CARS Tour

The CARS Solid Rock Carriers Tour (formerly known as the USARacing Pro Cup Series, USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series, CARS Pro Cup Series, Rev-Oil Pro Cup Series, CARS X1-R Pro Cup Series) is a stock car auto racing series in the United States. It is sanctioned by the Championship Auto Racing Series and sponsored by Solid Rock Carriers. The series races throughout the United States primarily on short tracks.

CARS Solid Rock Carriers Tour
CategoryStock Cars
JurisdictionUnited States
Founded1997
HeadquartersMooresville, North Carolina
ChairmanJack McNelly
Official website
www.carsracingtour.com

HistoryEdit

The sanctioning body was formed by Hooters owner Robert Brooks. Brooks created the organization to honor the memories of four people who died in an April 1, 1993 airplane crash: Brooks' son Mark Brooks, reigning NASCAR champion Alan Kulwicki, Dan Duncan, and pilot Charlie Campbell.[1] The sanctioning body started as the Hooters Cup late model series in 1995. Brooks decided to stop sanctioning the late model series in favor of the Pro Cup series while at the September 1997 race at the Milwaukee Mile. Brooks wanted to move to steel-bodied racecars much like those raced in the NASCAR Busch Series (now NASCAR Xfinity Series) and ARCA Racing Series at the time. There were eleven races in 1997.[1] The series was expanded to twenty races in 1998.

In 2001, the series devised a "northern division" and a "southern division" that race separately. After the regular season, the top drivers from each division participate in a five-race playoff series called the Four Champions Challenge. Winners of the respective division are awarded a 25-point bonus for the playoff and a cash bonus as regular season champions. The driver who gets the most points in the Four Champions races, and the seeding points, (four races in 2001, five races from 2002 until 2005, six in 2006, 5 races in 2007) is declared the USAR champion.

At the end of the season, each of the top 30 teams that competes in at least half of the series' regular season races in their division is given entry points based on the number of points one competitor can earn for finishing in that respective position in a race. Beginning in 2006, the top 15 in each division automatically qualified. Each driver collects points for each race they participate in during the Championship Series, adding to their entry points collected from their regular season finish. A ten-point bonus is awarded for every driver who attempts to qualify at every race, although driver must race three of the six races to qualify for postseason bonus prizes. Cash bonuses are available for winning four, five, or all six postseason races. In 2003, Shane Huffman won a bonus for winning three of the five races. The success of this series led to NASCAR devising its own playoff system in 2004. The sanctioning body's owner, Robert Brooks, who also owned the Hooters restaurant chain, passed away in July of 2006,[2] leading to the eventual sale of the series and the restaurant chain's disassociation. USAR officials combined the Northern and Southern divisions in 2009. Hooters dropped its sponsorship of the series the same season, and the series later re-branded itself as the USARacing Pro Cup Series.

On August 25, 2011, Series Director and Owner Jack McNelly announced that the series would be operating under the name "Championship Auto Racing Series" (CARS Pro Cup). The series picked up title sponsorship from Revolution Oil, renaming the series the Rev-Oil Pro Cup Series through the 2013 season.

After entries began dropping through the final years of the season, during the 2014 playoff (only ten cars were entered at some races during the season with a low of four cars at Coastal Plains Raceway in Jacksonville, NC), CARS began to transition the series into a Late Model Stock Car series. Late Model Stocks (which use perimeter chassis, not to be confused with offset chassis Super Late Models) were permitted in selected races. By the end of the 2014 season, with the demise of the UARA-STARS Tour after a year's suspension, CARS effectively transitioned the Pro Cup into the CARS Tour which effectively absorbed the former UARA tour by adding a division for Late Model Stocks (the perimeter style cars run at places like Martinsville and most tracks in the southeast) and Super Late Models (the types of cars run in the Snowball Derby, Winchester 400, Oxford 250, among other races nationally). The new two-division format started in the 2015 season, with car counts averaging 55 cars per stop in the ten-race tour combined.

The sanctioning body once again broke the mold in 2015 by becoming the first asphalt tour to carry its own streaming and broadcast service, CARS Tour TV, a division of Pit Row Media and their Pit Row TV brand. For the first time in asphalt late model history, an entire tour's schedule was broadcast online and has been since the tour's re-inception in 2015. Pit Row Media has a long-term agreement with the tour to produce and carry event broadcasts, including syndication agreements to REV TV in Canada, SPEED SPORT on MAVTV in the USA, and other networks and distribution partners.

The new format consisted of a 100-150 lap race in each division. The Super Late Model Tour has a working relationship with the United Super Late Model Rules Alliance, which consists of the ARCA/CRA Super Series, ARCA Midwest Tour, SRL Southwest Tour and the Southern Super Series for a common Super Late Model rules package to establish teams in any of the major tours can run all series with few changes.

After three seasons with the format, CARS split the two divisions on selected weekends beginning in 2018, in order to prevent conflicts with major Super Late Model and Late Model Stock races from a regional and national basis.

In 2021, the Late Model Stock Tour had plans to once again visit Rockingham Speedway, formerly known as "The Rock" during its NASCAR days, reviving the dormant track for a second time under new ownership and management. [3]

2021 CARS TOUR ScheduleEdit

Date Track Location Divisions
March 6 Dillon Motor Speedway Dillon, South Carolina LMSC
March 20 Hickory Motor Speedway Hickory, North Carolina LMSC, SLM
April 10 Greenville-Pickens Speedway Greenville, South Carolina SLM (with Southern Super Series)
April 24-25 Orange County Speedway Rougemont, North Carolina LMSC
May 7 Ace Speedway Elon, North Carolina LMSC
May 8 Fairgrounds Speedway Nashville, Tennessee SLM
(with Southern Super Series and ARCA/CRA Super Series)
May 22 Caraway Speedway Asheboro, North Carolina LMSC
June 5 Langley Speedway Langley, Virginia LMSC
June 5 Bristol Motor Speedway Bristol, Tennessee SLM (with Southern Super Series and ARCA/CRA Super Series)
June 19 Dominion Raceway Thornburg, Virginia LMSC
July 3 Jennerstown Speedway Complex Jennerstown, Pennsylvania SLM (with ARCA/CRA Super Series)
July 31 Hickory Motor Speedway Hickory, North Carolina LMSC, SLM
August 14 Wake County Speedway Raleigh, North Carolina LMSC
August 28 Motor Mile Speedway Fairlawn, Virginia LMSC, SLM
September 11 Tri-County Speedway Hudson, North Carolina LMSC, SLM
October 2 Florence Motor Speedway Timmonsville, South Carolina LMSC
October 16 South Boston Speedway South Boston, Virginia LMSC, SLM
October 30 [a] Rockingham Speedway Rockingham, North Carolina LMSC

CARS Tour Champions (1997 - Present)Edit

Late Model and Super Late Model formatEdit

Year Late Model Stock Super Late Model
2015 Brayton Haws Cole Timm
2016 Deac McCaskill Raphaël Lessard
2017 Josh Berry Cole Rouse
2018 Bobby McCarty Jared Fryar
2019 Bobby McCarty Matt Craig
2020 Jared Fryar Matt Craig

Four Champions Playoff ProCup ChampionsEdit

The following drivers won the Four Champions playoff series after the series was split into two divisions:

ProCup Series ChampionsEdit

CARS Tour Rookies of the YearEdit

CARS Tour Rookies of the Year (LMSC)Edit

ProCup Rookies of the YearEdit

Notable alumni, competitors and graduates (1995 - Present)Edit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Race was postponed from its original date of March 6 because of severe tire wear issues discovered during two separate tire tests in December 2020 by the sanctioning body and tire supplier Continental AG over safety issues. The series and Continental engineers will work to develop a harder compound tire specifically for the circuit to assure teams can hold the 75 lap, 76.275 mile event on two sets of tires as is the case for most 75 mile or 150 lap races, instead of three.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "tricklefan.com". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-06-30.
  2. ^ Martin, Douglas (2006-07-18). "Robert H. Brooks, 69, Owner of Hooters Restaurant Chain, Is Dead (Published 2006)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  3. ^ Austin, Langley. "Hansen, Stodder Partner to Reopen Rockingham for CARS Tour in March | race22.com". Retrieved 2020-11-17.
  4. ^ Matt Kenseth Biography at his official website Archived 2008-05-12 at the Wayback Machine; 2008; Retrieved April 30, 2008

External linksEdit