MORRIS CROWNED 2006 NASCAR DODGE WEEKLY SERIES NATIONAL CHAMPION; RETURNS NATIONAL TITLE TO VIRGINIA FOR THIRD TIME IN FOUR SEASONS Motor Mile Speedway Late Model Star Wins $75,000 Prize; Ties Closest Points Margin in Series History DAYTONA ...
MORRIS CROWNED 2006 NASCAR DODGE WEEKLY SERIES NATIONAL CHAMPION; RETURNS NATIONAL TITLE TO VIRGINIA FOR THIRD TIME IN FOUR SEASONS
Motor Mile Speedway Late Model Star Wins $75,000 Prize; Ties Closest Points Margin in Series History
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Oct. 5, 2006) -- Philip Morris entered last Saturday's Late Model race at Caraway Speedway as a long shot. He emerged as a champion.
Morris, of Ruckersville, Va., won the 2006 NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series national championship by recording his 13th win of the season at Caraway, a track where he hadn't raced at all before last week. Morris spent most of the 2006 season at the track he's called home for several years, Motor Mile Speedway in Radford, Va. At Motor Mile, Morris recorded nine wins and 14 top-five finishes to claim the 2006 Late Model track championship -- his seventh -- along with the $25,000 NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Division I title.
Morris needed one more victory to have a mathematical chance of winning the national title over veteran Dirt Late Model driver Joe Kosiski, of Omaha, Neb., who held the national points lead before Morris' final, fateful race at Caraway.
With his dramatic last-chance victory, Morris reached a NASCAR point total of 1,112, based on his best 16 finishes of the season. Morris edged Kosiski, who won the NDWS Division II championship, by just two points (1,114-1,112) for the national championship. NASCAR points are awarded in two-point increments, so the final championship margin was the equivalent of just one position on the race track.
The tiny gap between Morris and Kosiski is equal to the incredibly close finish of Barry Beggarly's national championship run in 1993. Although a slightly different points system was used to determine the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series national champion that year, Beggarly's national title was also awarded by the equivalent of one position on the race track. Beggarly, of Pelham, N.C., finished with the same point total as local championship rival Dennis Setzer, but he had recorded one more runner-up finish than Setzer had during the season -- and claimed the '93 national title on a tiebreaker.
Morris will receive an additional $50,000 bonus for winning the national championship and he'll be honored at the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series awards banquet, Nov. 11 in Las Vegas.
Morris is the third Virginia driver to win the NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series national championship in the past four years. Mark McFarland, of Winchester, Va., brought the national title to the Commonwealth for the first time in 2003. Peyton Sellers, of Danville, Va., won it in 2005 and Morris keeps it on Virginia soil for the second consecutive year.
The 2006 national championship is the second major NASCAR title for Morris, who won the NDWS Blue Ridge Regional championship in 2001. In addition to his seven track titles at Motor Mile, Morris was the 2003 track champion at South Boston (Va.) Speedway.
Morris has also raced in the NASCAR Busch Series, making 12 starts during the 1998-2001 seasons. He recorded a career-best finish of fifth place at Rockingham, N.C. in 1998. <pre> Final NASCAR Dodge Weekly Series Division I standings (best 16 finishes)
Pos Driver Name Home Track Starts Wins T-5 T-10 Points 1 PHILIP MORRIS MOTOR MILE SPEEDWAY 16 13 16 16 1,114 2 TIM KARRICK LAKESIDE SPEEDWAY 16 8 16 16 1,098 3 JOHN ALLEN LINN COUNTY SPEEDWAY 16 7 16 16 1,080 4 LYNN HARDY ROCKY MOUNTAIN RACEWAY 16 8 15 16 1,054 5 DEAC MCCASKILL SOUTHERN NATIONAL 16 4 15 16 1,048 6 RANDY PORTER GREENVILLE-PICKENS 16 7 16 16 1,026 7 JUNIOR MILLER BOWMAN GRAY STADIUM 16 5 13 16 1,012 8 GREG EDWARDS LANGLEY SPEEDWAY 16 5 16 16 970 9 RODNEY COOK ACE SPEEDWAY 16 4 11 16 954 10 DREW HERRING SOUTH BOSTON SPEEDWAY 16 9 11 14 952 11 JAMIE STEPHENS JR LANIER NATIONAL SPEEDWAY 16 4 14 16 938 12 JOHN SANDQUIST JR MANSFIELD MOTORSPORTS 14 2 10 13 882 13 RICKY BILDERBACK ROCKFORD SPEEDWAY 16 10 16 16 858 14 BOBBY BABB JR BEECH RIDGE MOTOR 16 4 10 15 854 15 RANDY BENSON CARAWAY SPEEDWAY 16 4 13 16 824 16 SHANE HARDING EVERGREEN SPEEDWAY 13 9 12 12 680