Mooresville, NC 8/26/13- Defending X-1R Pro Cup Series champion continued a trend that has happened all season Sunday afternoon at the Kingsport Speedway. Morgan picked up his second win of the season in back-to-back races; becoming the fourth driver in a row to do so joining Clay Rogers, Mark McFarland, and Caleb Holman. All of who have done the same prior to Morgan. The win was Morgan’s twelfth of his career and moved him to eighth all time in series history.
“I think this might be one of my best wins because it’s at a track that’s definitely not my favorite. I thought we had a pretty good piece during practice and then qualifying came and to be honestly with you I was a little disappointed where we qualified,” explained Morgan in Edelbrock Victory Lane. “Then when the race got going I was just riding letting the car roll through the turns. At Kingsport it’s all about getting these heavy cars slowed down and then letting them roll through the center. Today we had the car the car that did that the best.”
The Sunday afternoon event kicked off with a bit of a surprise in qualifying with Air Flow Research Rookie of the Year contender Eric Gerchak grabbing the MAHLE Pole Award in qualifying with a time of 15.398. It was Gerchak’s first career pole beating his previous personal best of fifth.
The impressive qualifying effort by Gerchak put the rookie in prime position to settle into the lead over Gus Dean after the waiving of the green. Gerchak paced the field early on but it was Coleman Pressley, son of track owner and former NASCAR star Robert Pressley, who stole the show early on making a three wide move between Clay Rogers and Dean to move into the runner-up slot behind Gerchak on a lap thirty-one restart. Pressley stuck to the bumper of Gerchak’s #21 ride as the two opened a sizable lead over the rest of the field. However, just as what happened in Pressley’s last outing with the series, a good run went bad fast as a blown motor ended his day just sixty-seven laps in.
A solo spin by rookie Codie Rohrbaugh six laps shy of the halfway point setup a sprint to the Roush-Yates Performance Products Halfway Leader award decided on lap 125. Rookie Gerchak flexed his muscle over veteran Rogers taking the competition yellow in the top spot earning the award while also earning the first driver to redraw for his second half starting position.
The redraw mixed things up in a big way for the fans in attendance putting Reid Wilson to the top spot and former leader Gerchak to sixth. Eventual winner Morgan crossed the line fourth and that’s exactly where the Ether, NC driver took the green from on lap 126.
Veterans Rogers and Holman took turns leading before both began to fade just twenty-five laps after going back green giving Morgan his first opportunity at the top spot. That was all Morgan needed to lead the final 100 laps of the 250 lap event dodging several late race restarts fighting off a hard charging Gus Dean. Dean, who crossed the finish line second, matching his season best which came at Kingsport earlier this season in May.
X-1R Lubricants 250 presented by Food Country USA
1.) #23 J.P. Morgan
2.) #56 Gus Dean
3.) #16 Clay Rogers
4.) #1 Dalton Hopkins
5.) #66 Reid Wilson
6.) #05 Codie Rohrbaugh
7.) #80 Blake Jones
8.) #21 Eric Gerchak
9.) #2 Brady Boswell
10.)#75 Caleb Holman
11.)#59 Coleman Pressley