Matt Craig capped off a strong 2019 season in the CARS Super Late Model Tour in fitting fashion, winning the season finale at South Boston Speedway (VA) and officially claiming the tour’s championship.
Craig entered the race with a 35-point advantage over 2018 series champion Jared Fryar, meaning he only needed to start the race to secure the championship. The North Carolina driver would do much more than that, quickly taking the lead after starting second and dominating the 125-lap race.
While Craig has proven himself to be one of the top Super Late Model competitors in the Southeast, scheduling conflicts have prevented him from pursuing a CARS Tour championship until this year. He never finished worse than seventh over the eight-race season, finishing the year with two wins and six top-five finishes.
“The CARS Tour is a really great series, with really good car counts at times,” Craig told Speed51. “They put on a fantastic show, a really professional show. It feels awesome to get a CARS Tour championship.”
Craig has traveled more in 2019, and that will continue following the conclusion of the CARS Tour season. The newly-crowned champion now has his sights set on the Florida Governor’s Cup at New Smyrna Speedway (FL) before his first attempt at the Snowball Derby at Five Flags Speedway (FL).
“This win means a lot. It gives us some good momentum going into Governor’s Cup and Snowball Derby. I’ve got some really hard competition coming up in these next couple of races, so we needed a boost of confidence and momentum.”
Behind Craig, there was a thrilling battle for second between Carson Kvapil and Tate Fogleman. Kvapil ultimately won out by maintaining momentum on the high line.
Kvapil, a standout over the past two years in the Midwest Super Late Model battles, was pleased to match that level of performance in a race in the Southeast, where he has struggled in 2019.
“I was excited to be having a good run here down south,” explained Kvapil. “I haven’t had one in a while, it’s been pretty bad. I was waiting for the time when [Fogleman] got into my left-rear, but he never did and I appreciate him not jacking me up. It was fun, though, driving the wheels off the thing.”
Before the long green-flag run to close the race where Kvapil and Fogleman would duke it out for second, there was an extended red flag for cleanup from a rear-end failure for Justin Crider. Fogleman, who started on the pole, said his car handled much worse after that delay.
“After that break where the oil was on the track, we went back and it was way tighter after that,” said Fogleman. “I could get under the 35, I just couldn’t make the pass. There was no need in wrecking him or getting into him, so I just played it safe.”
Race fans who missed Saturday’s CARS Tour season finale at South Boston Speedway can visit Speed51’s Race Day Now updates by clicking here.
The CARS Tour will kick off its 2020 season on Saturday, March 7 at Southern National Motorsports Park (NC).
Unofficial Results - CARS Super Late Model Tour
South Boston Speedway - South Boston, VA
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51.com Southeast Editor - Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51.com photo