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Wild race for the CARS Tour Pro Late Models 100 Lapper at Tri-County Speedway in NC!!

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Kaden Kvapil (points leader)had an uncharacteristically bad qualifying effort for 8th. Then he got put to the rear for the start, because of an unapproved adjustment after qualifying. Katie Hettinger qualified 3rd, and took the lead about lap 20. She held the lead until about 24 laps. By this time, Kvapil had advanced up to 2nd. After a comp caution, the two ran side by side for3 laps, with Kvapil being on the inside. Coming off turn 2, he drilled her, causing her and 6 other cars (3rd thru 7th) to crash/spin before turn 3. Katie got the worst of it for sure, as that car will absolutely require a rear clip. As the clean up took about 10 minutes, and they don't count yellow flag laps, they pieced her car together sorta. The officials did make Kvapil go to the rear, and of course they restarted together. Yep, they almost made it back to the green flag, when Katie hooked Kvapil, and both crashed. It took the officials a bit, but they parked her. But before they parked her, a brawl broke out between the 2 teams. Yeah, that took a minute to stop, and of course the two teams were only 2 pits apart. Brawl #1 completed. Kvapil to the rear again.

One order was restored, the race resumed. The final laps were led by the guys that had been running 8th & 9th. Coming out of turn 4 coming to the checkers, the guy running 2nd just absolutely dumped the leader, and he wasn't able to spin across the finish line. The guy that had been running 2nd crossed the line first. The guy that got crashed got out of his car, ran across the track to pit road, looking for said offender. Now the top 3 finishers were supposed to stop on the front stretch for pictures, but the guy that crossed the line first, drove onto pit road. Big mistake!! The wrecked driver leaped off the pit wall, and started banging on his car. That was just the beginning. What seemed like 5 seconds after the car slapping, about 20 crew members started a WWE brawl. That took about 12 cops and about 15 minutes to calm down. Somebody came across the pit wall onto the front stretch, reached back across the pit wall, and rear chin locked the driver that got wrecked, and drug him back onto the front stretch away from the fray. Finally, the officials announced that the offending driver was DQ'd. So the third place car ended up winning that race. That driver? Kaden Kvapil. This guy came from last place 3 times to end up the winner. Hettinger was only 4 points behind Kvapil prior to this race. I'm not sure exactly how many points per position they get, but with just 1 race left in their season, I don't think she has much of a chance at the championship. Unless this was just the opening round in the fight.

I can't wait to watch the Late Model Stocks race!!

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Brendan Butterbean Queen led every lap, after setting fast time in qualifying. I'm sure that it won't make up for losing the last race at Tri-County, as that one paid $30K to win. This one only paid $7K. Kvapil ended up 10th. He had a 33 point lead prior to the start of this race, so that will close up after tonight. I know that a race that only had 1 leader may sound like a boring race, but except for the big wreck, it was a very good race.

It was announced that Landon Huffman will be moving to a different team for 2024. He will be team mates with Jared Fryer. I don't know what car number he'll run, but the family race team number is 75, and nobody is currently running that number this season. He's a good racer. He has normally only run at Hickory Speedway, but got his first chance at running the CARS Tour this season, about 1/3 of the way into this season. He's the guy that won the $30K race at Tri-County in Aug after Queen ran out of fuel.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I forgot to post this about the aftermath of the Hettinger/Kvapil brawl. Hettinger was parked for the final race of the season. Kvapil wins the championship. Too bad, I would really have liked to see them race for the championship in that last race. What Kvapil did was wrong, and so was Hettinger. I still believe that he would have won it, but I would have enjoyed seeing them race for it. Maybe I'm a bit slow, but I don't think they would have wrecked each other in the finally. There was nothing that either driver/team did that was good for racing that night. Having them race for it cleanly would have really helped everyone, drivers, teams, and the sport. 

I didn't hear of any penalties for the second crash/brawl. Higden doesn't run the CARS Tour typically, so I don't know what a penalty would mean to that team. Bocshelle (spelling) has been splitting time in the other car with William Sawalich, so apparently the family has some $$ to afford that. If I remember correctly, his is a Donnie Wilson car. I know that there are some that will say the brawling is ok, just let them have at it. Sponsors, ie the ones that foot a lot of the bill, probably don't think so. Without fans & sponsors, there won't be much racing to watch. Fans but tickets & merchandise to help pay purses. Sponsors buy tires and engines etc, to get you on the track. Dollars still make the world go round.

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