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Brent Crews, Tristan McKee Score Dramatic Wins in CARS Tour Firecracker 265 at Caraway

The zMAX CARS Tour provided plenty of drama and excitement on Wednesday night at Caraway Speedway. Both divisions saw dramatic finishes, with Brent Crews winning in the Late Model Stock Cars and Tristan McKee winning the Pro Late Model 100-lapper.

Brent Crews Muscles to Late Model Stock Victory

A restart with seven laps to go turned the 125-lap Late Model Stock feature on its head, and the fight for the win came down to the final corner.

In the end, Brent Crews executed a bump-and-run on Connor Hall in turns three and four and raced to the checkered flag in the Kevin Harvick, Inc. No. 29.

“I was racing some really good race car drivers,” said Crews. “I just want to thank the good Lord above. None of this would be possible without him. This whole KHI crew for what we’ve been through. I’ve got a new crew chief, Shannon Rursch, so thankful to have him here.

“It is what it is, right? That’s hard racing, that’s short track racing. I got moved up to the third groove probably more times than I can count on my hand. I would expect the same for him to win.”

“The best car doesn’t always win,” said Hall after finishing third. “My Autos By Nelson Group and I showed the car we prepared and brought. As far as an organization, we’re making leaps and bounds. We say we want to be one percent better every week. I think we’ve been picking it up more than that lately.”

As Hall wrestled to regain control of his car, William Byron slipped by to finish second in his first CARS Tour event since 2015. The 2024 Daytona 500 winner hopes to make more appearances in the series with JR Motorsports moving forwardd

“The racecraft is really good,” said Byron. “It’s bound to get physical at the end, especially at a track like this. It’s kind of like Martinsville. You’re parking the center of the corner, so it’s easy to get to somebody.

“I’ve watched some of these races in the last couple of years, and the racecraft is really good. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to do some more. I’d love to talk to Dale and maybe do a few a year. That would be a lot of fun. I enjoy doing the Cup stuff and Xfinity, but it’s fun to come mid-week and run something like this.”

There was an extensive red flag during the race after a wild ride for Corey Heim that ended with the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitor upside down on the frontstretch.

Heim made contact with Jacob Heafner, ultimately pinning Heim’s car on its side against the outside wall. The car then rolled over onto its roof as Heafner pulled away from the incident.

Heim climbed out of the car under his own power.

“I was falling back there for the most part,” said Heim. “I think I got my left-rear cut down the straightaway previous, and I was a little off pace. I guess the guy to my inside didn’t see me.

“I’m fine, just hanging upside down for 20 minutes, I was a little light-headed. I probably yelled at some people I shouldn’t have. All good. I feel fine, I’m just ready to go home.”

Video: Corey Heim Flips in CARS Tour Event at Caraway Speedway

Tristan McKee Wins, Tensions High After Pro Late Model Feature

Tristan McKee and Conner Jones also traded paint during the Pro Late Model portion of the Firecracker 265. Ultimately, McKee took the win, while neither young driver minced words about the on-track altercation.

The decisive restart played out with 18 laps to go. McKee gained the upper hand and pulled away for the win. In victory lane, the two drivers exchanged words before offering their respective sides during post-race interviews.

“I wasn’t excited to see that caution,” said McKee. “Coming to green, he started dooring me under caution for no reason. He showed me he didn’t really care, so I drove him hard and came out with the win.

“He wasn’t very happy, but there’s nothing for him to be mad about.”

“I don’t know why he said I doored him under caution,” said Jones. “I never did that. It’s a tough restart. I felt like he spun the tires a little bit and I got ahead of him. I got almost by him and then going into three, he doored me. Coming down here, he just drove clean into my left front.

“I just told him if he wants to race like that, his stuff will be junk next race. That’s basically it.”

Caden Kvapil finished third, followed by Jimmy Renfrew, Jr. and T.J. DeCaire.

zMAX CARS Tour Firecracker 265 Unofficial Results

Late Model Stock Cars
1 29 Brent Crews 125
2 24 William Byron 125 0.270
3 22 Connor Hall 125 0.479
4 14 Jared Fryar 125 0.716
5 8 Carson Kvapil 125 0.790
6 62 Layne Riggs 125 1.067
7 28 Connor Zilisch 125 1.212
8 7 Dylan Ward 125 1.485
9 04 Ronnie Bassett, Jr. 125 1.557
10 15 Ryan Millington 125 2.000
11 77 Treyten Lapcevich 125 2.163
12 44 Conner Jones 125 3.130
13 1 Andrew Grady 125 6.654
14 95 Jacob Heafner 124 1 Lap
15 08 Deac McCaskill 122 3 Laps
16 6 Bobby McCarty 117 8 Laps
17 16 Chad McCumbee 106 19 Laps
18 2 Bandon Pierce 102 23 Laps
19 45 Bryce Applegate 98 27 Laps
20 71 Katie Hettinger 79 46 Laps
21 97 Jason Kitzmiller 77 48 Laps
22 81 Mini Tyrrell 73 52 Laps
23 03 Brenden Queen 69 56 Laps
24 55 Corey Heim 69 56 Laps
25 23 Kade Brown 69 56 Laps
26 59 Heath Causey 64 61 Laps
Pro Late Models
1 6 Tristan McKee 100
2 44 Conner Jones 100 1.811
3 35 Caden Kvapil 100 1.987
4 00 Jimmy Renfrew, Jr. 100 4.702
5 96 T.J. DeCaire 100 4.938
6 29 Spencer Davis 100 5.764
7 51 Kaden Honeycutt 100 6.192
8 24 Jake Bollman 100 6.604
9 15 Jonathan Shafer 100 7.099
10 9 Ashton Higgins 100 7.407
11 16 Tim Sozio 100 8.359
12 03 Kyle Campbell 100 8.996
13 6B Brandon Lopez 100 9.400
14 88 Max Reeves 100 17.374
15 43H Joshua Horniman 99 1 Lap
16 2 Amber Lynn 70 30 Laps
17 97 Dylan Garner 48 52 Laps
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