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Caden Kvapil wins mess of a CARS Tour Pro Late race at TriCo

Through circumstances within and outside his control, Caden Kvapil left Tri-County Motor Speedway in full control of the CARS PLM Tour championship lead.

Kvapil’s journey to victory lane saw him come from the back of the field twice, with the latter occasion stemming from contact between himself and Katie Hettinger while battling for the lead. The fact that he managed to earn his third win of 2023 despite the adversity came as a major surprise for Kvapil.

“There’s a lot of emotions,” Kvapil said. “I thought we had no chance starting dead last, but coming out of all of it in Victory Lane feels amazing. I know everyone was hating on me in the stands because me and Katie got together and caused a big wreck, but there was really nothing either of us could have done.”

Hettinger, who had led the most laps in the PLM Tour feature prior to the crash, was attempting to re-take the lead from Kvapil on the outside line after losing it on a restart. Kvapil got slightly loose underneath Hettinger and the two made contact, which caused Hettinger to lose control and collect several other cars in the ensuing pileup.

Kvapil was penalized for causing the accident before suffering more damage after Hettinger chose to retaliate on the following restart. With only a handful of laps at his disposal to charge to the front, Kvapil did everything he could to minimize the damage from a difficult evening that started with an ill-handling car in qualifying.

The last lap crash between Ashton Higgins and Gavan Boschele for the win provided Kvapil the miracle he needed to salvage the night and park the No. 96 Concord Wealth Partners Chevy in victory lane again. With such an arduous outing now complete, Kvapil is ready to decompress and close out the PLM Tour title at Caraway Speedway.

Kvapil was awarded the win when Boschele was penalized for the above race winning move.

“We’re just going to go into [Caraway] like every other race and try to win,” Kvapil said. “Now that we have a big gap, we just have to play it smart. Katie is likely still going to be very upset, so we’ll have to be smart around her and just be there at the end.”

There were also several physical altercations between each of the teams involved in each on-track incident.

CARS PLM Tour Blue Ridge 100
Tri County Motor Speedway
October 21 2023

  1. 96 Caden Kvapil
  2. 18 Chase Burda
  3. 6 Brandon Setzer
  4. 77 Logan Jones
  5. 28 Brent Crews
  6. 55 Charlie Keeven
  7. 74 Ryan Moore
  8. 15B Aiden King
  9. 43H Joshua Horniman
  10. 7T Tyler Church
  11. 27W Kris Wright -1
  12. 9 Ashton Higgins – OUT
  13. 25 Gavan Boschele – OUT
  14. 81 Katie Hettinger – OUT
  15. 43 Nick Loden – OUT
  16. 26 Dawson Sutton – OUT
  17. 7C Justin Crider – OUT
  18. 8 Rusty Skewes – OUT

Matt Weaver is the owner and founder of Short Track Scene. Weaver grew up in the sport, having raced himself before becoming a reporter in college at the University of South Alabama. He also has extensive experience covering NASCAR, IndyCar and Dirt Sprint Cars.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Brian Lecorchick

    October 22, 2023 at 7:07 am

    Race officials did the right thing to DQ the 25. Doesn’t seem to happen racing in the southeast. More no holds barred. Nice to get it right. Tracks up north like Stafford would tolerate that. Still emotions can run high and altercations occur no matter where. Passion is one if many reasons this is just more cars chasing each other in circles!

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