Bobby McCarty celebrates after winning a CARS Late Model Stock Tour race at Hickory Motor Speedway. (Adam Fenwick Photo)
Bobby McCarty, shown at Hickory Motor Speedway last year, will be among the favorites to win Saturday’s CARS Tour late model stock race at the .363-mile track. (Adam Fenwick Photo)

CARS Tour Notes: It’s On To Hickory

HICKORY, N.C. — Of the two dozen late model stock drivers entered for Saturday’s Tuff Shed 250, none of them has had more success in CARS Tour competition at Hickory Motor Speedway than three-time series champion Bobby McCarty.

Since making his first start in the CARS Late Model Stock Car Tour back in 2017, McCarty has visited victory lane at Hickory on three different occasions, two of which have taken place in the last four races.

A fourth win at the historic track would serve as a much-needed boost for McCarty and Nelson Motorsports following a difficult start to the season in the Old North State Nationals at Caraway Speedway.

Despite not leading a lap, McCarty contended for the victory until he ran out of fuel with less than 15 laps remaining and finished 16th.

McCarty will be determined to shake off that performance in Saturday’s event that will be broadcast live by SPEED SPORT affiliate, CARSTour.tv.

The CARS Tour Pro Late Model class will also be on the card.

  • Both divisions of the CARS Tour are set to roll into Hickory Motor Speedway this weekend for the Tuff Shed 250 following two thrilling races in the Puryear Tank Lines Old North State Nationals at Caraway Speedway presented by GXS Wraps.

Carson Kvapil used pit strategy to hold off Kaden Honeycutt for $30,000 in the Late Model Stock feature, while his younger brother Caden passed Luke Fenhaus in the closing stages of the 100-lap Pro Late Model race.  

  • A late-race restart was all that separated Luke Fenhaus from becoming the first winner in the history of the CARS Pro Late Model Tour.

Caden Kvapil won the race at Caraway Speedway after Fenhaus led a race-high 87 laps. Fenhaus looks to rebound Saturday at Hickory.

“I thought it was a good first race,” Fenhaus said. “It was my first time seeing [Caraway] and we dominated more than three quarters of the race. We just missed it on that last restart, but it was still a solid finish and we’re carrying some momentum heading into Hickory.”

Fenhaus believes he will be among those contending for the win again on Saturday night alongside Kvapil and William Sawalich but he said that track position and equipment conservation will be imperative towards deciding where he will be running in the closing stages.

“Starting up front is going to be key,” Fenhaus said. “With Hickory being a smaller track, there are a lot of things that can happen with other cars, plus it’s a little bit harder to pass there. I’d love to get another pole but I also plan to save the right front and rear a little bit more. Hopefully the cautions play out our way this time.”

  • The start of the CARS Pro Late Model Tour season did not go to plan for Donnie Wilson Racing at Caraway Speedway.

Brent Crews finished 14th for the team when a clutch failure sidelined him after 13 laps. Despite this, Wilson still has plenty of optimism about his Pro Late Model operation heading into the next CARS Tour race at Hickory Motor Speedway; this time with Vicente Salas driving one of his cars.

“Brent was really fast in practice at Caraway and we knew he would race good,” Wilson said. “He was in the top five when the clutch gave out but I’m looking forward to Hickory with Vicente. We always have a shot to win no matter who we bring to the track and I’m very happy with things so far.”

With Salas’ background primarily centered on iRacing, Wilson has worked diligently to get him ready for 100 laps on Hickory’s abrasive surface.

Salas has tested with DWR on five different occasions at Hickory over the past several months. 

“We want to win every time we go to the track, but our realistic goal is to finish inside the top five,” Wilson said. “Putting ourselves in a position to win in the last ten laps is always important and that’s what we’re looking to do with Vicente.”

  • NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Josh Berry is the leading CARS Tour late model stock winner at Hickory with four victories. McCarty has won three times at the .363-mile oval.
  • In addition to McCarty and Carson Kvapil, other notables entered for Saturday’s late model stock 150-lapper include Braden Rogers, Justin Johnson, Kaden Honeycutt, Chad McCumbee, Mason Diaz, Mike Loony, Jonathan Shafer and Layne Riggs.
  • The green flag for the Tuff Shed 250 at Hickory is set to fly at 6 p.m. on Saturday evening, with the first race on the docket being the 100-lap Pro Late Model feature, followed by Late Model Stocks. Tune in at CARSTour.tv.
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