|Headquarters||Mooresville, North Carolina|
CARS Tour (formerly known as the USARacing Pro Cup Series, USAR Hooters Pro Cup Series, CARS Pro Cup Series, Rev-Oil Pro Cup Series and CARS X1-R Pro Cup Series) is a stock car auto racing series in the United States. It is sanctioned by the Championship Auto Racing Series. The series races throughout the United States primarily on short tracks.
The sanctioning body was formed by Hooters owner Robert Brooks. Brooks created the organization to honor the memories of four people who died in an April 1, 1993 airplane crash: Brooks' son Mark Brooks, reigning NASCAR champion Alan Kulwicki, Dan Duncan, and pilot Charlie Campbell. The sanctioning body started a late model series. Brooks decided to stop sanctioning the late model series in favor of the Pro Cup series while at the September 1997 race at the Milwaukee Mile. Brooks wanted to move to steel-bodied racecars. There were eleven races in 1997. The series was expanded to twenty races in 1998.
In 2001, the series devised a "northern division" and a "southern division" that race separately. After the regular season, the top drivers from each division participate in a five race playoff series called the Four Champions Challenge. Winners of the respective division are awarded a 25-point bonus for the playoff and a cash bonus as regular season champions. The driver who gets the most points in the Four Champions races, and the seeding points, (four races in 2001, five races from 2002 until 2005, six in 2006, 5 races in 2007) is declared the USAR champion.
At the end of the season, each of the top 30 teams that competes in at least half of the series' regular season races in their division is given entry points based on the number of points one competitor can earn for finishing in that respective position in a race. Beginning in 2006, the top 15 in each division automatically qualified. Each driver collects points for each race they participate in during the Championship Series, adding to their entry points collected from their regular season finish. A ten-point bonus is awarded for every driver who attempts to qualify at every race, although driver must race three of the six races to qualify for postseason bonus prizes. Cash bonuses are available for winning four, five, or all six postseason races. In 2003, Shane Huffman won a bonus for winning three of the five races. The success of this series led to NASCAR devising its own playoff system in 2004. USAR officials combined the Northern and Southern divisions in 2009. Hooters dropped its sponsorship of the series the same season, and the series later re-branded itself as the USARacing Pro Cup Series.
On August 25, 2011, Series Director and Owner Jack McNelly announced that the series would be operating under the name "Championship Auto Racing Series" (CARS Pro Cup). The series picked up title sponsorship from Revolution Oil, renaming the series the Rev-Oil Pro Cup Series through the 2013 season.
After entries began dropping through the final years of the season, during the 2014 playoff (only ten cars were entered at some races during the season), CARS began to transition the series into a Late Model series. Late Models (which use perimeter chassis, not to be confused with offset chassis Super Late Models, such as NASCAR-sanctioned Late Models in the Southeast, which run in the All-American 400 in Nashville and the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 in Martinsville) were permitted in selected races. By the end of the 2014 season, with the demise of the UARA-Stars Super Late Model series after a year's suspension, CARS effectively transitioned the Pro Cup into the CARS Late Model Tour and effectively absorbed the former UARA tour by adding a division for Super Late Models (cars that run in the Snowball Derby, Winchester 400, Oxford 250, among other races nationally). The new two-division format started in the 2015 season, with car counts averaging 55 cars per stop in the ten-race tour combined.
The new format consists of a 150 lap race in each division. The Super Late Model Tour has a working relationship with the United Super Late Model Rules Alliance, which consists of the ARCA/CRA and the Southern Super Series for a common Super Late Model rules to establish teams in any of the three tours can run all three series with few changes. The SRL Southwest Tour has also announced plans in 2016 to permit such cars to race on their tour, effectively running a single set of Super Late Model rules for all four tours.
After three seasons with the format, CARS will split the two divisions on selected weekends in 2018, in order to prevent conflicts with major Super Late Model and Late Model races from a regional and national basis. The Nashville, Bristol, and Anderson (SC) Super Late Model races will be combination races with various tours. The Bristol races are part of the Short Track Nationals event in May.
2019 CARS TOUR Schedule
|March 9||Southern National Motorsports Park||Kenly, North Carolina||LMSC, SLM|
|March 23||Hickory Motor Speedway||Hickory, North Carolina||LMSC, SLM|
|April 6-7||Orange County Speedway||Rougemont, North Carolina||LMSC|
|May 3||Ace Speedway||Elon, North Carolina||LMSC|
|May 4||Fairgrounds Speedway||Nashville, Tennessee||SLM (with Southern and ARCA/CRA Super Series)|
|May 18||Motor Mile Speedway||Radford, Virginia||LMSC, SLM|
|June 1||Bristol Motor Speedway||Bristol, Tennessee||LMSC, SLM (with Southern and ARCA/CRA Super Series)|
|June 8||Langley Speedway||Langley, Virginia||LMSC|
|June 22||Dominion Raceway||Thornburg, Virginia||LMSC|
|July 13||Carteret County Speedway||Swansboro, North Carolina||LMSC|
|August 2-3||Hickory Motor Speedway||Hickory, North Carolina||LMSC, SLM|
|August 24||Orange County Speedway||Rougemont, North Carolina||LMSC, SLM|
|November 2||South Boston Speedway||South Boston, Virginia||LMSC, SLM|
|November 16||Dominion Raceway Road Course||Thornburg, Virginia||LMSC|
CARS Tour Champions
Late Model and Super Late Model format
|Year||Late Model||Super LM|
|2015||Brayton Haws||Cole Timm|
|2016||Deac McCaskill||Raphaël Lessard|
|2017||Josh Berry||Cole Rouse|
|2018||Bobby McCarty||Jared Fryar|
Four Champions Playoff Champions
The following drivers won the Four Champions playoff series after the series was split into two divisions:
- 2014 Caleb Holman
- 2013 Clay Rogers
- 2012 J.P. Morgan
- 2011 Jeff Agnew
- 2010 Clay Rogers
- 2009 Clay Rogers
- 2008 Benny Gordon
- 2007 Bobby Gill
- 2006 Clay Rogers
- 2005 Benny Gordon
- 2004 Clay Rogers
- 2003 Shane Huffman
- 2002 Jason Sarvis
- 2001 Bobby Gill
Rookies of the Year
- 2014 Codie Rohrbaugh
- 2013 Brady Boswell
- 2012 Dalton Hopkins
- 2011 Blake Jones
- 2010 Logan Ruffin
- 2009 Lucas Ransone
- 2008 Drew Herring
- 2007 Brandon Ward
- 2006 Derek Kale
- 2005 Woody Howard
- 2004 Matt Carter
- 2003 Benny Gordon
- 2002 Brian Ross
- 2001 Toby Robertson
- 2000 Brian Vickers
- 1999 Steven Christian
- 1998 Jeff Agnew
- 1997 [Brad May
Other notable alumni
- Matt Kenseth
- Trevor Bayne
- Todd Peck
- Joey Logano
- Brian Vickers
- James Buescher
- Landon Cassill
- Regan Smith
- Chase Elliott
- Brian Scott
- Jeb Burton
- Joey Coulter
- Cale Gale
- Dakoda Armstrong
- John Wes Townley
- Rodney Childers
- Scott Riggs
- Benny Gordon
- Joe Nemechek
- Buckshot Jones
- Chad Chaffin
- Kertus Davis
- Justin Labonte
- Danny O'Quinn
- Scott Wimmer
- Jon Wood
- George Ingole
The following are some of the current regular drivers:
- Todd Gilliland, third-generation West Coast Gilliland family (NASCAR West)
- Josh Berry, driver for Dale Earnhardt, Jr.'s Late Model team
- Kyle Grissom, son of 1993 NASCAR Xfinity Series champion Steve
- Christopher Bell, Kyle Busch Motorsports NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver, in selected KBM Super Late Model races
- Steve Wallace, son of Rusty Wallace, NASCAR Hall of Fame.
- Tommy Lemons, Jr., Martinsville 300 Late Model winner
- Stefan Parsons, son of Phil and nephew of NASCAR Hall of Fame member Benny Parsons.
- Myatt Snider, son of NASCAR on NBC reporter Marty Snider.
- Stephen Leicht, former NASCAR Sprint Cup Rookie of the Year.
- Timothy Peters, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series driver.
- Brandon Setzer, son of NASCAR Xfinity Series race winner Dennis.
- Jared Irvan, son of Daytona 500 winner Ernie.
- Layne Riggs, son of former NASCAR driver Scott Riggs.
- Official CARS Racing Tours Website
- Unofficial CARS Pro Cup Website
- CARS Pro Cup Series stats from 1997 to present
- USAR history, written in 1999 and 2002, accessed June 2006
- Insight to new Pro Cup owners