JP Morgan, driver of the No.23 www.soldbyjackiemorgan.com Chevrolet held off Brian Keselowski’s No. 29 Highland Wealth Advisors LLC/ Dollhouse Alley Ford on green-white-checkered finish to clinch Morgan’s third season victory by .16 of a second in Saturday nights’ X-1R Pro Cup Series Food Country USA 200 presented by KOMA Unwind at Motor Mile Speedway.
During the first half, Morgan spun the in turn four causing him to be just outside the top eight cars for the series’ halfway redraw. Starting in 9th position on lap 100, Morgan kept the No. 23 steady in the mid-pack for the second half of the race. On lap 186 while leading, the No.25 BWP Bats Ford of Benny Gordon, and the No. 75 Food Country USA Chevrolet of Caleb Holman stopped the field with a red flag due to a pit road altercation. The result led to the No. 25 of Gordon being parked, and Holman’s No. 75 was penalized one lap down. It was from this field change and a little luck that Morgan was able to hold off Keselowski and the remaining field to take home the checkered flag.
“Obviously, first and foremost we are just thankful that no one was seriously injured here tonight with all the hard racing that we saw out here at the track,” stated JP Morgan. “It was good hard racing though, some of the best we’ve seen all season, and we were able to turn a negative into a positive for us and capitalize on the last remaining laps of the race and pull off a third season win for the No. 23 team. It’s awesome to be here in victory lane for a third time and I couldn’t be more proud of our guys and the hard work and dedication they put into this car for tonight’s’ race. Things are getting ready to shake up with the championship races starting soon at Kenly, so we’ll just have to readjust and go into that knowing that we are a lead contender for the championship.”
Some other competitors were not so lucky to have crossed the finish line Saturday night, of whom were No.2 Boswell Electric Chevrolet of 2013 X1R Pro Cup Series ROTY (Rookie of the Year) Brady Boswell and the No. 05 Grant County Mulch Chevrolet of Codie Rohrbaugh. On lap 77, a stuck throttle sent both of them up the track and into the wall at turn two taking both cars out of the race and throwing the second caution for the night.
Among those not able to cross the finish line was, Pro Cup young gun Reid Wilson driver of the No. 66 Bojangles’ Chevrolet, came out of the halfway redraw on lap 101. Wilson dominated the field by six car links for 44 laps. He was then inherited the lead in the closing laps and looked to be on his way to his first career victory until lap 197 where his motor blew causing heartbreak to the No. 66 team.
On lap 173 of the second half, X-1R Pro Cup Series 2013 Champion, Clay Rogers, cut a right front tire on the No. 154 C&C Boiler Sales & Service Chevrolet, taking him out of the lead after looking to be well on his way to Edelbrock Victory Lane in his 2014 season debut. His misfortune handed the lead to former NASCAR Nationwide Series driver Benny Gordon, pilot of the No. 25. Gordon had a strong car all throughout the night where he battled nose to nose with No. 75 Caleb Holman. Holman came out strong for the evening leading the first 99 laps of the race before the late race incident relegated him to a disappointing 7th place finish.
The evening concluded with No. 29 Brian Keselowski taking home his season best finish of 2nd place and series rookie contender and youngest driver, No. 54 C&C Boiler Service & Sales Chevrolet driver Matt Craig taking home a top five rounding out third place.
The next event up on the 2014 X1R CARS Pro Cup Series Schedule will be held the weekend after Labor Day weekend at Southern National Motorsports Park in Lucama, NC, on Saturday, September 6th. Please visit our website at www.carsprocup.com for further details and times of the weekend event.
For more series information or questions please contact the series office at 704.662.9212 or visit www.carsprocup.com.
– Pro Cup press release and photos
X-1R Pro Cup Series
Food Country USA 200 presented by KOMA Unwind
1) #23 JP Morgan
2) #29 Brian Keselowski
3) #54 Matt Craig
4) #88 Doug Barnes Jr.
5) #00 Lucas Ransone
6) #16 Jeff Oakley
7) #75 Caleb Holman
8) #66 Reid Wilson
9) #25 Benny Gordon
10) #154 Clay Rogers
11) #12 Jeremy Mayfield
12) #2 Brady Boswell
13) #05 Codie Rohrbaugh