Earlier this month, Blake Morris, the son of Late Model Stock Car legend Philip Morris, tragically passed away at the young age of 23. The racing community will honor the second-generation racer on Saturday, May 2 with a benefit race on iRacing.
SHARC Motorsports and Speed51 have partnered to host the Blake Morris 200 Late Model race at the virtual Martinsville Speedway on May 2, with all proceeds benefitting the Morris family.
The event was first conceived by Kyle Fowler, who worked together with SHARC Motorsports to create the Blake Morris 200 as a fundraising event for the Morris family.
“In the racing community, we are family,” Fowler said. “When there is happiness, we celebrate together. When there is tragedy, we come together for strength.
“When the news came along that Philip Morris had lost his son Blake, I knew in my heart I had to do something for him. With this influx of iRacing, during one of the nation’s toughest times in recent history, I approached my friends at SHARC Motorsports and suggested we do a fund-raising event to benefit Philip and his family.”
Fowler is humbled and blown away by the incredible amount of support the event has already received from sponsors, donors and competitors alike. That support has also led to the creation of a preliminary event on Friday, May 1 ahead of the Blake Morris 200.
“Now just over a week away, that idea is a reality. It is filled with sponsors and continuing donations and we will have a preliminary race Friday night with more details to come, as well as our feature, the Blake Morris 200, Saturday night May 2 with Late Model Stock Cars.
“In addition, I am truly grateful to Speed51.com for stepping up to broadcast the Saturday night event. I hope everyone can dial it up and enjoy this event in Blake’s honor. If you would like to donate to the cause, please use PayPal and send it to [email protected].”
The feature field will consist of 43 cars, with 200 laps of racing around the famed Virginia paperclip. Practice for the event will start at 2:00 p.m. on May 2, with qualifying starting at 2:45 p.m.
The race boasts a similar format to Late Model Stock Car racing’s crown jewel, the ValleyStar Credit Union 300 at Martinsville. Blake’s surviving father, Philip Morris, has more wins than any other racer in the event with three, along with five NASCAR Weekly Racing Series National Championships.
Blake was in the early stages of his own racing career, following in his father’s footsteps. The younger Morris earned five top-10 finishes in 10 races during the 2019 season at Dominion Raceway (VA).
“It’s only fitting that this memorial event take place at the virtual Martinsville Speedway,” said Speed51 Content Supervisor Zach Evans. “Those of us at Speed51 still have Blake’s family in our thoughts and prayers at this time, but hope fans of Blake and Philip Morris will enjoy this race as an escape during a trying time around the world and as a dedication to Blake’s memory.”
The race will be broadcast live on Speed51 as part of our continuing sim racing coverage. Although the broadcast is free to watch, we encourage donations (no amount is too small) from those who are able to contribute during this tough time. Contributions can be made via PayPal by sending your donation to [email protected].
Click here to see a full breakdown of upcoming sim racing broadcasts available live and free on Speed51.
-Story by: Zach Evans, Speed51 Content Supervisor – Twitter: @ztevans