Race Weekend Central

Carson Kvapil Misses Out on 1st Career Xfinity Win at Dover

DOVER, Del. – Carson Kvapil was less than two laps away from earning career win No. 1 in the NASCAR Xfinity Series in just career start No. 2 Saturday (April 27) at Dover Motor Speedway.

Nevertheless, the field knew he was there.

Kvapil had taken the lead with just eight laps to go on a bold three-wide move underneath ex-teammates Austin Hill and Sheldon Creed, who had battled ahead of him for several laps prior.

“You don’t want to put [them] three-wide, right?” Kvapil told Frontstretch after the race. “But I feel like that was my only opportunity to get clean air for the lead. So I felt like I kind of had to do it, and I had such a good run.”

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Ryan Truex Goes Back-to-Back at Dover After Double OT Finish

As the field piled up behind them to bring out another caution and force the race into overtime, Kvapil chose the outside on the ensuing restart. Hill restarted under him, but couldn’t hold his car underneath Kvapil’s No. 88 in turns 1 and 2 and ended up spinning out.

That forced another overtime restart, where Kvapil again chose the outside, this time with Ryan Truex underneath him. Truex was able to pull even with Kvapil down the backstretch, and sent his car into turn 3 well enough to take the lead outright off of turn 4.

As Truex and Kvapil took the white, Justin Allgaier, Kvapil’s JR Motorsports teammate, cut a tire and hit the outside wall off of turn 4. A caution was quickly called – as it was already the final lap, the race was over, leaving Kvapil no chance to try to get the win back. He would have to settle for a still-impressive second.

As Truex celebrated winning back-to-back Xfinity races at Dover, Kvapil quietly pulled into pit lane. A runner-up finish looks good on the stat sheet, no question. But it could have been so much more for the second-generation driver.

“I’m happy, but at the same time I’m pretty bummed out,” said Kvapil.

His father Travis Kvapil had similar thoughts, but was really pleased with the positives that came out of his son’s career run.

“At the end of the day, he finished second, contending for the win, [to] come from [starting] 26th,” the elder Kvapil told Frontstretch. “All things considered, it’s a pretty amazing day.”

Carson started 26th after a poor qualifying effort, despite showing speed in practice. While he didn’t earn any stage points (not that it matters for him as a part-timer), he was a mainstay in the top 10 after the rain hit with around 40 laps to go.

He ended up leading 14 laps for some sort of consolation. He now has two top fives in his first two Xfinity starts after finishing fourth in his debut back at Martinsville Speedway.

“I felt like our car was pretty good all day,” Kvapil said. “We were a top five car all day on speed, and we were able to drive through the field.”

Despite the heartbreak, Kvapil leaves Dover having learned a lot. Along with the Xfinity race, he also competed in the ARCA Menards Series race Friday night (April 26), finishing third in a second car for Pinnacle Racing Group.

See also
Connor Zilisch Earns 1st ARCA Win at Dover

While he doesn’t know when his next Xfinity start is, running two races in one weekend proved to be very beneficial for the 20-year-old.

“Every week that I run this car I just learn so much more,” he said. “I’m way more prepared for the next time I get the opportunity to run this.

“It’s just all about laps.”

For Travis, the day may not have ended in victory lane for his son, but it’s still a proud father moment for the 2003 Craftsman Truck Series champion.

“Super proud [of him],” said Travis. “You get these opportunities, and they’re hard to get. You have to take advantage of them. He did that at Martinsville, he did it here.

“Since he was nine, 10 years old, I knew there was magic there. Now he’s getting to show it on the big stage to everybody, finally.”

About the author

Anthony Damcott joined Frontstretch in March 2022. Currently, he is an editor and co-authors Fire on Fridays (Fridays); he is also the primary Truck Series reporter/writer. A proud West Virginia Wesleyan College alum from Akron, Ohio, Anthony is now a grad student. He is a theatre actor and fight-choreographer-in-training in his free time. He is a loyal fan of the Cincinnati Reds and Carolina Panthers, still hopeful for a championship at some point in his lifetime.

You can keep up with Anthony by following @AnthonyDamcott on Twitter.

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