Carson Kvapil’s focus in the 125-lap Late Model Stock Car race that comprised half of Saturday afternoon’s CARS Tour Commonwealth 225 doubleheader at South Boston Speedway was to land a solid finish that would lead to an easy path to the series title in the season’s final race.
Kvapil, who drives an entry out of the JR Motorsports stable, did more than that – he won Saturday’s race, scoring his fourth CARS Tour victory of the season, and locked up the series title.
“I can’t wrap my head around it yet,” the Mooresville, North Carolina remarked with a huge smile. “We had a real good car there at the end. I didn’t realize I had that good of a car. The whole time I was racing people and was on the underside of people and couldn’t use the whole track. At the end, once I could run my own line and not have to worry about other people around me, I was able to take off and drive away.”
Kvapil took the lead with 14 laps to go as 2022 NASCAR Advance Auto Parts Weekly Series National Champion, Southeast Region Champion and South Boston Speedway Champion Layne Riggs of Bahama, North Carolina and pole winner Landon Pembelton of Amelia, Virginia battled each other for the top spot.
Riggs, who led a large portion of the race, finished second, 1.183 seconds behind Kvapil, with Pembelton finishing third. Connor Hall of Hampton, Virginia finished fourth and Zack Miracle of Indian Trail, North Carolina.
Jacob Heafner of Dallas, North Carolina, Deac McCaskill of Raleigh, North Carolina, Mason Diaz of Manassas, Virginia, Bobby McCarty of Kernersville, North Carolina, and Mini Tyrell of Manassas, Virginia completed the top 10 finishers.
Riggs was upset with Pembelton following the battle between the two South Boston Speedway regulars.
“We had the winning car,” Riggs pointed out. “We had a great performance, and I’m really proud of my guys. I raced clean all day and did a good job all the way to the end until he (Pembelton) decided he didn’t want to race anymore. He was a little bit better on restarts. It was his only opportunity to get me. When he got to me, he mashed it wide open. On the last restart I said I’m going to win this race, until he ran into me. It’s pretty sad when it’s so expected every single weekend.
“I did all I could behind the wheel, being the driver I wanted to be, and being morally correct,” Riggs continued, “and they chose the lower route. It’s sad we have to race like that, especially in the CARS Tour when so many eyes are on you.”
Pembelton, on the other hand was pleased with having a solid day with his top-three finish.
“We had a good race,” noted Pembelton who led the first 53 laps of the race. “We started off really strong. It was the same deal like at Dominion Raceway. I started off too good, and I just fell off toward the end of the race. The car was a little too snug. I’m really proud of my team. They gave me a fast car to work with.”
Pembelton said he expected a tough battle with Riggs.
“We had been going back and forth the last couple of weeks of the NASCAR points season, especially here at South Boston Speedway,” Pembelton said. “We went to Motor Mile and Dominion and we beat and banged. He didn’t want to beat and bang tonight. He feels everyone should pull over for him now since he’s the national champion. He tried wrecking me when I tried moving him. It is what it is. I’ll come back and race with them again.”
A total of 31 cars started the race, with 21 cars finishing on the lead lap.
Sawalich Wins 100-Lap CARS Tour Pro Late Model Race
William Sawalich has had a hot hand on the CARS Tour Pro Late Model circuit this season, and he continued his winning ways Saturday afternoon, capturing the 100-lap Pro Late Model race that comprised half of the CARS Tour Commonwealth 225 doubleheader at South Boston Speedway.
Sawalich, from Eden Prairie, Minnesota, led the first 31 laps, lost the top spot to Ryan Moore of Mooresville, North Carolina and inherited the lead when frontrunners Moore and Brent Crews of Cornelius, North Carolina crashed with nine laps to go while battling for the lead.
He fended off series points leader Luke Fenhaus of Wausau, Wisconsin and Austin McDonald of Pictou, Noca Scotia over the final nine circuits, edging Fenhaus by .474-second at the finish to score his sixth win in nine starts on the CARS Tour this season.
“I trusted my team, and knew they gave me a good enough car to finish the job,” Sawalich said. “I’m really proud to be here in Victory Lane.”
Sawalich said it was a tough chore fending off Fenhaus and McDonald in the closing laps.
“The last few laps were a little hard,” he noted. “The car was super tight. I had to do various things inside the cockpit to get the car to rotate and drive up off the corner and get away from the 96 (Fenhaus).”
McDonald finished third, with Buddy Kofoid of Penngrove, California and Nick Loden of Stanley, North Carolina rounding out the top five finishers in the 13-car field.
Next Event At South Boston Speedway
South Boston Speedway closes out its 2022 season spectator event schedule with SoBo Drifts Powered By Barlow’s Tire on Saturday afternoon, October 29, with action starting at 12:30 p.m.
SoBo Drifts Powered By Barlow’s Tire on Saturday afternoon, October 29 is the second drifting event of the season at South Boston Speedway. The track hosted its first-ever drifting event in March and was it was greeted with a good deal of excitement from both participants and spectators.
Pit gates will open and parking will begin at 10 a.m. A drivers meeting is set for 11 a.m. and spectator gates will open at 12 noon. Spectators will use the Turn 4 or backstretch ticket gates to enter the event. The frontstretch gate will not be open. Fans are encouraged to bring lawn chairs for seating and best viewing.
Admission is $10 for adults with children ages 12 & under admitted free. Tickets will be sold only on the day of the event.
Refreshments will be available at the concession stand located in the third turn. A food truck will be available in the pit area.
Drifting will begin at 12:30 p.m. There will be a break and Trunk or Treat on the frontstretch of the oval track at 2:30 p.m. Drifting will resume at 3:15 p.m. and the event will end at 6 p.m.
Driver passes as well as passes for crew members and non-drivers can be purchased in advance using the Pit Pay app.
Fans and competitors can find the latest updates and news on the speedway’s website, southbostonspeedway.com, and through the track’s social media channels. Information may also be obtained by phoning the speedway at 434-572-4947 or toll free at 1-877-440-1540 during regular business hours Monday through Friday.