Mooresville, NC – For the second consecutive year, the CARS Tour will have the “Touring 12” program in place for drivers making the commitment to run the full season of events. The 2019 CARS Tour Touring 12 lineup features seven returning teams from a season ago, including three of the four CARS Late Model Stock champions since the series inception in 2015.
“We had a record season last year as a series and I’m confident a lot of that had to do with the Touring 12 program we started. While last year’s inaugural group was hard to decide on, this year was even tougher with the applicants we had to choose from. The talent level of this year’s class is the best in Late Model Stock racing right now,” explained CARS Tour owner Jack McNelly. “We want to thank everyone that applied to the program this year. This decision is never easy, but we feel like we have a great group of drivers and teams that fans at every track can look forward to seeing compete.”
The selection process considered multiple factors including CARS Tour team loyalty, marketability, future development of the CARS Tour and its fan base, and the ability to fulfill the Touring 12 guidelines throughout the 2019 season.
All teams that are not a part of the Touring 12 program in 2019 will all be eligible for the Loyalty Bonus Program. Any team that competes in three (3) consecutive races at any time on the 2019 schedule will receive a $500 bonus added to their purse check after the third race. In addition, any team that competes in every event on the 2019 schedule will receive an additional $500 bonus at the season finale at South Boston.
2019 CARS Late Model Stock Car Tour “Touring 12”
Josh Berry – Mooresville, NC – JR Motorsports
Tour veteran Josh Berry returns to the CARS Tour full time again for the 2019 season driving for Dale Earnhardt Jr’s JR Motorsports team. Berry, the most successful driver in CARS Late Model Stock Tour history, was the 2017 series champion, and is atop of the history books with the most wins (14) and $111,203 in winnings credited to his name.
JR Motorsports second full time entry will once again be a part of the Touring 12 program in 2019. Last year the car was driven by Sam Mayer, this year Adam Lemke from Hollister, California will compete as a TORP Chassis Rookie of the Year contender. The 16 year old was the 2018 USAC Western Midget Series champion and took home Rookie of the Year honors at Madera Speedway in the Pro Late Model division.
Layne Riggs – Bahama, NC – Scott Riggs Enterprises
Three time series winner Layne Riggs, son of former NASCAR driver Scott Riggs, looks for an opportunity to get back to chasing the CARS Tour championship in 2019. The Bahama, NC driver suffered an off track shoulder injury that took him out of contention for the championship hunt in 2018 but still managed a 6th in points.
Trevor Ward – Winston Salem, NC – MK Racing
In 2018 Trevor Ward competed full time on the tour in his rookie season. After a slow start to the year Ward and his family owned team peaked to close out the year. Ward scored his first career top five finish and lead laps at his home track of Ace Speedway, scored an MPI Steering Wheel Hard Charger award on his way to a 7th place finish at South Boston in the season finale and finished 4th at Martinsville in a non-CARS Tour sanctioned event, in what was career run for the Winston-Salem driver.
Brandon Pierce – Oak Ridge, NC – Lee Pulliam Performance
Brandon Pierce return to the CARS Tour after his rookie season. This season Pierce returns with a new team that will be a part of the Touring 12 program in 2019. After finishing 9th in the driver standings with Nelson Motorsports in 2018 Pierce has moved over to the Lee Pulliam Performance stable for the upcoming season.
Bobby McCarty – Summerfield, NC – Nelson Motorsports
McCarty scored the 2018 CARS Late Model Stock Tour championship, winning four races while driving for powerhouse team Nelson Motorsports. The Summerfield, NC driver has catapulted his name to being in the conversation as one of the best drivers in Late Model Stock racing right now. McCarty will look to do what no driver has ever done in any CARS Tour division – repeat as a tour champion.
Craig Moore – Rougemont, NC – Craig Moore Racing
Craig Moore is another driver/owner combo returning to the program for the second consecutive year. Moore had a disappointing 2018 season that saw some strong runs but no racing luck. That all changed at the season finale in South Boston when he shocked many in attendance by scoring an impressive first career CARS Tour win.
Mini Tyrrell – Manassas, VA – Timmy Tyrrell Racing
New to the tour after becoming age eligible in 2018, Mini Tyrrell, competed in the season finale at South Boston a season ago. The Manassas, VA youngster has been competing in Late Model Stocks for several years, but will compete for TORP Chassis Rookie of the Year honors this season on the CARS Tour circuit.
Ronald Hill – Rougemont, NC – Ronald Hill Racing
Ronald “The Thrill” Hill once again returns for his fourth full time season on the CARS Tour. The well-known veteran driver from Rougemont, NC finished 7th in series standings in 2018 and also scored his best career finish of 2nd at Myrtle Beach.
Bradley McCaskill – Wendell, NC – Renfrow-McCaskill Racing
Bradley McCaskill and his Renfrow-McCaskill Racing team return to the tour after a disappointing 2018 season. McCaskill, who is one of seventeen drivers in CARS Late Model Stock Tour history to score a win, looks to get his team back on track for the 2019 calendar year.
Deac McCaskill – Raleigh, NC – Boyce McCaskill
All time CARS Tour starts leader (44), Deac McCaskill, and his family owned team join the Touring 12 program for the first time in 2019. In addition to the most starts, McCaskill was the 2016 series champion and has the second most wins and career winnings in series history. McCaskill looks to get back to championship form after finishing 3rd in the standings with one win a season ago.
Justin Carroll – Concord, NC – John Carroll
Another family owned driver/team combo that will be new to the Touring 12 group in 2019 is 2017 Throwback 276 winner Justin Carroll. The Concord, NC driver has twelve tour starts to his credit with four coming each year dating back to the 2016 season. Carroll will finally make the jump to full time CARS Tour competition this season.
For additional information on the CARS Late Model Stock Tour and the CARS Super Late Model Tour visit www.carsracingtour.com. Be sure to stay active and social with the tour by liking “CARS Tour” on Facebook, following @CARSTour on Twitter, and scrolling through photos on Instagram cars_tour. Additional series information can be obtained by calling the CARS Tour series office, located in Mooresville, NC, at 704.662.9212.
-CARS Tour Press Release
-Photo credit: Speed51.com