Kenny Liesfeld won the Stock Car Championship Series season finale on Oct. 25 at BeaveRun Motorsport Complex in dramatic fashion, fending off the final-turn challenge of newly crowned 2003 champion J.P. Morgan. Entering turn 12 on the 1.53-mile...
Kenny Liesfeld won the Stock Car Championship Series season finale on Oct. 25 at BeaveRun Motorsport Complex in dramatic fashion, fending off the final-turn challenge of newly crowned 2003 champion J.P. Morgan.
Entering turn 12 on the 1.53-mile course in Wampum, Pa., Morgan dove to the inside on the sharp right-hander, sending dirt flying in what appeared to be a road-racing version of a Sprint Car "slide job." Morgan slid back up onto the track and pushed Liesfeld wide, putting Morgan ahead and in position to accelerate to the win.
But as the cars charged to the waiting checkered flag, Morgan's car hesitated. Liesfeld drove around the outside and beat Morgan to the line by about a car length to win the final race of the SCCS calendar.
"This was a great race," said Liesfeld, obviously happy to be on top of the podium for the first time in nearly a year. "Chris Mitchum and I were running real close until the caution, then I was able to stay with J.P. and pass him for the lead. He was really pushing me and filling my mirror."
Liesfeld led the first lap of the race, and Morgan led laps two through 22. The two drivers exchanged the lead again numerous times around the circuit during the remainder of the race, with Morgan officially leading lap 26 at the line.
Morgan, who started on the pole with a lap of 59.630 and recorded the fastest lap of the race at 59.709 or 92.247 mph, said that something broke in the rear of his car - reminiscent of the problem that forced him out of the day's first event - that allowed Liesfeld to catch and overtake him. But when Morgan's daring final-corner move placed him in position to win, an unexpected problem arose.
"I think I flooded the carburetor," Morgan speculated after the race. "The car just bogged down and wouldn't go. Kenny raced me clean, though, and we had a great battle throughout the race."
Chris Mitchum finished third in the 30-lap race, which was slowed by one caution for eight laps. Mitchum's finish put him second in the final SCCS 2003 points tally. There were four official lead changes among two drivers.