top finishers took place following the race regarding the intensity level.

Kvapil put down the second-quickest time in qualifying and started the race on the outside of polesitter Fryar. Fourteen laps into the 125-lap event, Kvapil moved under Fryar to take the lead, and he would hold the top spot in the No. 8 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats & ATVs Chevrolet for much of the race.

At lap 95, a red flag waved for a two-car accident in Turn 1. When cleanup was affected, the race resumed with Kvapil in the lead. That lasted until 39 laps remained, when Hall finally got the bump-and-run to work.

Five laps later, Byron, who started 15th, slipped into second place in his No. 24 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet, and with 10 laps remaining, Byron held second and Kvapil third. A yellow flag allowed the field to reset and triggered the wild restarts that saw Crews emerge as the winner over Byron.

Next action for Kvapil and the JRM Late Model team will be July 27 at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway for the annual Throwback 276.

William Byron, driver No. 24 HendrickCars.com Chevrolet team

 "I had a blast. It was a lot of fun, a lot more physical than I thought it would be there at the end. Thanks to JR Motorsports, Dale, Paul (Andrews) and Bryan (Shaffer) and everyone else on the team. They did a great job, the car was awesome. I had to manage it and get through traffic. I had a great car and thanks to Mr. H for letting me run here. It was cool to get to slide around out here. The race craft here in this series is really good. I just enjoyed racing here, and hopefully I get to come and do it again. I hope to talk to Dale and maybe do this a couple of times a year. This was really fun."

Carson Kvapil, driver No. 8 Bass Pro Shops/TRACKER Boats & ATVs Chevrolet team

"At the end of the race, we were probably going to end up third, running right behind William there. He pulled away a little bit but it seemed like we were running equal lap times and we were pulling the 29 (Crews). We led the race to just past halfway, but we lost a little bit of tire there at the end. It was a good day overall, and you can't really complain about a top-five, but when you are up front like we were, it kind of hurts. I feel like I got used up by the 22 car (Hall) and didn't think I deserved it. I hadn't done anything to him to be raced like that. It kind of put me a little bit of a bad mood. There were a bunch of crossovers and beaten doors. We were better than fifth for sure, but that’s where we landed."

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