Carson Kvapil is not one to shy away from a new racing challenge. The son of former NASCAR Cup Series competitor Travis Kvapil will make his ARCA Menards Series East debut on February 8 at New Smyrna Speedway.
Kvapil will be competing for Cook-Finley Racing in his first race in the ARCA Menards Series stock cars. It is an opportunity which has been a long time coming for the North Carolina native.
“I’m really excited,” Kvapil told Speed51. “I’m glad to get this opportunity to race for Bruce Cook. I’ve been waiting for the past year to get an opportunity like this, and finally it came along. Hopefully we can do good and get our name out there.”
Kvapil tested the car earlier this month as part of a very busy “offseason,” which saw him compete in both the Tulsa Shootout and the Lucas Oil Chili Bowl Nationals. In fact, Kvapil tested the ARCA car during Chili Bowl week, following his preliminary night.
As a former winner on the ARCA Midwest Tour in Super Late Models as well as last year’s Carolina Pro Late Model Series champion, Kvapil’s biggest adjustment will come in adjusting to the heavier stock cars.
“To me, the tire felt a lot different. It was surprising. It has 600 horsepower, and Supers do, too. Supers go way faster. You can’t put the power down as well. They’re heavy stock cars.
“I think we’ll do pretty good. The car was fast, and I got acclimated pretty quickly to it. You never know, going against new competition and driving a new car. We should be good, but you never know.”
The busy winter months have kept Kvapil occupied, for better and worse. While he has enjoyed the seat time, it has also led to less time in the family shop preparing for the upcoming season of racing.
“It’s really good to keep up on racing, but it also kinda sucks. We’ve been building a new car, we built our fourth car. We’re getting it done today or tomorrow. We don’t have much time and we’ve been thrashing to get this one together.”
Kvapil hopes to be able to complete the full ARCA Menards Series East campaign, although there are only plans for the first few races of the season at this time.
“I hope we can do the full season. Right now, we have just the first two or three races planned. Usually, when we’ve run just one or two races, we end up doing the full season. Hopefully, I can drive the full East season.”
He will also enjoy a busy season on both dirt and pavement, competing in Micro Sprints, Super Late Models and potentially Midgets while also taking part in younger brother’s Caden Kvapil first full season of Pro Late Model racing.
“I’ll be running the full CARS Tour season for the Supers, so we’ll be busy on that. I’m sure we’ll run some big Super races in Wisconsin, Florida, stuff like that. I’ll be running Micro Sprints at Millbridge, and maybe a few Midget races for Marc Dailey. During all that, my brother is going to run the full Carolina Pro Late Model Series, so we’ll stay busy.”
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans
-Photo credit: Speed51 Photo