The Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour announced Monday that the series has been acquired by NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr. as well as other prominent NASCAR figures Kevin Harvick, Jeff Burton, and Justin Marks. The purchase puts the southeast's premier late model asphalt touring series in the hands of several of stock car racing's most influential figures.
The CARS Tour was founded in 2014 as a continuation of the former USAR Pro Cup Series and competes regionally on asphalt short tracks throughout Virginia and the Carolinas with both Pro Late Model and Late Model Stock divisions. The series was owned by Jack McNelly, who will continue to oversee operations and track events under new ownership.
In a press release, it was stated that the new ownership contingent "will collectively aim to bolster the health and longevity of the CARS Tour by providing proficiencies in brand management, business strategy and partnership acquisition and retention."
"This is a dream come true for me," read a statement by Earnhardt. "I'm a huge fan of the CARS Tour and local short-track racing. The competition, the tracks, and the drivers are some of the best around. These regional series are vital to the quality of racing you see at the top level. Jack has done a tremendous job establishing the CARS Tour as a preeminent series, and I'm thrilled to be part of its future."
Through nine seasons so far, the CARS Tour has served as an important springboard for short track racers to the national level. Former CARS Tour competitors currently racing full-time in NASCAR include William Byron, Harrison Burton, Ty Gibbs, Josh Berry and more.
The 2023 CARS Tour season will begin March 11 at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, N.C., kicking off a season that also includes stops at Hickory Motor Speedway, North Wilkesboro Speedway, South Boston Speedway and more. Carson Kvapil is the defending late model stock champion, while Luke Fenhaus earned the 2022 title in the pro late model division.