Conner Jones has tried just about everything to find consistency in the CARS Late Model Stock Tour.
Circumstances ended up favoring the Fredericksburg, Virginia, native on Saturday night as he worked his way to the front of the pack and survived the onslaught of warnings late in the race to end what had been two years. of adversity in Late Model Stocks.
“Last year was a tough year and this year has been tough so far,” Jones said. “I think this is a turning point where we can really start to go out there and win more races. I couldn’t do this without all the guys who worked on the car.”
Jones admitted that Tri-County has become one of his favorite tracks, adding that the recent resurfacing of all four corners at the facility gave him and everyone else the ability to run multiple paces, particularly during the closing laps.
Seeing how aggressive his competition became with each passing restart, Jones knew he couldn’t beat around the bush as he hunted for his first win. This mentality became more apparent once he came face-to-face with current LMSC Tour points leader Carson Kvapil at the final restart.
The two had previously traded blows in an earlier restart, but managed to fight their way to the front. One last assertive push from Jones was enough for him to overtake Kvapil and pull away for a cathartic debut CARS Tour win.
“It just got to a point where you have to be a man and push back hard,” Jones said. “Congratulations to Carson, because he had a great race, but he also had a clean race for me. He pushed me a couple of times, but that’s just hard racing, especially when you’re trying to get everything off the track.”
As for Kvapil, the JR Motorsports driver was pleased to come out of Hudson, North Carolina with a top 5 finish.
After colliding with Connor Hall and being dragged into the middle of the pack, Kvapil took advantage of quick restarts to get back on point, but ultimately had to settle for fourth after a tough race with Jones caused him to lose track position one again. .
“It was a demolition derby,” Kvapil said of the races. “Just warning after warning. We could keep the lead, but then two laps later we would have a caution. It was a lot of short runs and I felt like we had a better car on the long runs. [Conner] Jones gave me a little bit of a chance on that last restart, but we were just racing for the win, so I can’t be too upset about that.”
Kvapil’s hectic night didn’t even end once the checkered flag was shown.
Frustrated with how Zack Miracle had been fighting him during the final sprint to the finish, Kvapil expressed his frustration to the young racer by turning Miracle into the outer retaining wall on the cooldown lap, dealing significant damage. in the latter’s car.
Milagro said that everyone had to fight for each position with how difficult it was to spend the whole afternoon. While Miracle was disappointed by what happened after the checkered flag, he couldn’t help but feel elated after bringing home such a strong race.
“This was our first podium finish on the CARS Tour,” said Miracle. “I can’t even describe the emotions right now, but I’m so proud of my guys. They work very hard every week. The damage is a lot, but we’ll be back in the race.”
Miracle admitted that he was stunned by Kvapil’s post-race stunt. He didn’t think his battle with Kvapil would cross any boundaries, but he expressed no malice toward the current LMSC Tour points leader and plans to leave Tri-County.
In contrast, Kvapil felt that Miracle was out of line with the moves he made at the end of Saturday’s show. He doesn’t plan to seek out Miracle for a chat and hopes the young driver understands that he shouldn’t be too aggressive when he fights with others at the end of a race.
“I thought [Miracle] I was competing too hard,” Kvapil said. “The other guys gave me a door, which is how you run [at Tri-County]. I can’t be too mad about that, but when a guy passes me straight from two lanes down while he’s looking for third place, I’m not going to be happy afterwards.”
Although he is now the eighth different driver to win on the LMSC Tour this year, Jones understands that there are still many areas where he could improve behind the wheel.
Jones is tempering his own expectations ahead of the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville Speedway and the upcoming LMSC Tour event at Ace Speedway, but he is determined to add to his win total before the end of 2022.
“This gives me confidence, but only up to a point,” Jones said. “I feel so much better about myself and this racing team. To win Martinsville, we have to do the same thing we did [at Tri-County]which is qualifying at the front and surviving the heat races.”
CARS Late Model Stock Tour
Tri County Expressway
September 9, 2022
- 44 Connor Jones
- 91Jonathan Shaffer
- 32 Zack Miracle
- 8 Carson Kvapil
- 2r braden rogers
- 95 Jacob Heafner
- 8b Burrow Chase
- 10 Janson March Banks
- 16 Chad McCombee
- 2 Brandon Pierce
- 55 Elizabeth Robust
- 4w dylon wilson
- 4 Hayden Swank-1
- 24 Mason Diaz – OUT
- 9 Ashton Higgins – OUT
- 1 Andrew Grady – OUT
- 43 William Sawalich – OUT
- 15 Ryan Millington – OUT
- 08 Deac McCaskill – OUT
- 5 Carter Langley – OUT
- 77 Connor Room – EXIT
- 87 Mike Looney – OUT
- 15m Mitch Walker – OUT
- 12 Thomas Beane – OUT
- 22 Bobby McCarty – OUT
- 81 Mini Tyrrell – OUT