CHARLOTTE, NC :: The relaunch of the CARS Tour, formerly known as the X-1R Pro Cup Series, has brought jubilation to the Late Model world but, for one current competitor, Tuesday’s announcement was disappointing.
Brian Keselowski, the older brother of 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Champion Brad Keselowski, was disappointed with the decision to split the series in to a Late Model Stock Car/Super Late Model touring series.
“I don’t know how much everyone knows how much different the cars are, I got tweets about it,” Keselowski told RACE22.com on Wednesday night. “The cars are 100 percent different. There’s not much you can do that’s any different than it is. You have to change everything in the car except the seat and steering wheel. It’s pretty frustrating especially for a series that’s been around as long as Pro Cup has been. You have to junk all these cars now. There was a push of trying to get some more cars and there were some good ideas down the line to make it a better deal and get people interested. That’s the way they decided to go.”
Keselowski said the new CARS Tour is great for Late Model racers and a good deal for the series, but felt it was a raw deal for current CARS X-1R Pro Cup Series competitors.
“If I had a Late Model or Super Late Model, I don’t think it’s a bad deal for that series. It’s just disappointing that they flat out killed the Pro Cup part of it. The fact that we had an owner meeting in September about what we’d do next year and everyone said we’d run this car and then turn around a couple months later and kill off the series is pretty surprising.”
Because the cars are significantly different from not just Late Models, but also from the cars used in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards and NASCAR K&N Pro Series, Pro Cup racers are left with few alternatives. Keselowski says the Super Cup Stock Car Series (SCSCS), which races primarily in Pennsylvania, is not one of those options since they don’t allow the Pro Cup’s composite bodies.
“My understanding is that’s an older car with the older steel-body,” Keselowski said of the SCSCS tour. “I don’t know this for sure but I don’t think you can’t run the fiberglass body. From what I’ve seen from that series, it doesn’t pay as much as the Pro Cup Series. The Pro Cup series was a decent payout, had a halfway break so you didn’t need as many pit crew members and it was local so it was a good outfit for us.”
Keselowski’s 2015 plans are now up in the air but he says ARCA’s spec-engine deal is an attractive one.