Philip Morris pursuit of a fourth NASCAR Whelen All-American Series will take him on the road.
The Ruckersville, Va., driver extended his national points lead to 10 over Keith Rocco with a win in the season finale at South Boston (Va.) Speedway this past Saturday. It was Morris’ 19th victory of the season and capped off a second track title at one of nine tracks that have been part of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series for all 30 years.
Now Morris will turn his attention to taking his asphalt Late Model to chase points elsewhere.
Motor Mile in Radford, Va., is an option. Morris has seven track titles there but has three seconds and a 15th in four starts there this season. Lee Pulliam, who finished second to Morris at South Boston, has already clinched the Motor Mile title and welcomes the challenge.
“I'm pulling for Keith Rocco all the way,” said the Semora, N.C., driver, who is third in the national standings and has 17 wins. “I just want to win the race Saturday night. We're just going to defend our home track and keep Philip from getting that win.
“It will just be a good hard race at Motor Mile.”
Morris has 19 wins, 22 top fives and 24 top 10s in 27 starts at South Boston, Motor Mile and Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va.
Rocco finished seventh at Waterford (Conn.) Speedbowl in his only asphalt Modified race last weekend. The Wallingford, Conn. driver has 23 wins, 35 top fives and 42 top 10s in 46 starts at Waterford, Thompson (Conn.) International Speedway, Stafford (Conn.) Motor Speedway, and Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H.
Under the points structure for the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, the race winner receives two points for every car in the event up to 20 cars. Second place receives two fewer points, and so on through the field. Race winners receive an additional five bonus points. For example, if 20 cars are in the field, the winner receives 45 points, second place 38 and third, 36. If there are 15 cars, the winner receives 35 points, second 28 and third, 26.
A driver’s best 18 results through Sept. 18 are counted toward their state and national points totals, and the champions are decided on overall points total. Once a driver reaches 18 starts, their total increases incrementally as they replace some poorer runs with better results.
Thirteen of Morris’ wins have provided him the maximum 45 race-points. Rocco has 10 wins that were worth 45 points.
Morris’ two worst finishes among his top 18 were each worth 38. He can only improve his points total by winning a race which has 17 or more NASCAR-licensed competitors.
Rocco’s two worst each netted him 39. He can only improve his points total winning a race which has 18 or more NASCAR-licensed competitors.
For Rocco to catch Morris, he would need Morris to remain winless in the final two weekends, and Rocco would need the following:
•Two wins with a maximum field of 20 cars. •Or three wins, one with a maximum field, one with at least 19 cars and one with at least 18 cars.
Pulliam has 755 points on the strength of his 17 wins, 26 top fives and 28 top 10s in 30 starts at Motor Mile, South Boston and Caraway. Eight of his wins have been worth 45 point.
CE Falk III, the Late Model champion at Langley Speedway in Hampton, Va., is fourth with 11 wins in 23 starts. He has 713 points. Brad Leighton is fifth at 594 points and 10 wins in the dirt Late Model divisions at Adams County Speedway in Corning, Iowa, I-80 Speedway in Omaha, Neb., and Junction Motor Speedway in McCool Junction, Neb.
Ryan Preece (Riverhead (N.Y.) Raceway, Stafford and Thompson) is sixth, followed by Woody Pitkat (Stafford, Waterford and Thompson), Brandon Davis (Toyota Speedway at Irwindale (Calif.)), Nate Monteith (New Kingsport (Tenn.) Speedway and Motor Mile) and Frank Deiny Jr. (Caraway, Motor Mile and South Boston).
Track, state and provincial champions and the top-three finishers in the national standings earn invitations to the 2011 NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Awards Banquet at the Charlotte Convention Center at the NASCAR Hall of Fame on Friday, Dec. 9.
NASCAR Whelen All-American Series Top 25
Motor Mile, S Boston, Langley
Monadnock, Thompson, Stafford, Waterford
S Boston, Motor Mile, Caraway
S Boston, Langley
I-80, Adams, Junction
Thompson, Riverhead, Stafford
Stafford, Thompson, Waterford
Kingsport, Motor Mile
Motor Mile, Caraway, S Boston
Langley, S Boston
Motor Mile, Kingsport