Posted: Monday, July 14th 2014 at 3:00pm
Morgan scores CARS X-1R Pro Cup victory at Tri-County
By Chris Ragle
J.P. Morgan became the first two-time CARS X-1R Pro Cup Series winner of 2014 with a victory Friday night at Tri-County Motor Speedway. / Photo: Courtesy Pro Cup Media
HUDSON, NC - It took the sixth race of the 2014 season for the same driver to win twice in the X-1R Pro Cup Series, but finally Friday night in front of a healthy crowd at Tri-County Motor Speedway in Hudson, NC, J.P. Morgan notched win number two of the year.
Morgan cruised to the victory over a late surging Reid Wilson and series newcomer Brian Keselowski, who crossed the stripe in third position, to complete in the podium.
It was the veteran Morgan’s second career win at the track, having won in the series last visit to the 4/10th mile facility back in 2012.
“I don’t know what it is about this place but I enjoy racing here (Tri-County), it’s a shame this place isn’t open on a regular basis,” said Morgan. “A big shout out to all the fans who did come out tonight and support this track and this series. We had a good racecar right when we unloaded and then during practice my guys went to work and made it even better.
“We had pressure from Gus Dean early on, and we even made some contact several times racing hard for the lead. But when it got time to start racing for the win I was able to pull away. That’s how good my car was tonight.”
The #23 team did dodge an early bullet on the initial start when an axel broke on championship points leader Caleb Holman’s #75 Food Country USA Chevy, stacking up the field. Several cars suffered damage including Jeff Oakley and Eric Gerchak, who was making his 2014 debut. The broken axel put Holman behind the wall for repairs ending his chances on the night.
The complete restart and lose of cars put the opportunity in Brian Keselowski’s hands to lead his first laps of X-1R Pro Cup Series competition before eventually handing the top spot to Tyler Lester. Lester looked to make himself the first repeat winner of the season, but a rear end issue quickly developed after leading sending his #25 machine into a spin cycle ending his chances eighty laps in.
During the series traditional halfway redraw of the top eight competitors it was Reid Wilson who drew the number one spot. It took almost no time, however, for Morgan to reclaim the top spot after being relegated to the fifth position during his luck at the draw.
Morgan’s only really challenger during the second half of the 250 lap race was in the form of Dean who did his best to stay with Morgan until a late race slip put his #56 ride into the wall. This opened the door to a late charging Reid Wilson who looked to track Morgan down in the final laps, but challenges from eventual third place finisher Keselowski got the two racing hard for position over the final twenty laps allowing Morgan to set sail for the win.
Next up for the X-1R Pro Cup Series is the Summertime Showdown 200 at Orange County Speedway in Rougemont, North Carolina on Saturday July 26. For more information on this event and the entire X-1R Pro Cup Series visit carsprocup.com.
CARS X-1R Pro Cup Series
Tri-County Motor Speedway - Hudson, NC
Precision Printed Products 250 (Unofficial) - July 11, 2014
1. #23 JP Morgan
2. #66 Reid Wilson
3. #29 Brian Keselowski
4. #56 Gus Dean
5. #2 Brady Boswell
6. #75 Caleb Holman
7. #12 Jeremy Mayfield
8. #25 Tyler Lester
9. #15 Jeff Oakley
10. #21 Eric Gerchak
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