CONCORD, N.C. (October 5, 2009) -- A potential payout of $23,000 to the winner of Saturday's Aaron's 150 presented by Black's Tire and Auto Service at Rockingham Speedway, makes the third event in the four-race USARacing Pro Cup Championship...
CONCORD, N.C. (October 5, 2009) -- A potential payout of $23,000 to the winner of Saturday's Aaron's 150 presented by Black's Tire and Auto Service at Rockingham Speedway, makes the third event in the four-race USARacing Pro Cup Championship Series the most lucrative this season.
"That's the most I've ever raced for," said Drew Herring, who leads the standings by a mere two points over Clay Rogers. "That would definitely be nice. That could pay a couple of bills."
The $23,000 that's up for grabs at the 1-mile track is the result of the WIX Challenge Award, which stands at $15,000, and the $8,000 that always goes to the race winner. The WIX Challenge Award goes to the driver who earns the pole and then wins the race if he has competed in 60 percent of the Pro Cup Series 10 regular season races and all of the Championship Series events.
"If we could go to Rockingham and win, and come home with that kind of pay day, it would make a lot of things easier going into (the Oct. 31 season finale at) South Boston [Va.] and even during the off-season," said Brandon Ward, who's fourth in the standings, only 38 points behind Herring. "It would get things kicked off right and get your deal headed in the right direction for next year."
J.P. Morgan, who collected his first career victory at Iowa Speedway last month, thought he might reap the then $10,000 WIX Challenge Award at that event until his Chevrolet had an alternator wire disconnect during qualifying. Herring claimed the Iowa pole and missed taking the WIX Challenge Award by 1.341 seconds.
"I didn't even think about it 'til after the [Sept. 19] race was over at Iowa that, that was a $10,000 pass that J.P. (Morgan) made on me," Herring said. "If I could've just hung on a little bit longer, that would've been quite a nice bonus.
"It's really neat that WIX has come on and is doing this. I'm excited. I'd love to go and grab the pole (at Rockingham) and win that $15,000. If not, maybe nobody will win it and we can go grab the championship and take it any way."
Morgan knows everyone eligible for the WIX Challenge Award will be extremely focused on earning the pole at the historic Rockingham track.
"Everybody wants a pole all year long, but when that much money is on the line and you've got a car good enough to sit on the pole and win a race, that just ups the anty that much more," said Morgan, who's still looking for his first career pole. "Obviously, it's going to make us think a whole lot more about the pole, which we thought we might have at Iowa. Another $5,000 on top of that, I don't know anybody that, that wouldn't make an enticing pole to have."
All three drivers admit that if they could earn he pole and then win the race, it would be the biggest pay day of their careers.
"Obviously, $23,000 is a large sum of money and especially in short-track racing," Morgan said. "I know there is going to be a lot of people gunning for it and these guys are going to come out hungry and loaded for bear. So we're going to come the same way and, hopefully, may the best man win."
Qualifying for Saturday's Aaron's 150 presented by Black's Tire and Auto Service at Rockingham Speedway is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 9. The race is slated to receive the green flag at 4:15 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 10.
The USARacing Pro Cup Series, formerly Hooters Pro Cup, is owned by Interstate Investment Group and is based in Concord, N.C. IIG is comprised of Jack McNelly, Gary Kale, Carl Hubbard, Chip Lofton and Larry Camp, who serves as the managing partner. For more information on the USARacing Pro Cup Series, go to www.usarprocup.com.