Birmingham, Alabama - July 19, 2003 - J. P. Morgan of Ether, NC became the first driver to win three consecutive series races as his number 11 Monte Carlo led the field flag-to-flag at Saturday's Stock Car Championship Series (SCCS) event at...
Birmingham, Alabama - July 19, 2003 - J. P. Morgan of Ether, NC became the first driver to win three consecutive series races as his number 11 Monte Carlo led the field flag-to-flag at Saturday's Stock Car Championship Series (SCCS) event at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, AL.
Although Morgan opened up and maintained a commanding lead early in the race, a full-course caution, 90-plus degree temperatures and a broken sway bar challenged this year's SCCS points leader.
"The J&R Racing Team did a great job of getting me through this race," Morgan said. "Our initial strategy had to be revised because the race format was a little different than we are used to with SCCS."
The heat affected both track conditions and driver concentration on Saturday. When the field stopped for a mandatory 10-minute pit stop after the first 20 laps, teams rushed to get ice and liquids to the drivers and fuel to the cars before the start of the second 20-lap session.
2002 SCCS champion Chris Mitchum of Herndon, VA fought Marshall McLeod of Raleigh, NC for second place honors, overtaking McLeod on lap 37 race when the two cars connected in a corner. Mitchum's number 6 Monte Carlo suffered minor body damage, but was able to continue to the end, finishing second. McLeod's number 17 Grand Prix lost time in a spin during the incident and finished third.
"I really can't blame Chris for what happened," said McLeod after the race. "We were fighting hard for position, and he really didn't have anywhere else to go in that turn."
"This was the first time SCCS has been able to utilize our 90-minute, two-session format," explained SCCS VP of operations Dan Fite. "It provided an additional measure of excitement because the timed stop allowed teams to make adjustments to their cars and their strategies." Other SCCS events have been run as 50-minute sprints with no planned pit stops.
Finishing on the lead lap included Matt Griffin, of Clermont, FL in fourth, Roger Reuse, of Pelham, AL in fifth and Ron Read of Fairfax, VA in sixth,
The SCCS cars will have a three-month hiatus before their next confirmed event, Oct. 24-25 at BeaveRun Motorsports Complex in Wampum, PA.
<pre> Unofficial race results:
Fin St No. Name HomeTown Make/Model Laps Status 1 1 11 JP Morgan Ether, NC Chevrolet Monte Carlo 40 Active 2 2 6 Chris Mitchum Herndon, VA Chevrolet Monte Carlo 40 Active 3 3 17 Marshall McLeod Raleigh, NC Pontiac Grand Prix 40 Active 4 7 77 Matt Griffin Clermont, FL Chevrolet Monte Carlo 40 Active 5 6 8 Roger Reuse Pelham, AL Chevrolet Monte Carlo 40 Active 6 11 31 Ron Read Fairfax City,VA Pontiac Grand Prix 40 Active 7 10 96 John Goodson Tallahassee, FL Dodge Intrepid 39 Active 8 9 49 Barry Shipman Hueytown, AL Chevrolet Monte Carlo 39 Active 9 13 19 Bob Davis Thaxton, VA Chevrolet Monte Carlo 38 Active 10 16 20 Edward DuCoin Cherry Hill, NJ Chevrolet Monte Carlo 37 Active 11 14 95 Chris Liesfeld Richmond, VA Chevrolet Monte Carlo 31 Mechanical 12 5 87 Danny Slack Thomasville, NC Chevrolet Monte Carlo 24 Mechanical 13 4 92 Kenny Liesfeld Montpelier, VA Chevrolet Monte Carlo 20 Active* 14 8 99 John Martin Cornelius, NC Chevrolet Monte Carlo 14 Contact 15 12 79 Gary Coggins Chelsea, AL Ford Taurus 13 Mechanical 16 15 38 Randy Reeves Easley, SC Chevrolet Monte Carlo 11 Contact
* driver scored at the point of driver change