NASCAR Heavy-Hitters Joins Forces & Acquire Racing Series

Kevin Harvick

Getty Dale Earnhardt Jr. (left) & Kevin Harvick (right) celebrate a win.

A group of NASCAR icons has turned heads with a big move. Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick, and Justin Marks have teamed up to acquire the CARS Tour ahead of its 2023 season.

The CARS Tour announced the news on January 9 with a press release. The group will take over ownership of the Late Model series while founder Jack McNelly and his staff will continue to oversee operations. The ownership group will try to ensure the health of the series “by providing proficiencies in brand management, business strategy, and partnership acquisition and retention.”

This is a dream come true for me,” Earnhardt said in the press release. “I’m a huge fan of the CARS Tour and local short-track racing. The competition, the tracks, and the drivers are some of the best around.

“These regional series are vital to the quality of racing you see at the top level. Jack has done a tremendous job establishing the CARS Tour as a preeminent series, and I’m thrilled to be part of its future.”

Every New Owner Has a History in Grassroots Racing

Jeff Burton

GettyJeff Burton has joined the CARS Tour ownership group.

There are multiple reasons why the new owners are fitting options to take over the CARS Tour. They have all competed on the race track in a variety of vehicles. They also each have a successful business unit focused on growing the sport — EJ Management, Jeff Burton Autosports, Inc., Kevin Harvick, Inc., and Trackhouse Racing.

Along with their respective backgrounds and businesses, these drivers have all expressed appreciation for Late Model short track racing. Earnhardt, in particular, has taken part in recent events at North Wilkesboro Speedway and Florence Motor Speedway.

Both Earnhardt and Burton spent time competing in Late Model races across the Southeast before taking on the top series in NASCAR. Harvick did so over on the West Coast before kicking off his 60-win Cup Series career.

Marks has a background in some sports car series, but he has also competed in several Late Model races while becoming a successful owner in NASCAR’s top division.

“This is something I’m really excited about, not only for Trackhouse and the initiatives that we’re pursuing, but for short-track racing in general,” Marks added in the press release. “Asphalt Late Model racing truly is the foundation of NASCAR and bringing a group like this together will serve the racer and fan.

“The CARS Tour is so important to the racing scene in the Southeast, and this group can bring a wealth of experience, knowledge, and passion to the series that will ensure authentic and valuable growth in the years to come.”

The CARS Tour Has Featured Some Big Names

Helping the CARS Tour grow is important for the future of NASCAR considering the names that have risen through the ranks. There have been several drivers that have achieved success in the series before moving up to a national series.

Josh Berry is the most prominent recent example. He competed in Late Models for JR Motorsports, and he racked up wins in some prestigious events before moving up to the Xfinity Series and becoming a championship contender.

The list also includes current Cup Series drivers in Harrison Burton, William Byron, and Ty Gibbs. Xfinity Series drivers Myatt Snider and Sam Mayer also competed in the CARS Tour before making their way to NASCAR.

This trend should only continue into the future as promising drivers continue to compete in the CARS Tour and battle at some standout short tracks. Though the expectation is that the new ownership group should only further benefit the series.

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