Carson Kvapil became the second youngest driver to win an ARCA Midwest Tour event on Saturday night as he held off Travis Sauter and Ryan Farrell to capture the Dairyland 100 at Golden Sands Speedway in Plover, Wisconsin.
The 15-year-old, who resides in Mooresville, North Carolina, made an overnight drive with his father, 2003 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Champion Travis Kvapil, to Wisconsin and arrived at 3am to compete in his first Midwest Tour event.
He started sixth and fell back early, but quickly charged his way to the front moving up to the fifth spot by lap 25.
Kvapil would follow defending winner Dalton Zehr towards the front of the field. On lap 48, the two pass Mark Eswein for third and fourth. Seven laps later, the duo passed Derek Kraus and moved into second and third. Three laps later, Kvapil got a run on the inside of Zehr going into turn one and moved into second spot.
Kvapil would then start to chase down Chris Weinkauf, who had a big lead at the time, until the first caution flew on lap 67 when Wyatt Brooks appeared to have engine problems and put fluid on the track.
On the restart, Kvapil chose to start on the insdie behind Weinkauf allowing Zehr to restart on the outside. Weinkauf got a good jump and it allowed Kvapil to clear Zehr and make a run at Weinkauf.
One lap 69, Kvapil got a run to the inside of Weinkauf going into turn three and would take over the lead.
Kvapil would lead the field through four more restarts en route to his first victory. One caution came with 31 laps to go when Zehr and Weinkauf got together coming out of turn four. Both were sent to the rear for the incident.
This allowed Travis Sauter to move up to second but was no competition for Kvapil as he drove to his first ever Super Late Model win in fourth career start.
“I didn’t think it would happen,” a surprised Kvapil said after the race. “I thought I would be competitive. I didn’t think this would happen. I know these Tour guys are in top notch equipment. I was just glad to be able to win.”
Travis Sauter was pleased to come home with a second-place finish on Saturday night.
“We made a lot of changes with this Racetech Chassis house car and we have run good with it everywhere we went so far this season,” Sauter said after the race. “A second place in a Midwest Tour race validates everything we have done. This is the cream of the crop in the Midwest, so this definitely feels good and I am happy with my guys and everyone who puts an effort in on this.”
Ryan Farrell started 19th and drove his way up to a stellar third place finish.
“We were a tenth and a half off of fast time and that was terrible tonight. That tells you how good these guys are in this series,” Farrell said with a smile. “We made the perfect changes, it was awesome. You just don’t hit it like that very often and 10 laps in, I thought this car is pretty good and just had to be smooth. We had to be patient passing guys like Casey Johnson, Austin Nason and some of the other best of the best right now. We got through there and it was awesome.”
When asked what it meant for him to win with his father’s help tonight, Carson Kvapil had a good idea.
“It feels really good. I knew he would be proud, he is always proud of me. I’m a prodigy child,” Kvapil said as he smiled and looked to see if his dad was hearing what he said about him.
The father was proud of what his son accomplished tonight.
“Man, it’s really incredible. I think back to when I raced in the ARTGO Challenge Series and the Re/Max Challenge Series and it was never in my mind that I would be a contender to win my first time out or my first year,” Travis Kvapil said after the race. “For what he did tonight, it’s amazing. Obviously, all of the credit goes to Brad & Nancy Mannstedt for letting him drive this car and Toby Nuttleman and the team for working on this car and bringing it to the racetrack. Along with a great notebook from Ty Majeski for the last few years to start with, but at the same time the kid has to push the button. He didn’t start on pole and drove away, he started sixth and got shuffled back a little bit and worked his way through traffic. It was a superior handling race car. He did a really good job of managing his tires and working his way to the front.”
Jonathan Eilen, who was late to the track after blowing a tire on their hauler heading to the track, finished fourth. Billy Mohn finished fifth.
The ARCA Midwest Tour will be back in action next Saturday night for the re-scheduled Wayne Carter Classic presented by Rod Baker Ford & Illinois Truck & Equipment at Grundy County Speedway in Morris, Illinois.
- Carson Kvapil
- Travis Sauter
- Ryan Farrell
- Jonathan Eilen
- Billy Mohn
- Mark Eswein
- Andrew Morrissey
- Casey Johnson
- Justin Mondeik
- John DeAngelis Jr.
- Austin Nason
- MG Gajewski
- Dillion Hammond
- Derek Kraus
- Gabe Sommers
- John Beale
- Chris Weinkauf
- Jason Weinkauf
- Rich Bickle Jr.
- Jeff Holmgren Jr
- Dean LaPointe
- Dalton Zehr
- Bryan Syer Keske
- Wyatt Brooks
- Paul Shafer Jr.