JR Motorsports announced today that 18-year-old Carson Kvapil, son of former NASCAR Cup Series driver and 2003 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil, will take over the team’s iconic No. 8 Late Model for 2022. Josh Berry, the linchpin of the team’s Late Model success over the past 11 years, will embark on a full-season effort with JRM’s NASCAR Xfinity Series team next season.
Kvapil learned of his new opportunity by surprise, as team owner Dale Earnhardt Jr. delivered the news Monday afternoon. “I thought I was coming here to JRM to sign some papers or something, and they surprised me by saying I was running the No. 8 next season,” he said.
In the coming weeks, Kvapil will drive the No. 8 in the Fall Brawl at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway on Nov. 6 before ending the season on Nov. 20 at Florence (S.C.) Motor Speedway in the Florence 400.
“It’s really exciting,” said the younger Kvapil, fresh off his championship in the CARS Racing Tour’s Super Late Model division earlier this month. “I ran the Florence race for JRM, came out with a really good finish after leading 113 of the 125 laps and just came up a little short in the end. I’m really thankful for this opportunity. These kinds of chances don’t come up that often.
“I just need to be able to be consistent, try to stay out of the wrecks and contend for wins every week in the CARS Racing Tour’s Late Model Stock Car Series.”
On Oct. 16, Kvapil overcame an eight-point deficit to Matt Craig to win the CARS Tour’s Super Late Model crown with a win in the season finale at Virginia’s South Boston Speedway.
“The Late Model program is the foundation on which JR Motorsports was built,” said L.W. Miller, JRM’s director of motorsports. “It has always been very important to Dale, Kelley and myself. Josh won a lot of races and championships for us, and looking to the future, we see Carson as the kind of driver we can continue to build our program around.“He knows how to race and win, and he has a bright future ahead of him. I can see him taking the same kind of path to the upper levels of NASCAR, just like Josh has done, and I’m very excited for his future and for the future of our Late Model program.”
Additional details on sponsorship and the 2022 schedule will be announced at a later date.