Jacob Heafner (95) will be one of at least four contenders for the CARS Tour Rookie of the Year Award during the 2018 season. Corey Latham Photo

For the first time in series history, the CARS Late Model Stock Tour will crown a Rookie of the Year (ROTY) in 2018 with the support of TORP Chassis. The inaugural program will showcase series newcomers over the course of a season, with the highest finishing ROTY contender in the series championship points standings taking home $1,000 cash bonus at the championship banquet.

To be eligible to compete for rookie of the year, a driver cannot have made more than six (6) total career CARS Tour starts, not have won a NASCAR All-American national championship, not have won a major Late Model stock event, or have competed in a division higher than Late Model Stock Cars. All final eligibility decisions will be determined directly by CARS Tour officials.

“A big thanks goes to TORP Chassis for stepping up to the table to make this happen this year. This is something we’ve wanted to do for the last couple of years but we just haven’t had the right partner to make it happen, now we do, and it couldn’t be a more perfect year for it because we should have a good class of rookies this year,” explained CARS Tour Series Director, Chris Ragle.

The incoming class of rookies that Ragle mentions is one that is expected to turn heads during competition this season. Newcomer Jacob Heafner is expected to compete for the new award in 2018 driving for 2017 Throwback 276 race winner Justin Carroll. The Dallas, NC driver comes from the legend car ranks and should transition fine with the guidance of Carroll in his corner. Touring 12 drivers Sam Mayer, driving for JR Motorsports, and Grayson Cullather, driving for Tommy Lemons Jr.’s Jumpstart Motorsports teams, are another pair that will battle all season for the top prize.

Nelson Motorsports driver Brandon Pierce will transition from running at just South Boston Speedway like he did a season ago and will compete for the CARS Tour championship and the TORP Chassis ROTY honors. Several other contenders are expected to file their ROTY intentions in the coming days leading up the season opener at Tri-County on March 10th. Drivers have until the third race of the season (Wake County 4/7) to notify CARS Tour officials of their intention to compete for the title.

In addition to the $10,000 to win Late Model Stock race at Tri-County, a 75 lap Limited Late Model race is expected to draw a large field as well. The race will pay $13,100 in prize money with $2,500 going to the winner. Limited teams wanting to compete in the event can enter online in advance via the CARS Tour website www.carsracingtour.com. Entry fee for the LLM race is $100 if submitted online by 4pm on March 6th. An additional late fee of $50 will be added to all entries past the pre-entry deadline period.

The event schedule and tickets are on sale now at www.carsracingtour.com. Fans planning on attending the event need to bring their Mtn Dew products to the gate the day of the race for $3 off general admission tickets. Additional discounts on general admission tickets, Mtn Dew four packs (4 tickets, 4 hot dogs, 4 tickets: $60), and Pepsi Park It (2 tickets, 1 parking spot: $45) trackside parking spots are also available online only.

For additional information on the CARS Late Model Stock Tour and the CARS Super Late Model Tour visit www.carsracingtour.com. Be sure to stay active and social with the tour by liking “CARS Tour” on Facebook, following @CARSTour on Twitter, and scrolling through photos on Instagram cars_tour. Additional series information can be obtained by calling the CARS Tour series office, located in Mooresville, NC, at 704.662.9212.