KINGSPORT — This J.P. Morgan is a titan on the race track instead of a titan of industry.
Morgan drove his No. 23 Chevrolet past Caleb Holman on lap 150 and led the rest of the way to win Sunday’s X-1R Lubricants 250 for the CARS Pro Cup Series at Kingsport Speedway.
Asked if he was a descendent of the famous New York investment banker, the 37-year North Carolina racer laughed and said, “No, if I was, I would be running Sprint Cup.”
Certainly, the guys in the Pro Cup Series wouldn’t complain if he raced somewhere else after Morgan captured $10,000 in prize money.
Sunday marked his second win this season after Morgan led Pro Cup with seven wins a year ago.
Even problems with his brakes couldn’t keep him from pulling away from runner-up Gus Dean.
“We had a really good car even though we had something break on the brakes,” he said. “The brakes were sticking and it boiled the brake fluid. I didn’t have any brakes unless I absolutely had to.
“I knew I had to stay out front at that point. I had to get out there, be smooth and luckily it worked out where I was able to win the race.”
Dean also battled brake problems on his Chevrolet. He discovered they weren’t not working right after the halfway point of the race and that soon baceame his major focus.
“We lost all brakes and tried to compensate for that,” said Dean, a 19-year-old from West Virgina. “I was having to pump up the brakes every lap coming down the straightaway. These cars take so much concentration to run them. When you have to focus on something like that, it takes away from it.”
Four-time Pro Cup champion Clay Rogers took third-place in a Ford. The Chevrolets of teenagers Dalton Hopkins and Reid Wilson rounded out the top five.
Caleb Holman, from nearby Abingdon, Va., charged his way from the back of the field to take the lead on lap 130. He ran out front 20 laps before Morgan passed on the inside. Holman only lasted 27 more laps due to his car slinging out rear end grease.
He lamented how he wins in the series except the races close to his home.
“We go it seems to kingdom come and we’re fast everywhere,” Holman said. “We wind up here at home and can’t fall out of a tree.”
There was a scary moment in the Pure 4 race when Kenny Absher hit the car of leader John Ketron and sent it off the track and down pit road.
Once Ketron drove his Honda back on the track, the two intentionally hit each other twice before being parked.
Billy Byington won the race, holding off Jason Ketron for the win. Jerry Lane won the Legends division feature, emerging out front after a side-by-side battle with his son Trey.