HICKORY, N.C. – Clay Rogers held off a furious advance from J.P. Morgan in the closing laps to win his second-straight CARS X-1R Pro Cup Series race Saturday night at Hickory Motor Speedway.
Rogers had the dominant car all night during the 250-lap feature, but countless caution flags throughout the evening allowed the field to stay within eyesight. Rogers started the race in seventh, but by lap 33 Rogers had taken the lead from defending series champion Morgan.
Driving the No. 16 for Lamb & Robinson Racing, Rogers held the lead until the halfway break at lap 125. After a random draw, Rogers restarted the race in sixth while rookie Andrew Smith found himself at the point.
Smith managed to keep the lead until lap 162, when Rogers drove around him on the inside in turns three and four to retake the lead. Rogers began to pull away from the field, but the first of a series of caution flags flew on lap 185 when John Gibson spun.
Dalton Hopkins restarted alongside Rogers in second and was able to hang with him for a few laps after the restart, but soon Rogers again began to pull away from the field. The next caution flag waved on lap 215 when a piece of debris was spotted in turn four. Another quick yellow during the restart on lap 223 for spins by Rusty Skewes and Eric Gerchack kept the field in check again.
When the field returned to racing on lap 229 Morgan made his move, bypassing Hopkins to take away second. The field was again slowed by the caution flag on lap 233 when Skewes went for another spin. The field returned to racing on lap 238, but Stacy Puryear promptly went for a spin to bring out yet another caution.