Asked if he feels too many of his physical limits from inside the car, Morgan shook his head.
“I have aches and pains just like everybody else, amplified a little bit because of the CP, but I got out of the car after practice and looked at all the guys and I said, ‘Well, my hips and back don’t hurt, so that’s progress,” Morgan recalled with a laugh. “I don’t know if that was just from me being in that thing and scraping the banners in three and four, or just that it was showtime and I kind of forgot about everything else, but it was so much fun.
“What makes this deal so special is it allows me to literally almost have an out-of-body experience. It’s an indescribable feeling.”
While some Chili Bowl rides come down to sponsorship dollars, Morgan appreciated the fact that Casson never brought up dollar amounts in any of their talks. He just wanted Morgan to have a shot to race.
“These guys aren’t doing it for the money. They aren’t doing it for the fame. They aren’t doing it for the glory. This isn’t a rent-a-ride deal,” said Morgan. “Tommy just said, ‘Hey, we’ve got this car, come on.’ I asked him how much it would cost, and he told me it didn’t matter, that it was going anyway and I might as well race it.
“So often in racing, it is about the dollar figure, but I’ve always had people around me where we figure out the money part second and go to have a good time first. This is one of those times.”
Morgan’s day job is as the motorsports marketing coordinator for Bass Pro Shops and when this week’s Chili Bowl activities end, he’ll go back to his desk and resume aiding the racing industry in that position.
But first, he has a preliminary night program and some alphabet soup to tackle, and Morgan carries a competitive fire with him that’s just as strong as the heavyweights of the building like Kyle Larson and Christopher Bell.
“I just don’t want to make a fool of myself,” Morgan noted. “Everybody looks at this as a great story and it is a great story and I don’t want to take away from that, but I’m a very competitive person. Whether that means running an L Main or having a shot at TV time … I don’t know, but I just don’t want to be in the flip count and I don’t want to finish dead last.
“If we can do those two things, you won’t wipe the smile off my face for a month. We’re going to have a blast. I really believe that.”
SPEED SPORT’s LIVE From the Chili Bowl coverage is supported by MyRacePass, KICKER, Curb Records and Swann Communications! To find out more about each of our partners and to check out all of SPEED SPORT’s Chili Bowl coverage, visit our Chili Bowl Index Page! DON’T MISS SPEED SPORT’S LIVE From the Chili Bowl on Saturday, Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m. ET on MAVTV and watch the Chili Bowl finale LIVE Saturday, Jan. 16 at 8:30 p.m. on MAVTV!