MOORESVILLE, N.C. – There is no doubt that J.P. Morgan has been the man to beat this season in the Rev-Oil Pro Cup Series.
Morgan, driver of the No. 23 J&R Racing Chevrolet, has been nearly unstoppable this season. Through 10 events, Morgan has garnered six victories, 10 top fives, 10 top 10s, two poles and an average finish of 1.7.
But with the Rev-Oil Pro Cup Series Championship Series set to begin at Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va., on Sept. 22, none of that matters one bit. What once was a 301-point lead over Tyler Young in the championship standings is now just 15 points following the Championship Series points reset.
“It’s great to be in first, that’s what we’ve been working on all year,” Morgan said. “With the reset of the points it really tightens things up, especially between Tyler and myself. It’s going to be a tough battle. He has turned the corner and gotten his stuff running really well in the last couple of races. I know they’re going to be really tough.”
A veteran of 84 starts in the Rev-Oil Pro Cup Series, this is far from Morgan’s first rodeo. He came up just short in the championship standings in 2009, finishing second to Clay Rogers. This year, Morgan has gone from the hunter to the hunted.
“I couldn’t ask for a much better season then we’ve had so far,” Morgan said. “I think we’re going to have to continue doing what we’ve been doing and that is bring the best possible car to the race track.
“We feel like we’ve got our cars at the top of our game and our team is hitting on all cylinders going into the Championship Series. We’re starting in the lead and that means we are the ones being chased. I think that is a good position to be in,” Morgan said.
For second-place Young, a native of Midland, Texas, winning the Rev-Oil Pro Cup Series championship would be an amazing accomplishment. However, he knows exactly how hard doing that is going to be.
“It’s going to be tough. It isn’t going to be given to anybody,” Young said. “We’ve been working really hard. It’s going to be fun. I think it’ll come down to the last race at Orange County to decide it and we ran good there, but J.P. obviously won it (on Sept. 1). We’ve got a couple of good tracks coming up, so we’ve just stay out of trouble and be there at the end of all four of them to try and clinch the championship.”
The 22-year-old Texan earned his first Rev-Oil Pro Cup Series victory earlier this season at Hickory (N.C.) Motor Speedway, but he knows that winning the Rev-Oil Pro Cup Series championship would truly be a crowning achievement.
“It would be huge. It would be the biggest thing to happen in my racing career,” Young said. “It’d feel really good for us. We struggled when we came to Pro Cup and our goal was to be able to run up front. We got there and now it’d be huge to be able to seal the deal.”
Morgan and Young aren’t the only drivers in contention to win the Rev-Oil Pro Cup Series championship. Allen Purkhiser, a winner at North Carolina’s Ace Speedway earlier this year, sits third in the standings. He is followed closely by rookie contenders Nathan Russell and Gus Dean.
Which driver will walk away from the season finale at North Carolina’s Orange County Speedway on Nov. 3 as the Rev-Oil Pro Cup Series champion? We’ve got four races to find out.