Legendary Late Model Stock Car racer Philip Morris will make his CARS Late Model Stock Tour debut in the season finale at South Boston Speedway on Saturday, October 14th.
Morris is a four-time NASCAR Whelen All-American Series national champion with years of experience in Late Model Stock Car racing, and age has not slowed the man who is often referred to as the “King of Late Model Stock Car racing” down. He comes into the CARS Tour race at South Boston Speedway on the heels of one of his most impressive seasons – picking up 20 wins at three different tracks throughout the course of the regular season.
“I’d say, compared to our year last year, last year was kind of our comeback year, this was a much better attempt and it actually surprised me that we recovered that quick,” Morris said. “I had a lot of help from guys that were racing already when I was out of the car and a lot better information. I guess the momentum and how we ran at South Boston carried the whole year. It was pretty amazing. It was fun, I felt like a kid again when I first started out.”
Morris will run two more times this season, in next weekend’s CARS Tour race and in the $20,000-to-win Thanksgiving Classic at Southern National Motorsports Park on November 26th. He will compete in both races driving for Adam Murray.
While Morris has never competed in the CARS Tour, his experience at South Boston, which includes two track championships at the legendary 4/10-mile track, makes him a surefire favorite. In 2017 alone, Morris scored six wins at South Boston Speedway.
“I think experience is going to help,” Morris explained. “I’ve got a lot of laps logged at South Boston. There are a few tricks to getting around there. Where to drop the car, it’s real specific things that help guys that have a lot of laps there so I don’t expect anything different. There’s good competition every week in the Whelen All-American Series. I’m looking forward to racing those guys, I’ve raced with a lot of them already.
“This is our first race in the CARS Tour and we want to do our best and try as hard as we can to get a good finish out of this. Maybe that will build some momentum going into the Thanksgiving Classic.”
Teamed up with Adam Murray and with a great crew chief in Forrest Reynolds, Morris hopes to leave a mark in these final two races.
“I can’t remember the guy who does my statistics, but we had a win streak going to Martinsville. Martinsville took the wind out of our sails but we’ll make sure we hit our marks and not leave stuff to change for these final two races. I think you’ll see a lot of effort going toward that car for these two events.”
On the heels of an impressive regular season, Morris was a favorite to win at Martinsville Speedway in last month’s ValleyStar Credit Union 300, but that race was not meant to be. Morris was penalized and sent to the rear for the start of his heat race and could never fully recover. He made the field for the feature race, but ended up with a 16th place finish.
“I think we all took it hard for two or three days because we had a really good car and things didn’t get in line,” Morris commented. “It wasn’t meant for us to win no matter how hard we tried. Had a really good car, just setbacks. The whole starting with the penalty thing in our heat, that was a hrd one to swallow until I realized we got back to second place and you just can’t plan for wrecks around you. If it’s not your day, it’s not your day.”
Despite the disappointment, Morris “shook it off” and got back to work preparing for the final two races of the season.
“The way I figure, we come prepared and we’ll win the races we should win,” Morris continued. “Nobody can say we weren’t prepared for Martinsville because we were fast. Some races you just can’t win. Now, we’ll just be overprepared for these next two.”
Morris joins South Boston Speedway regulars Bobby McCarty and Mike Jones as track regulars making their CARS Tour debut on October 14th. The 125 lap CARS Late Model Stock Tour race at South Boston will go green at 7pm. For those unable to attend the race, CARSTour.TV will have live streaming coverage of the CARS Tour finale from South Boston.