Carson Kvapil, the son of former NASCAR Truck Series champion Travis Kvapil, picked up his first Super Late Model win Saturday night at Golden Sands Speedway (WI). The 15-year-old driver became the second youngest driver to win an ARCA Midwest Tour event and did so by beating a handful of veteran drivers.
“The competition is really hard on the tour and everyone is so fast, from first to 25th is like two tenths off, so it’s super close racing,” Kvapil told Speed51.com. “You gotta qualify pretty good, you gotta have a good car for the heat race, and you gotta have a really good car for the race so you can drive up through the field. I started outside, so I fell back a little and then I just drove my way back up, passed everyone and picked ‘em off one by one.”
Derek Kraus jumped out to the early lead before relinquishing it to Chris Weinkauf on lap 31. From there Weinkauf put some distance on the field, but Kvapil was working his way up through the field after falling back to 10th early on. The Mooresville, North Carolina driver got up to second position just past the halfway point, and when the caution flew on lap 68 it eliminated the huge advantage Weinkauf held on the field.
Kvapil chose the bottom on the restart, electing to start behind Weinkauf. Kvapil got a good run and wasted no time taking over the top spot.
“I just knew I had to race him hard. I knew getting down he’d try to chop me off, but I just stayed in there and made it happen,” Kvapil commented. “I just knew I had to be aggressive and get it done so then I could conserve my tires.”
While Kvapil maintained his lead, Weinkauf made contact with third-place Dalton Zehr, sending Weinkauf to the rear and Zehr to the pits.
“I think we were just going for the same spots,” Weinkauf said. “I hate it for Dalton and I hate it for our guys too. I thought we had a good car in the beginning of the race, I really did. They did say that Kvapil was coming, but I was just saving as much as I could there.”
The incident between Weinkauf and Zehr moved Travis Sauter, who started 11th, up to the outside of the front row, but he was no match for the No. 35 of Kvapil. The young driver held off Sauter on another late race, single-file restart to claim his first ARCA Midwest Tour win.
“Those cars, all of them, whatever Toby is working on right now are really good right now and obviously, Carson’s a pretty good shoe to just come and run that good right away,” Sauter said. “Little bit frustrating, but way better than where we were the last couple years.”
Ryan Farrell, Jonathan Eilen and Billy Mohn completed the top five when the dust settled Saturday night.
Race fans can find on-demand coverage of Saturday’s race by visiting Speed51.com’s Speed Central.
-Story by Jana Wimmer, Speed51.com Midwest Editor
-Photo credit: Speed51.com
ARCA Midwest Tour Unofficial Results
Golden Sands Speedway (WI) – August 18, 2018
1 35 Carson Kvapil
2 5S Travis Sauter
3 80 Ryan Farrell
4 77 Jonathan Eilen
5 8M Billy Mohn
6 71 Mark Eswein
7 39 Andrew Morrissey
8 5J Casey Johnson
9 44 Justin Mondeik
10 7D John DeAngelis Jr.
11 14 Austin Nason
12 22G MG Gajewski
13 75H Dillion Hammond
14 9 Derek Kraus
15 15S Gabe Sommers
16 5B John Beale
17 75W Chris Weinkauf
18 76W Jason Weinkauf
19 45 Rich Bickle Jr.
20 5H Jeff Holmgren Jr
21 15 Dean LaPointe
22 119 Dalton Zehr
23 81S Bryan Syer Keske
24 25 Wyatt Brooks
25 7S Paul Shafer Jr.