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Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton among new owners of CARS Tour

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Burton, Kevin Harvick and Justin Marks have acquired the Solid Rock Carriers CARS Tour, the Southeast asphalt late model series announced Monday.

This is a dream come true for me,” said Earnhardt, a NASCAR Hall of Famer and NBC Sports analyst, in a statement. “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 (McNelly, CARS Tour founder) has done a tremendous job establishing the CARS Tour as a preeminent series, and I’m thrilled to be part of its future.”

The series will feature 19 race weekends this season. McNelly and his staff will continue to oversee operations and track events. Earnhardt, Burton, Harvick and Marks, along with their companies, will seek to bolster the series through brand management, business strategy and partnership acquisition and retention.

“I grew up racing Late Model stock cars on the West Coast,” said Harvick in a statement. “Late Model racing has always been a passion of mine, and I want to ensure short-track asphalt racing and the CARS Tour continue to grow and succeed. I look forward to sharing the responsibility with this like-minded group of racers.”

The CARS Tour, founded in 2014, features Pro Late Models and Late Model stock cars.

“The opportunity to work with a group of partners that I have so much respect for in the sport that I love is amazing,” added Burton, an analyst for NBC Sports, in a statement. “Collectively, I believe we can contribute to grassroots racing and the overall health of motorsports in the process. By building off the positive foundation Jack has built, I’m confident we can create a next-level experience for the competitors, partners and fans.”

Said Marks in a statement: “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. 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 season begins March 11 at Southern National Motorsports Park in Kenly, North Carolina.