ROUGEMONT, N.C. – J.P. Morgan simply has to start Saturday’s Rev-Oil Pro Cup Series The Championship 250 at Orange County Speedway to secure his first series championship.
That doesn’t mean he is resting on his laurels.
The six-time race winner in 2012 has plans to make his seventh visit to victory lane Saturday night at Orange County, where he picked up his sixth victory of the year on Sept. 1.
“I want to win Orange County,” Morgan said plainly. “I don’t want to end up not winning there because we ran so good there in the earlier race this season with a win there. I’d really like to finish it off there two-for-two.”
A victory Saturday would certainly be a perfect ending to a near perfect season for the 36-year-old racer. He started off the year with a victory at Anderson Motor Speedway in Williamston, S.C., and then rattled off four-straight victories during the summer months.
In addition to his six victories this year, Morgan has finished in the top-five in all 13 races, scored two poles and has an average finish of 1.8. A victory Saturday would certainly be the proverbial cherry on top of the championship sundae.
“We’ve been talking about it and talking about it,” Morgan said when asked about the 2012 championship. “It is kind of setting in with the guys after the last race that we had a good shot of clinching this deal coming into Hickory. You can tell everybody is starting to think championship.
“I’m prepped for it, I am just stoked. I can’t wait for it to be here. It has been so much fun along the way I hate for it to just be over at the last race. Everything good comes to an end, the race comes to an end, but the trophy and the championship that we’re going to have will definitely be the pinnacle of my career,” Morgan concluded.
If Morgan is going to win Saturday at Orange County, he’ll have to get past several strong contenders. Race winners Allen Purkhiser, Stacy Puryear and Tyler Young will all be on hand at Orange County for The Championship 250 with the intention of taking home another trophy.
One topic worth discussing heading into Saturday’s finale is the battle for the Rev-Oil Pro Cup Series Rookie of the Year Award. Dalton Hopkins, riding a wave of momentum after three-straight top-five finishes, leads Nathan Russell by 43 points in the rookie standings.
Can Hopkins score enough points to hold off Russell at Orange County, or can Russell make a comeback to claim the Rookie of the Year Award? We’ll find out Saturday at Orange County Speedway.