Dean Thompson
(Photo: Ed Zurga/ARCA Racing)

NOTEBOOK: Dean Thompson gearing up for three races in two days at Charlotte

Kyle Larson won’t be the only driver with a busy Memorial Day weekend.

NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series competitor Dean Thompson is set to participate in three events at Charlotte Motor Speedway between Friday and Saturday. Along with his usual Truck Series duties, Thompson will compete in the ARCA Menards Series General Tire 150 with Venturini Motorsports while also making his NASCAR Xfinity Series debut in a Sam Hunt Racing Toyota Saturday afternoon.

Thompson’s journey encompasses 650 planned miles across the two days, but the native of Anaheim, California, is ready to embrace the challenge and gain more experience between the different disciplines.

“I’ve put a lot of work in,” Thompson said. “The Venturini, TRICON and Sam Hunt guys have all been working hard and helping me out getting prepared for this weekend. I’m driving three different [types] of cars, but honestly I’ve heard the ARCA and Xfinity car are pretty close, so I’m feeling pretty confident.”

RELATED: Everything to know about Friday’s General Tire 150 

Running both the ARCA and Truck Series races at Charlotte on Friday had been planned out months in advance for Thompson, but he had also been quietly working behind the scenes with Hunt on potentially driving his No. 26 Toyota, which ended up coming together for the same weekend.

Thompson considers Charlotte the perfect facility to attempt such an arduous schedule. He finished second in the ARCA race at the track last year, which he immediately followed up with a third-place effort during the Truck Series event that same evening, both of which remain his career-best finishes in each respective series.

Replicating those performances in an Xfinity car is something Thompson knows will be difficult. Despite this, Thompson has been doing everything possible to take in information on how an Xfinity car will handle, which includes copious hours on the simulator as well as conversations with his friend and 2023 series champion Cole Custer.

Every race brings a different mindset for Thompson. He believes he can win the ARCA and Truck Series events, but Thompson primarily wants to log laps with Hunt’s Xfinity Series program so that he can have a notebook to lean on for future starts.

Based on how comfortable he has been on Charlotte’s aging surface, Thompson anticipates a long, but successful weekend that he hopes will culminate with him finally earning his first victory across the NASCAR and ARCA platforms.

“A win would mean so much to me,” Thompson said. “I’ve been working my tail off day and night this past week. I’ve been preparing for Charlotte before [North] Wilkesboro, so it would mean a lot for the Venturini and TRICON guys that work hard to give me fast race cars. Sam Hunt has as well, but there’s just different expectations there.

“[Everyone has] been wanting me to win so bad, so hopefully I can bring home a checkered flag.”

The first race on Thompson’s busy Charlotte schedule will be the General Tire 150 for the ARCA Menards Series on Friday at 6 p.m. ET. He will then climb into his No. 5 Toyota for TRICON Garage for the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series North Carolina Education Lottery 200 at 8:30 p.m. ET.

FS1 will provide live coverage of both the ARCA and Truck Series events. Thompson’s appearance in the NASCAR Xfinity Series BetMGM 300 airs on FOX at 1 p.m. ET on Saturday afternoon.

Carson Kvapil
Carson Kvapil looks to follow up a solid third place run at Dover Motor Speedway with his first ARCA Menards Series victory in Friday’s General Tire 150. (Photo: Ed Zurga/ARCA Racing)

Carson Kvapil back with Pinnacle Racing Group at Charlotte

At Dover Motor Speedway, Carson Kvapil took a major step forward in his stock car career.

Not only did he nearly win during his second NASCAR Xfinity Series start, but the two-time CARS Tour Late Model Stock Car champion also took part in the ARCA Menards Series race that weekend with Pinnacle Racing Group, finishing third after starting fourth.

The outing was far from an uneventful one for Kvapil. After sustaining right-rear damage in the closing stages of the event, Pinnacle Racing Group covered up the damaged area with their pit board sign, enabling Kvapil to finish the race.

Kvapil is looking for a more normal evening as he prepares for his first visit to Charlotte Motor Speedway. Friday’s General Tire 150 will be the second time Kvapil has competed on an intermediate after earning a runner-up finish in his debut with the premier ARCA division at Kansas Speedway last year.

The driver that bested Kvapil that day, Connor Mosack, will be his Pinnacle Racing Group teammate for Charlotte, which will provide Kvapil plenty of experience to lean on as he looks to add an ARCA victory to his growing resume.

Brother In Law Motorsports is bringing two cars to Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend, with the No. 57 being driven by Austin McDaniel. (Photo: James Gilbert/NASCAR)

Brother In Law Motorsports tabs Austin McDaniel for No. 57

The growing trend of Late Model Stock drivers earning opportunities in NASCAR and ARCA continues at Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend.

Austin McDaniel, a two-time Hickory Motor Speedway track champion, is making his ARCA Menards Series debut in Friday’s General Tire 150. He will pilot the No. 57 Chevrolet for Brother In Law Motorsports, which is operated by veteran racer Bryan Dauzat.

McDaniel enters the weekend having previously worked with Dauzat and his crew. During the annual pre-race practice at Daytona International Speedway in January, McDaniel turned a handful of laps in one of Dauzat’s cars.

Aside from practice laps at Daytona, McDaniel has never competed at a facility larger than a half-mile. He will look to gain experience on an intermediate by leaning on Dauzat and his teammate Hunter Deshautelle, who has made four appearances with Brother In Law Motorsports in the last two years.

Earning a solid performance in his maiden ARCA starts would serve as a belated, but rewarding present for McDaniel, who celebrated his 30th birthday on Monday.


  • Rev Racing is bringing a third car to Charlotte Motor Speedway for the General Tire 150, which will be piloted by Sebastian Arias. A native of Bogotá, Columbia, Arias has three top 10s in the ARCA Menards Series West during his career, with his lone premier ARCA start being the crossover race at Phoenix Raceway in 2022.
  • Reaume Brothers Racing will once again field an ARCA Menards Series car for Lawless Alan this weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Alan showcased solid speed in Reaume’s car at Kansas Speedway earlier this season, but issues during the second half of the race forced him to settle for an 11th place run, one lap behind winner Connor Mosack.
  • Veteran Will Kimmel is making his first ARCA Menards Series start of 2024 driving his family-owned No. 69. Kimmel had planned to compete at Kansas Speedway alongside teammate Scott Melton, but both were forced to withdraw after an accident with their trailer resulted in both cars sustaining significant damage.
  • After finishing fourth with Grant Enfinger at Charlotte Motor Speedway in 2023, CR7 Motorsports returns this year with Jason Kitzmiller behind the wheel. Kitzmiller scored a career-best sixth place finish to open the year at Daytona International Speedway, but looks to rebound from a poor finish at Talladega Superspeedway.